Different Types of Taps
As a plumber you will come across a lot of taps and valves in your day-to-day work and as you should already know, these are used to control water flow through pipes. It can be used to completely turn of the flow or to reduce the flow. You will fit taps at the ends of pipes and valves will be fitted along the pipe run. There are several different types of taps to choose between, depending on what you want it to do and how you want it to look. Modern taps often have ceramic discs that only require half or a quarter turn to operate. Older taps are often of the rising spindle type but many of these have been replaced with ‘shrouded head taps’ that have non rising spindles.
Single taps, namely taps that are marked red and blue for hot and cold water are often pillar mounted and have a threaded part that goes through a hole in the bath, basin or sink. They are also secured with a backnut at the base. Bib taps are often used outdoors as garden taps and they screw straight into a special type of fitting. I would often use a wallplate elbow for these types of work. In kitchen sinks on the other hand, you will often find supataps. The great thing with these is that they can be rewashered without the need to turn off the water. Unfortunately they are no longer being produced but you should not have any problems finding replacement washers if needed.
Generally speaking, there are three types of mixer taps: bath mixers, basin or bidet mixer and sink mixers. Most sink mixers have a divided flow, meaning that hot and cold water is not mixed until it leaves the tap. This bears to keep in mind when the cold water comes from the mains, which it should always do in the kitchen, and the hot water comes from a storage cistern. You can find these as either one-hole or two-hole, depending on the sink in question. Bath and basin mixers have two inlets and one outlet but the hot and cold water flow can mix together. The difference between the bath and the basin mixer is the spacing of the inlets. You can find one-hole mixers for basins and bidets if needed. When it comes to bath or showers mixers, they will have a shower-hose connection and a diverter, allowing for flow to the shower. A three-hole mixer will have an additional connection for either a pop-up waste control or the spout. Mixer taps will often use the hot and cold water knobs to control temperature but in some newer models, one-hole mixers have just the one lever which controls both.