Kitchen Tapware, the know how’s, Do’s and Don’ts.
First of all, don’t lose your handle when things go wrong (no pun intended). Taps can go fast once they start creating problems so it’s important to identify the issue and resolve quickly.
This quick guide will help you identify what is happening with your Kitchen Tap and what you can do to either fix it yourself, or if you are based in New Zealand, employ a qualified plumber to complete the job for you.
Leaky handle / body
If your Tap is leaking anywhere along the vertical body, then most likely it will relate to the tap cartridge. One can fix a cartridge but often when evaluating time VS cost it’s easier to just replace it if it’s broken. It certainly is much cheaper than replacing the whole tap.
What can go wrong with the Tap cartridge?
The cartridge is designed to enable the mix between the hot and cold and deliver a desired water temperature depending on how far you go to the left (hot) or to the right (cold). There are many types of cartridges and often the quality will determine the life span of the tap itself.
Here a list of issues your cartridge may be facing:
- Cracked cartridge (not fixable and requires replacement). This will typically happen when the quality of the water is bad and the plastic calcifies after which it becomes brittle. Especially while you are on holiday not using the tap. This may also affect the seals that sit on the tap body inlet.
- The cartridge has lifted off the body allowing water to leak from under the seals. (Fixable). Typically this is an easy fix where you need to tighten the Hex brass screw found under the handle. Whilst this can be done without shutting off the water, we highly recommend that you turn your watermain off before following these steps; remove handle
2. Identify Hex screw holding down cartridge
3. Carefully tighten clock wise using a spanner
Make sure you don’t overdo it as the more you crank it up the more risk you damage the seals permanently.
As always, please make sure you consult a registered plumber before attempting any repairs yourself.
Low pressure (or no water at all) coming out on hot or cold side.
Have you ever turned your Kitchen Tap (or any other tap) on and found that suddenly one side has less pressure (low pressure tap) than the other or no water at all? This could be on the hot or cold side.
This is a common issue in New Zealand, where many watermains could are made of materials that break down. Galvanised steel for example. As the internal lining breaks down, debris will find its way into your plumbing. If you don’t have a line strainer (not common in older houses) then that same debris will find its way into the Tap cartridge where it can restrict or even block the flow of water.
Once debris finds its way into the cartridge channels. It will also affect how well the water is mixed and you experience fluctuating temperatures.
Should the debris manage to free itself and travel through the spout, it will get caught in the spout diffuser which is a mesh like filter at the end of your tap designed to stabilize flow.
How is this fixed?
- First thing to check is the diffuser. To clean the diffuser, you don’t have to shut the water off so that makes it easy. Carefully, unscrew the diffuser (try using your dry hand first) by using a tool that will not leave any scratches on the chrome. If a spanner groove is available, use a small spanner.
- If the diffuser is clean, then the cartridge is blocked. In this situation, you MUST shut the water off to the premises. Once the water is off make sure that there is no flow to the hot and cold side. This is because sometimes you may assume that by shutting the cold water off the hot water may also stop but this assumption is not correct. Your hot water cylinder is still full of water and will drain through the tap if you don’t specifically isolate the hot water. Once you are satisfied, remove the tap handle so you are able to unscrew the large hex holding down the cartridge. Remove the cartridge carefully, clean (also clean the tap body if needed) and reinstate. Make sure you don’t overdo the Crox when assembling back together.
When a tap does not work it can be very annoying. Some things are easily repaired whilst others are not. Regardless of your situation, we recommend that you involve a registered plumber to investigate the issue. Euroware employ registered plumbers that can assess and fix your issue quickly. Depending on the value of the repair, you may want to consider replacing the tap instead of attempting a repair.
Regardless, contact us today to investigate your options. This month we are also featuring our Classic EU Black Vege Spray Goose Neck tap, why not upgrade today with Euroware!