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Dripping Tap

penneck
Grafter
Posts: 655
Thanks: 8
Registered: 03-08-2007

Dripping Tap

The taps in my kitchen sink are of the mixer-type with 1/4 turn ceramic cartridge valve. For some time they have been dripping, not quickly, but enough to irritate me. Tapmate, the makers of the taps, seem to have gone out of business, but I have been able to get replacement valves that are fairly closely identical. The only differences I have found are in the diameter of the splined part which takes the handle, and the shape of the washer at the bottom of the valve. The old washer is flat, the new one protrudes a bit, and has a ridge round it near the hole in the centre. It hasn't solved the drip - it has made it a lot worse. If I tighten it into the body of the tap just a smidgen more, it locks the valve so that I cannot turn it on and off. Therefore, I have gone back to the old valves.
I have cleaned out the inside of the tap body just in case, and it looks okay.
Should the lower part of the valve (below the holes in the side) have a seal round it?
Do any of you have any suggestion what I could try next. I would rather not have to change the tap assembly, please?
Thanks
16 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,307
Thanks: 86
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Dripping Tap

One suggestion is to find a small,independent 'old fashioned' type plumber's merchant and take either the entire tap assembly or one of the inserts to them and ask their opinion.  The small independent shops often have a wealth of expertise and are sometimes actually less expensive than the large DIY stores.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Dripping Tap

I've used 71leven on eBay for ceramic valves. They have a wide assortment and may be able to help you!
Geoff,
York.
penneck
Grafter
Posts: 655
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Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dripping Tap

Hello NedLudd and 77 32 33,
Thanks for the advice. What 71leven have looks exactly like what I have already bought, but it was worth taking a look. I am going to have to find a plumbers merchant - they are not exactly on every street corner these days so I will have to do some searching
Regards and thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,307
Thanks: 86
Fixes: 3
Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Dripping Tap

Which part of the country are you in, you never know, somebody on here might know of a local business they can recommend.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 16,834
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: Dripping Tap

You might have a "HomeHardware" store locally... usually these are small, independently / privately run, but have the backing of the parent company for stocks... they are like a small (old fashioned) ironmongers, with stock piled up to the ceiling, and in every nook and cranny... the guy running it may be able to help you....
penneck
Grafter
Posts: 655
Thanks: 8
Registered: 03-08-2007

Re: Dripping Tap

I've googled "plumbing supplies", and it has produced a list of plumbers merchants. Judging by their web-pages, they dont seem to do tap parts. The other problem might be that they won't appreciate me going in and asking for help when I didn't buy the replacement valves from them.
However, you never know, they might take the attitude that to help now might get me to go to them whenever I need to buy any plumbing items.
Thanks
Community Veteran
Posts: 18,545
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Registered: 12-08-2007

Re: Dripping Tap

Would it be simpler to call a local plumber?  I know you will have to pay but at least the job will be done.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Dripping Tap

Try 'tapmate spares' into Google!  Cool
Geoff,
York.
nanotm
Pro
Posts: 5,671
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Dripping Tap

buy a new mixer tap unit that doesn't use ceramic valves, the things are a complete waste of time and money mine have been replaced on both sides of the unit 5 times in the last 3 n a bit years, but that gets done for free by my landlord... but once the first set have worn out the replacements don't last half as long and each time they seem to last less time again .....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,307
Thanks: 86
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: Dripping Tap

In my experience ceramic taps are vastly superior to the ones with rubber tap washers.
It might be reasonable to replace the entire tap if the ceramic inserts can't be replaced.
If your replacements haven't lasted then it's likely they were very cheap non-original parts.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,894
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Dripping Tap

Have to agree with 77 32 33, ceramics are far superior to washers!
If you are replacing them very often then you must have a dirty water supply.
Geoff,
York.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 21-03-2011

Re: Dripping Tap

Contact kitchen sink taps - £15 for a pair here.
Now Zen, but a +Net residue.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Re: Dripping Tap

As suggested the best way forward is a new set of taps, if you do decide to do that also fit isolation valves to the pipes going to each tap,
http://www.screwfix.com/p/15mm-isolating-valve-pack-of-10/32802
They are cheap enough and mean if you ever need to fiddle with the taps again there will be no need to switch the water supply off, if you live in a fairly new house they may already be fitted as I understand it's a requirement.
I Had a similar problem with taps, the acrylic top split on one and I found it impossible to get a matching pair that would fit, I suspect, though stand to be corrected, that manufacturers often make slight changes to products every few years so you are compelled to replace the whole unit, a good example are car parts but that's going off topic.
Good Luck  Smiley
nanotm
Pro
Posts: 5,671
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Registered: 11-02-2013

Re: Dripping Tap

are you referring to the cartridge systems when you say "far superior" or to the actual flat washer's, I ask because I found the mixer unit that uses washers in the bathroom a far better setup (not needed any replacements) and far simpler to source them yet the cartridges used in the kitchen sink are prone to damage through high use (that's kids for you)
the old nylon or rubber washers were never much good as they needed replacing every few months, then again they didn't cost you 15 quid a pop (the tap unit in my kitchen the cartridges only come in pairs) so the saving overall would be a lot when the older types of washers were so much cheaper....
just because your paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you