One of the main tap parts that tend to break down over time is the tap cartridge, which is often one of the hardest of the spare tap parts to correctly identify. The general rule of thumb is that a tap on a basin or sink will use a one half inch cartridge, while the bathtub and shower will usually use a three quarter in cartridge. While there are some manufacturers who differ from this scale the main concept is pretty stable throughout the industry. Beyond the actual size of a cartridge there is also the materials used to build it, there are two ways this is usually done. The first is a washer and spindle set up, the second is a ceramic disk set up. One will not work in the others place so it is important to note which one you require.
Identifying the Correct Tap Cartridge
The easiest way of identifying which tap part you will need to purchase is to take apart the tap that is causing you the problem. While this may seem like a task that is quite in depth the process is actually quite simple. The process will usually follow these steps:
- Turn off the mains water supply
- Remove the head of the tap (some require screws while other need only be prized off)
- This will expose the securing screw; a flathead screwdriver will normally do the trick
- Your cartridge is now exposed
Removing your tap parts in this way is fairly standard, though you should remember that depending on the age and make of your tap it may differ slightly.
Finding the Right Tap Parts
Now that you have your cartridge removed from your tap it is time to start seeking out the correct tap parts to alleviate the problems you have been having. The price of these units differs greatly from one manufacturer to another so shopping around is important if you want the best deal. It should be noted that some older taps may have to have newer cartridge models inserted as older parts are no longer available. Bristan Plumbing has a range of spares for some of the more popular modern tap manufacturers and prices start from around $10 for larger tap parts.
Installing Your New Tap Parts
The installation process for your new tap parts is exactly the opposite of the removal process, there should be no fiddling around with small parts as they often just slot into pace and are secured with the retaining screw you removed before. The one thing to remember is to check that all screws and fittings are secured before turning back on the mains water. The last thing you need is more water damage now that you have fixed the leaky tap. Should you find that it is all a bit much for you to handle calling the local handy man could be your best option; they will not only fix your tap for you, but also outsource the correct tap parts as well.