Single lever bathroom faucets: device and repair features
For the arrangement of bathrooms and the supply of hot and cold water on the market today a large selection of different faucets and taps. Manufacturers offer these products in different versions, which allows you to choose the device for any interior space, taking into account individual preferences and their cost. However, it is the single-lever bath mixer that enjoys the greatest popularity in the light of its aesthetic and functional features.
Features of the device
The demand for installation of single-lever mixers in apartments and houses is due to the simplicity and ease of use of such a crane, as well as its laconic appearance. Temperature control and water pressure, on and off - all these actions with the mixer are easily performed with one hand when turning the knob to a certain position.
Such products, due to the specifics of their device, are reliable, which allows productive use of faucets in bathrooms or in the kitchen for quite a long time.
Conventional water taps and wall faucets gradually fade into the background, giving way to single-lever products. The joystick mixer includes a housing with a plate, inside of which the mixed cold and hot water is mixed. The principle of operation of the plate is similar to the functions of the lever, which indicates the simplicity of the design of such devices for water supply. Most often for the manufacture of mixers using metal, ceramic or plastic.
The layout of single-lever mixers is a rather new invention, however, its positive features have already been appreciated by consumers, due to which it can be argued that such a product is better than a standard two-valve faucet with a bush, especially in the bathroom. Products are often called a single jib crane.
To have a clear idea about the specific configuration of such a mixer, it is worth noting the main components of the product:
- body and lock;
- cartridge or ball mechanism;
- gaskets, mounting nut and hoses.
The main feature of a single-handle crane with a cartridge is the absence of metal parts inside the device. It consists of ceramic elements that are resistant to corrosion processes and perfectly tolerate direct contact with water.
However, unsatisfactory quality of tap water, which adversely affects the condition of parts, can lead to premature deterioration of such parts. To reduce the likelihood of breakdowns associated with poor-quality fluid, manufacturers of sanitary devices install filters inside the mixer, but they do not always cope with the task, because in some regions of Russia the state of the water is rather deplorable.
Knowing this feature of the product, you can prepare in advance for such situations by completing the installation of additional water purification systems, thus avoiding situations associated with the need for premature repair of the single-lever mixer.
Advantages and disadvantages
The products described are distinguished by a number of positive qualities:
- Single lever taps used for bathtubs, washbasins or sinks are very convenient to use.To supply water of the desired temperature, there is no need to turn off several valves, which indicates ease of use. Moving the lever, you can control not only the temperature due to the fact that the cold and hot water is mixed directly inside the faucet, but also the pressure.
- Due to the fact that the considered type of sanitary faucet is arranged quite simply, the products have a long service life. This advantage is due to the absence in the design of parts that rub against each other in the process of work, which leads to their wear.
- Simple and quick installation of the mixer has a positive effect on consumer demand, since the purchased products can be easily installed with your own hands without the involvement of specialists.
- In addition to functionality, single-lever universal mixers stand out against the background of two-valve taps with a more attractive and concise appearance. On sale you can find products for flush mounting in the style of "retro".
- Expensive models stand out wide angle setting water temperature. Products acquire this property through the use of high-quality raw materials, as well as due to the specific design.
- Due to the simple adjustment of these taps make it possible to save the overall level of water consumption, which reduces the cost of utilities.
Like any other products, the sanitary devices under consideration have some drawbacks:
- As for this type of single-lever mixer, like a ball valve, this product has a weak side - rubber gaskets wear out quite quickly. Therefore, in order to avoid more serious damage, it is worthwhile to replace the seals every 24 months.
- Such mixers are very sensitive to various foreign inclusions, which are often found in tap water. This applies to sand and other abrasives.
To reduce the risk of breakage, it is worthwhile to take care of installing cleaning filters for water entering the dwelling, which may be associated with additional expenses.
- Cheap production of cartridge mixers is difficult to adjust the temperature, this is due to the fact that the taps are provided with a minimum angle control the temperature of the supplied liquid.
- Single lever mixers have a small maintainability,which makes it impossible to repair them yourself, with the result that all repairs will be reduced to the replacement of some structural element. Most often it is a gasket or cartridge. To extend the operating life of the device will help timely preventive maintenance measures.
