One of the smallest fittings in a bathroom and also one of the most technical, that can sometimes present us with what we consider a problem. Many of these ‘problems’ do not cause for the need to call out a costly plumber as they can actually be easily resolved quite simply. Here are 6 common problems you will find with your bathroom taps.
1) The Dripping Tap
A dripping tap is easy to fix. Taps contain either rubber washers or ceramic disc cartridges. If your tap has a rubber washer, simply turn the water off to the tap and take off the head to reveal the washer underneath. Replace the washer with a new one from your local plumber’s merchant or DIY store.
Dripping ceramic disc taps are not so common as they are very hard-wearing. However, lime scale and hard water deposits can occasionally make their way into the cartridge and stop it from sealing off properly. When this happens, turn the water supply to the tap off, unscrew the tap head and take out the cartridge. Soak it in vinegar to clear the hard water deposits, and replace. If the dripping persists, you will need a new cartridge.
2) The Always-On Tap
Similar to the above problem, if the ceramic disc cartridge inside your tap is not closing off properly, it might be allowing a constant stream of water through. If this is the case, once again you would want to take the cartridge out and make sure there is no hard water deposits stopping the cartridge from closing properly. Occasionally, limescale can grind down the ceramic discs and leave a permanent groove letting water through. If this is the case, you’ll need a new cartridge.
3) Poor Water Flow
Modern ceramic disc taps generally require higher water pressure to produce the same flow as older-style rubber washer taps. If you have especially low water pressure, you may want to fit a pump or opt for rubber washer taps.
Some ceramic disc taps are suitable for low pressure gravity systems. If you have a normal 2 storey house, with storage tank in the loft and no pump, you are unlikely to have more than 0.2 bar of water pressure. Take this into account when choosing your taps, as you don’t want to have them installed only to find your bath takes an hour to fill. Have a look at Proflow taps for a range of modern bathroom
4) Only Cold Water is Coming Through
If your taps or showers are running cold, it may be that your cold water supply is much higher than your hot water supply. This is often the case if your hot water is gravity-fed, but your cold water is coming directly from the mains supply. The solution to this is to either install a pump to boost the pressure of the hot water, or to fit a pressure reducing valve on the cold water supply just before the tap to balance out the pressures.
5) Frozen Pipes
During the winter months common plumbing problems can be a result of frozen pipes. This potentially can cause a lot of damage if left untreated. Frozen pipes can be easily identified by locating areas of the pipe which have heavy amounts of water droplets or condensation on the outside. This is a clear indication of where the pipes are frozen and will require treatment. You can try and solve this issue by gradually turning up the central heating in your home to warm up the walls and pipes behind the walls. Do take great care and as rupturing a pipe can leave to massive water damage.
6) The Chrome Finish is Tarnishing
Nowadays, bathroom cleaners such as Cillit Bang can be very abrasive. Whilst their packaging might say they are fine for use on chrome, the reality is that if you leave them on for just a little too long, they can eat away at the finish and leave it looking mottled and tarnished. Very few tap manufacturers will replace issues caused by cleaning products under warranty, so be very careful what you use and how long you leave it on for.