How to Connect a Kitchen Tap
Connecting The Taps
Fitting the new taps is virtually the reverse of removing the old ones once you have adapted the connections, but watch these points:
♦ Make sure any sealing washers or gaskets supplied are fitted in their correct order before you fit the taps through the sink top.
♦ If the taps turn too easily in their holes, fit anti-rotational washers from below.
♦ On a thin sink, fit top-hat washers, followed by the backnuts. On thick worktops, fit special top-hat backnuts instead.
Fit the tap in place, including any washers, andthe backnut on from underneath. Tighten the backnut firmly and check that the tap doesn’t turn.
If you’re reusing the old tap connector fit a new sealing washer. The connector should push into the tail as you insert the tap. Tighten the nut fully.
If you are using an adaptor, fit it to the tap tail and tighten the nut fully. Don’t forget the sealing washer inside the actual tap connection.
. . . Push the other end into the supply pipe after first slipping on a nut and olive. Slide the joint together and tighten the nuts 1-1/2 turns above hand-tight.
Turn the relevant stopcock back on and feel the connections for signs of leaks. If all is well, turn the tap on to make sure it works properly.
If it won’t unscrew
Old joints may be difficult to undo because of corrosion and the difficulty of getting enough leverage on a nut which is concealed behind the sink. If the nut won’t turn reasonably easily, don’t force it. There are two things you can try:
Apply penetrating oil Use a spray can of the type with a long extension tube so you can reach up behind the sink. Leave it to soak in for at least 10 minutes. Apply heat. Warm the joint with a hot air gun or blowlamp (unless the tap or nut is plastic), let it cool, then try again.
If it leaks
Leaks from the joints are most likely to be because they are not fully tightened. Try tightening the nuts a fraction to see if this cures the problem.
If it doesn’t, turn the water off again and undo the joint.
With tap connectors, check that the washer is in place and intact — replace with a new one if not.
With pipe joints, check that the olive is securely fitted to the pipe, about 5mm from the end. If it is, smear some sealing compound around the olive before remaking the joint.
An uneven, spluttering flow is probably due to an airlock. Correct this on a pillar tap by connecting a hose from a mains-fed tap to it. With spluttering from a kitchen hot tap for example, connect the hose from the cold tap to it and then turn both taps on fully.
For a mixer tap, remove the spout and block the opening with a clean towel. Press down on the towel and then get someone to turn on the hot tap followed by the cold tap. After a minute or two, turn off the cold tap followed by the hot tap.