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Have you jumped on the mixer tap bandwagon yet? It’s very likely that you have, especially if your home has all of the other mod-cons of the past decade or more. Firstly, they’re modern, trendy and slick – which is always a winner. But it’s really the convenience and simplicity that makes the difference, as a mixer tap cleverly does away with the need for separate hot and cold taps and blends both together in the styling of your choice. But today, we’re not really going to talk about the popularity of this modern plumbing phenomenon, but rather: How does a mixer tap work?

It’s one of the questions we get asked the most by the more inquisitive of our clients, and for good reason – it was a major plumbing breakthrough to blend the hot and cold water sources into a single plumbing fixture that gives the user the easiest possible way to get that temperature just right.

How does a tap work?

How do mixer taps work? To answer that question most easily, let’s take a quick look at a more general question: How do taps work?

  • The tap is attached to the mains water pipe
  • Mains water is held in a chamber in the tap until it’s turned on
  • Turn the tap on by rotating the handle anticlockwise
  • This unscrews an internal valve … and the water starts to flow.

It’s the same process for both hot and cold taps, meaning that in the absence of a mixer tap, you’ll need to manually adjust both to get a specific temperature other than fully-hot or fully-cold. Although the styles, types and various varieties of taps differ wildly, how taps work is basically consistent across the entire range – including the mixer tap.

So how does the mixer tap manage to use the same basic tap operation but cleverly combine both hot and cold sources that allow the user to manipulate a single lever to get the exact hot water temperature they desire? Let’s explain:

How do mixer taps work?

In a single plumbing fixture with one spout, a mixer tap features either one or two controls for the hot and cold water – with the single-control version, moving the control in one direction is for ‘more hot’, and the other direction is for ‘more cold’.

1. Small holes

Inside the tap unit are various small holes that plumbers will usually refer to as either butterflies – due to the shape – or valves.

2. Hot & cold

As the single fixture is connected to both the normal mains supply (cold) as well as the line from your hot water system, manipulating the control/s will open more or less of the holes until – at the extreme – all holes are open and either fully-hot or fully-cold temperatures are achieved.

3. Warm water

A custom mix between hot and cold water – otherwise known as warm water! – will mean that only some of the hot and some of the cold water ‘holes’ are open.

4. A precise mix

How a tap works of the mixer variety, however, means you never have to settle for ‘hot’, ‘cold’, or ‘warm’. The real beauty of the mixer tap is that it is highly susceptible to tiny changes in the position of the lever, meaning you can achieve exactly the temperature you’re desiring.

Ask Gold Coast’s experts how taps work

Need more detail – like disc cartridges, nozzle seals, o-rings, spindles and flexible hoses? Or do you just want a skilled, experienced Gold Coast plumber to get rid of your tired & dated old taps and update you to slick & gorgeous new mixer taps for your bathroom and kitchen? At Gold Coast Plumbing Experts, we can definitely help with all of that and so much more! Get in touch with our friendly & fully licensed team today, and we’ll get you fixed up with the beautiful mixer taps of your choosing and do all your leaky tap repairs or replacement in a flash.