Who Says Faucets Can’t Be Fascinating!

Choosing Your Faucet

A faucet is a device for delivering water from a plumbing system.  To some people is it known as a tap.  Most houses would have at least four taps inside and probably at least two outside.  A tap fitting consists of the following: a spout, a handle, a lift rod, cartridge, mixing chamber and water inlets.  When somebody turns the handle on, the valve is opened and water flows out.

Choosing a new faucet for your kitchen or bathroom can be fun. The reason is that there are so many different models and designs from which to choose. A basic knowledge of taps is needed so you can make informed decisions on what type of tap fitting to go with when doing up or building your house.  You will need to think about what type you want in your bathroom, what type you want in your kitchen, what type you want in your laundry and what type would best suit your outside needs. You will also need to think about the type you want, the style you want, the design you want and the color you want.  There are many different things you need to take into consideration when making a choice.

Which Type of Faucet is Best For You?

Faucets are widely made out of brass because brass is resistant to soft water corrosion and hard water calcification. There are four different types of faucets used in residential homes.  These are ball, disc, cartridge, and compression.  The first three mentioned are washerless faucets and the compression type uses a washer and is the most common of the three.

Ball faucets are commonly used in the kitchen and were the first type of washerless faucet made.  These are identifiable by the single handle which moves over a round ball shape at the base of the faucet spout.  This type is known to leak more than other types.

Disc faucets are one of the later developments in plumbing technology.  They have a single lever over a wide cylindrical body.  These are of the highest quality, are reliable and don’t need repairing very often at all.

Cartridge faucets operate with a movable stem cartridge that moves down and up to regulate the flow of water.  These look very similar to a compression type tap but you can tell the difference by how the handle feels.

Compression faucets have been around for years.  They are the taps that you would find in old houses.  They are inexpensive but are prone to leaks and need maintenance.  They have separate hot and cold handles and you need to tighten the handles to close off the water flow

One or Two-handled?

Some of the things to look for when choosing a new faucet include the handles. The main choice here is do you want a one or two-handled faucet. It is just a matter of preference. One handle allows you the convenience of controlling the water temperature and amount of water all in one handle. A two-handled faucet provides more designs and styles from which to choose. The style of a faucet is also an important decision. An important aspect of the style is functionality. The faucet should direct the water into the center of the bowl and not the edges. Make sure the size of the faucet fits the sink and bowl as well. The style of your faucet will add a nice touch to your kitchen or bathroom. In many cases, the faucet is the center of attention in a well-designed room. Other style features you can look at include a tall gooseneck spout or a pullout spout with spray function.

What Type of Finish Do You Want?

A chrome finish is a popular choice among homeowners. They are usually the least expensive and offer warranties against scratches. A stainless steel faucet is also an excellent choice among shoppers. They are also quite expensive but they look very good. Other choices include enamel or epoxy coated faucets. These can chip and crack so they may not be your first choice.

The more complex your faucet, the more chance for something to break down. There are more parts involved. There are several different types of faucet. The compression valve type uses rubber washers, this type of faucet may eventually drip but the washers are easy to replace.

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Getting Started

The main determinant of how easy or difficult it is to install a faucet is access. Installing a faucet into a new sink is simple because you can do it before setting the sink in place, with full access to the faucet parts, including the hard-to-reach mounting nuts.

If the sink is already in place, replacing a faucet can be a challenge since your only access is from under the sink. This will require you to lie on your back and work around the supply lines to get to the mounting nuts that will secure the faucet.

Even with the aid of a nifty tool called a basin wrench that extends your reach, it’s still an awkward task. Depending on your circumstance, you may find it easier, in the long run, to remove the sink first.

After installing your new faucet, remove the aerator from the faucet and flush the lines to ensure that any debris does not clog and reduce the water flow. On a standard faucet, simply unscrew the aerator at the end of the spigot and let the water run for a minute or two. With a pullout sprayer faucet, the aerator/filter is housed in an inlet in the sprayer head. Just unthread the hose, remove the aerator/filter, and flush.

6 Steps to Install Your Faucet

  1. Many new faucets require some assembly before mounting to the sink; if that is the case, follow the manufacturer’s directions. With most pullout sprayer faucets, the sprayer needs to be threaded through the faucet body first.
  2. Insert the rubber gasket between the base plate of the faucet and the sink top to create a watertight seal. If no gasket is provided, pack the cavity of the faucet with plumber’s putty, then insert the faucet body through the holes in the sink top. Thread the mounting nuts provided onto the faucet shafts, then center the threaded shafts in the sink’s holes and tighten the nuts firmly.
  3. Many manufacturers include a special long socket specifically to aid in tightening the mounting nuts. A hole in the socket accepts the shank of a screwdriver, guiding it as you tighten the nuts. If you’re mounting the faucet on an installed sink, use this method.
  4.  If you’re installing a pullout sprayer faucet–or a faucet with a separate sprayer–now is the time to connect the sprayer to the faucet body. Check the manufacturer’s directions to see if using pipe-wrap tape for this connection is recommended. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the connection.
  5.  Most pullout sprayer faucets and faucets with separate sprayers come with a counterweight that attaches to the sprayer hose. This weight helps retract the hose back into the sink cabinet after you’ve used the sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on where to secure the weight, and take care not to crimp the hose as you attach the weight.
  6.  Hook up the faucet’s hot and cold supply lines to the water supply shutoff valves under the sink. If necessary, gently bend the copper tubes coming out of the faucet for better access and connect flexible supply tubes to them. Simply wrap a couple of turns of pipe-wrap tape around the threaded nipples on the valves and connect the tubes. Tighten the nuts with an adjustable wrench.

So there you have it, a complete guide to everything you need to know about faucets!


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