Removing, replacing, and refitting your leaky old taps might seem like a complicated job, what with all the piping and waterworks involved, but it’s actually pretty simple! This handy guide will help anyone, whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a beginner who's just sick of leaky faucets, replace the taps in your kitchen or bathroom.
Make sure your new taps fit with both your style of sink or bath and with your desired aesthetic
Pillar Taps are the classic pair of separated taps, with one for hot water and a separate one for cold. These are traditionally styled taps that can bring a whole burst of authentic charm to a kitchen or bathroom.
Mixer Taps features one spout, but still has two ‘pillars’ with their own gages, allowing you greater control over the temperature of the water. Mixer taps are more modern in style and a great way to update the more traditional pillar style.
Monobloc Taps are one singular tap that controls both the hot and cold water. Even more convenient than a mixer tap, monobloc taps bring even more delicate control to your water temperature, while also looking extremely sleek and contemporary.
The pipes supplying water to your sinks or bath might have isolating valves, and by turning these off you can cut the water off from your taps without affecting the rest of your home. If your sink doesn’t have an isolating valve, then you’ll need to turn off your water completely. Afterwards, run your taps for a couple of minutes to get rid of excess water. Once all the water is drained, you’re ready to begin the real work.
There are two nuts you need to loosen before you can remove your old taps.
First, loosen the nut where the tap joins the water pipe until it's completely free. Use an open-ended spanner to do this and hold onto the tap as you unscrew to stop it twisting with the motion to make the job easier.
Next, loosen the backing nut – this keeps the tap connected to its mounted surface. For pillar taps, you will need a basin wrench or back nut box spanner in the correct size to do this. For mixer or monobloc taps, you’ll need to keep the open-ended spanner on hand.
Once the nut is completely loose, remove it from the stud, and you’ll be able to pull away the whole tap, including its connector hose. Now it's time to finally bin those old, scuffed, leaking taps that have been bothering you for so long!
Before you fit your new taps, make sure you clean around the hole with a damp cloth to remove any grime or residue. Then, feed the connector hose of your new tap through the hole and then line the hole up with the tap’s seal and the tap itself.
Re-screw the backing nut. We recommend you tighten it as much as you can with your hands first and then use a spanner to make sure it's extra tight. You don’t want to damage your new taps or your basin. As you’re working, check that the tap and the seal still line up with the hole every now and then.
Then reconnect the tap to the main water line, replacing the nut with the same ‘hands first, spanner to finish’ method you used with the backing nut.
Now your shining new taps are all fitted properly, it's time to turn the water back on! We’re sure you’ve done a good job, but if you’re worried you’ve left something loose somewhere, open the isolators slowly and keep an eye on the piping for any leaks. Once you’ve decided you’re in the all-clear, carefully turn on the new taps.
Water flow will be weak and slow to start, but soon enough your new taps should be ready to go! Time to fill up the kettle for a nice cup of tea or treat yourself to a lovely bath for all your hard work.
Ensure you have all the tools you need for the job by looking through our DIY Department. Want to undertake some more home fix-it jobs? Read through our guides on installing a new shower and fitting doors.