UK Bathroom Taps - Valves
The valve is the bit buried in the middle of the tap that let the water through when you turn the handle or lever. Not a particularly interesting subject but quite important because some continental bathroom taps will not work with some UK heating systems.
Rubber Washered Tap Vales
The valves in most UK taps use a rubber washer, requiring the tap head to be turned several times to move from the fully on position to fully off. The washer will wear over time and will eventually need to be replaced. The valves used in bath taps should be bigger than the valves used in basin taps, but this is not always the case, especially in very cheap taps. The larger valve size coupled with a larger supply pipe is designed to make bath filling as quick as possible.
Most tap valves are not interchangeable, and are designed for one make/model of tap only ( the body of the valve is a standard size but the spline pattern to which the tap head is attached varies from make to make).
Quarter Turn Tap Valves
These are a modern equivalent of the standard tap valve and are designed to be maintenance free, however small pieces of grit or dirt can get between the discs to cause damage that can lead to dripping. This type of valve cannot be repaired and has to be replaced. As with the rubber valve you have to get the right valve for the right tap.
Mixer Cartridge Valves
This type of valve is used inside a monobloc mixer tap and is operated by the tap's lever, which controls the temperature and the water flow. Many taps that use this type of valve are designed to be used with high pressure heating systems only such as combination boilers and unvented heating systems and will not work with the low pressure tank-fed systems common in the UK. There are monobloc mixer taps that available for low pressure systems so it is always worth checking before buying this type of tap as you do not want to discover that your new taps will not work after they have been installed.
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