Options for Connecting Kitchen Taps
The threaded tails of the taps are joined to the supply with-on tap connectors (except for mono-blocs, which are connected direct). There are five options:
1. The new taps fit straight on to the old connectors.
2. Metric taps are about 12mm (1/2″) shorter than old Imperial ones. If the connectors won’t reach there is a special fitting called a shank adaptor to extend the tail.
3. If the tails are completely out of alignment, use a bendable tap connector kit with hand-bendable copper pipe to span the gap.
4. Plastic taps are sometimes supplied with plastic tap connectors to make joints to copper pipe without damaging the fragile tails.
5. Monobloc taps may have bendable 10mm (3/8″) inlet pipes. To connect these to normal 15mm (1/2″) supply pipes, use reducing connectors.
Test-fit the new taps to see how the pipes align. If you need a larger hole for a monobloc mixer, drill one with a hole saw and fit blanking plugs to the old holes.
♦ If the taps fit the old connectors direct, or via a shank adaptor.
♦ If you have to use flexible connectors, plastic connectors or reducing connectors (see above), the supply pipes must be cut back and the connectors joined to them. The easiest way to make the joints is via standard compression fittings.
1. Hold the new tap in place to gauge whether you can connect it to the supply pipe without adjustment. Don’t bother to fit the backnut at this stage.
2. If you need to adapt the supply, hand tighten the new fitting (in this case a plastic connector) on to the tap so you can mark whereto cut the pipe.
3. Cut the pipe squarely with a junior. If necessary, pull the pipe out of its clips and hold a block of wood behind it to keep it steady.
4. Remove any burrs from the cut end using a small file or old knife so that you can slip the new fitting in place without damaging it or the pipe.
5. Loosely assemble the fitting to check that it aligns properly. Fit the nut, then the olive, and push the fitting down on to the end of the pipe.