When your quarter or Half turn ceramic tap starts to drip it is probably time to replace the complete ceramic disc tap cartridge.
Professional plumbers will usually advise you to replace the tap because replacing the valve is time consuming given the difficulties in identifying the correct part and procuring it from their plumbers merchants.
Also the original manufacturers replacement tap gland, if it can be identified and if it is still available, can cost up to £60 each.
What else could be causing my tap to drip?
If your tap is quite old you should check that your drip is not caused by a seating problem. This is the area underneath the tap valve, this part of the tap block must be in very good condition so that the tap valve can form a water tight seal.
Should I replace the complete cartridge or can I replace the spare parts?
We always recommend replacing the complete tap cartridge in the first instance. However it is sometimes possible to renovate and repair your old tap valve by replacing the ceramic discs, gaskets and o'rings. These parts are not standard between manufacturers either so you will need to check the sizes carefully to ensure they are exactly the same. This is also sometimes the only option for customers with very unusual or rare sized tap valves. You could also first try to dismantle your old tap valve and cleaning the parts by soaking in vinegar.
How do I know which size to order?
We sell the largest range of quarter turn and Half turn ceramic tap valves available anywhere in the world and can usually provide a replacement to match your leaking innard for your bathroom / kitchen / filter / drinking water / bidet tap. We even have an extensive range of long stem valves for showers (shower flow cartridge / on off valve). Our first question is "do you know the manufacturer and model of your tap" if "Yes" then we can often tell you which tap valve insert to purchase. Please email us at email@example.com for advice. But if "No" then we will need you to remove the cartridge to check the dimensions.
How do I determine the thread size?
Once you have removed the ceramic tap cartridge you will need to identify the thread size. In the UK 95% of taps are either BSP 1/2" (Basin size) or 3/4" (Bath size). The BSP "British Pipe Standard " doesn't refer to any physical dimension, which is very confusing and is why we display all the dimensions in mm. Our 1/2" valves measure 18mm diameter across the bottom and 20.9mm across the thread, whereas the 3/4" measure 24mm across the bottom and 26.4mm across the thread. We also have a range of Metric 20mm, 28mm, 34mm and plug in / push fit valves.
How Many teeth are there on the spline? (This is the stem of the valve)
The next thing to check is the number of teeth on the spline (this is the top part of the valve which connects into the handle). You can determine the number of teeth and also the correct spline diameter by using The Tap Magician spline gauge. It can be tricky to count the teeth by eye. Without our spline gauge we find the easiest way to count them is to take a photo looking down the stem of the valve and then to count them from the photograph. You will also need to check the diameter of the spline. Most of our valves are 7.6mm dia which is by far the most common diameter size, and fits onto the most common tap handle hole size of 8mm. However, some valves do have a narrower or wider spline diamater. We do sell a small number of valves with a wider and narrower diamater. Some tap handle manufacturers utilize a plastic adaptor / turret tap head carrier for the handle to fit onto the spline. You will need to keep any plastic spline adaptor and fit this on to the new tap cartridge. If you have broken yours then you will either need to repair it, or use resin putty to mould yourself a new adaptor piece. You can also use this solution if your valve has a wider than normal spline diamater. Please see here for further instructions on doing this How do I make my own handle adaptor piece.
Matching up the dimensions
When you know the number of teeth you can click on the relevant heading along the top of our website
When you click on the relevant heading, you will then see various options. 1/2" with threaded collar, 1/2" without threaded collar, 3/4" with threaded collar, 3/4" without threaded collar. The threaded collar is section "G" on our drawings. The threaded collar is only needed if your tap has a decorative shroud which screws on to this thread.
Can't see your size listed?
If you cannot see your size listed in our charts, or are unsure about which option to go for please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your full set of dimensions, and the number of teeth on the spline and we can assist you further. We always respond to emails rapidly
My tap is leaking at the joint of the body of the tap and the spout
If your tap is leaking at this point on the tap then you might need to replace your spout O-rings. We sell spout O ring repair kits for many taps. To check if we have the correct o'ring repair kit for your tap please Select your tap here.