Faucets and Mixers: Device, Installation, and Operation

The use of water supply resources is impossible without the installation of faucets and mixers. There are differences between these concepts that need to be considered during installation. This article explains how faucets and mixers work, how to install them, and how to use them.

Faucets and mixers are devices that end water pipes, and through their “spouts” and shower pans, we get water. When purchasing such a device and during its operation, it is recommended to pay attention to some important nuances.

Mixer Connection

A faucet and mixer can usually be connected to the pipe with a threaded connection using a coupling. When you approach the issue of buying a faucet or mixer, you should make sure that the thread at its connection point with the water supply is the same as on your pipe. The mixer is connected to two pipes – the cold and hot water pipes. If the mixer is wall-mounted, make sure the distance between the mixer mounting point and the pipes themselves is the same. Minor discrepancies can be corrected with eccentric pipes.

Sink Attachment

Faucets and mixers intended for mounting on the sink can have several supply options: copper pipes, flexible hoses, etc. It is easiest to install a mixer with flexible hoses. However, there is an opinion that flexible supply does not have durability. A mixer with small pipes at the input is considered more reliable. Just keep in mind that when installing such a mixer, you will need special devices that will serve for the tight crimping of pipes – collets.

The difference between a faucet and a mixer is that either hot or cold water passes through the faucet. If you decide to install a mixer yourself, take care in advance to have a special sealing tape or mastic. But don’t overdo it when twisting the thread.

Types of Shutoff Valves

Faucets and mixers must have a connection to the water supply. Their body is typically made of a copper alloy with a decorative coating. The shutoff valve should be attached to the “body” with a threaded connection, using a locknut. You cannot put any valve in any mixer, as they may differ in types and sizes. The mounting location is considered the most problematic. The valve suffers from dirty water, as well as from your excessive force when screwing and unscrewing.

The most traditional valve consists of a rubber or leather flap and has a rotary drive or a rotary-reciprocating drive. Sometimes during operation, the rigid “seat” can be damaged. Do not forcefully close the faucet. First, open it, and then try to close it. Dirt can be washed away with the water. If possible, it is recommended to disassemble the faucet and remove the blockage.

In addition to shutoff valves with rubber flaps, there are valves with ceramic flaps. They have greater durability and do not damage the “seat” of the faucet. Some experts claim that a ceramic valve is more practical. And if its cost is much higher than a rubber gasket, it will need to be replaced much less often. In addition, it has several more advantages: when screwing it, it does not require a lot of effort and time.

Single-lever and Double-lever Mixers

The mixer is designed to mix cold and hot water, and with the help of a spout, deliver water of the necessary temperature to us. Mixers can be of two types: single-lever, where there is one control handle, and double-lever – with two taps. In the first case, the valve head mechanism is significantly complicated. And, unfortunately, today it is quite difficult to find the necessary parts for repairing such a mixer on the market.

Water Diversion Switches

Some faucets and mixers have additional switches for diverting water to the shower hose. Such switches are divided into two groups: mechanical and push-button switches. In both cases, the mixer has a switch valve mechanism, but with a push-button switch, fixation in a certain position is achieved with the pressure of the flowing water. When installing such a faucet where there is not enough pressure, there will not be full fixation.

There are mixers equipped with an automatic regulator that maintains a constant water temperature. Of course, when you are taking a shower, you should be confident that if there is a pressure drop in the pipes, you will not be doused with ice-cold water or boiling water. But it should be understood that if cold or hot water is absent, or you have low pressure in your water supply, then no automatic device will be able to help you.

Shower heads sometimes have switches for several modes of water supply. It happens that the switch of a new shower head works tightly. In this case, you should not apply excessive force. You need to try to disassemble the part and loosen the clamp screw of the switch.


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