Classification of single-lever mixers is based on the internal structure of the device. On this basis, we can distinguish two main types of cranes - ball and cartridge:
- Sharovy the mixer has a special element located inside the device. It is a metal ball having three holes. Each hole in it is responsible for the flow of a certain water, in the last hole, this part mixes them, leading already into the faucet itself. As a rule, the container inside the ball is called a mixing ball chamber. This part is adjustable with a rod and has rubber seals. The water level is regulated during the movement of the ball. This type of mixer is distinguished by a long operational period due to the characteristics of its device.
- Cartridge single-lever valve instead of a ball contains a disk, as its basis are two ceramic plates. The lower part of the cartridge is made with three holes for water supply.In the upper part there is a mixing of liquids. The principle of operation of this device is to adjust the positions of the plates with holes for cold and hot water so that the holes find contact with the mixing chamber located at the top of the disk. For smooth movement of the joystick is used silicone composition for processing.
It is these mixers that are prone to frequent breakdowns due to impurities in the water.
How to troubleshoot?
Not every malfunction in the single-lever water supply device will be repaired. As for the replacement of the cartridge, it is necessary in the following situations:
- if it is leaking;
- when opening the tap to maximum, the water pressure remains very weak;
- when a working device supplies water both to the shower and to the spout.
To perform a repair, you must have the following set of tools:
- screwdriver and wrench;
- pliers and knife.
The main thing before you disassemble the device, you need to shut off the flow of water into it.
Scheme of repair work:
- The first step is to remove the plugs on the lever. To remove the lever, unscrew the screw.
- Then the nuts are removed from the body with a key, after which you can get the cartridge.
If the problem is a leak, the cartridge must be replaced with a new part. When buying parts it is worth considering that the replaceable elements can have different diameter of holes and clamps, located in the bottom plate. Best of all, going to the store, take with you the worn out item. This will help make the right choice. After buying a new cartridge, the mixer is assembled in a similar pattern, but in reverse order.
If the device is faulty due to gland wear, replace it. The order of work in this case includes the following steps:
- fixing the lever in the closed position, you need to remove the hose from the shower;
- using pliers for operation, a push button is removed from the housing;
- then the adapter is removed from the spout and the gland is replaced.
As for ball mixers, they cannot be repaired; an exception to the rule can be considered device malfunctions associated with the sealing material. Low water pressure will indicate debris in the aerator. Most often, the crane at work makes noise and creaks. To eliminate the problem, you must perform the following steps:
- remove the aerator, rinse it under running water;
- then install the part back by fastening it with a clamping nut.
Work on the replacement of old rubber bands are as follows:
- first you need to remove the lever;
- a two-component element is removed from the housing, where the black part is the seal that needs to be put in order or replaced;
- if the above actions did not help to resolve the issue with the leak, you need to replace the lower gum;
- after that the ball is inserted back and fixed with a nut;
- the final step is to install the mixer handle.
In order to ensure more productive operation of the single-lever mixer after replacing the rubber bands, it is worthwhile to additionally use a silicone lubricant.
In the single-lever bath mixer there is a switch that is responsible for the water supply, either through a tap or through a shower head. In this device, over time, various malfunctions may occur. The most common problems:
- Often there are cases when water enters the bath from two sources at once.This is a sign of problems with spool seals.
- Over time, the water supply switch button works tightly, as a result of which it does not become normal. The reason for this failure is the breakage of the stem spring.
As for the gaskets of the spools, the main snag will be that they are not sold separately. These accessories are usually included in the kit to the mixer. If that is not available, then the independent solution will be the production of an elastic band. The self-made product will help to exclude mixer malfunction for some time.
The switch itself has two seals, which are located at the top and at the bottom of the spool. In the event that the upper rubber band has become unusable, the switch does not disassemble, since to replace the part it will be enough to remove the cap and install the new element. The option to install the lower gum needs disassembling the switch.
The principle of product replacement is as follows:
- position the lever in the closed position and disconnect the shower hose;
- remove the cover and unscrew the screw;
- after which you can get the button and the valve, and replace the seals;
- device assembly is performed in the same way, starting from the end.
If the resource of the spring located in the button is exhausted, problems may arise related to the non-return of the switch to the starting position. In this embodiment, repair work includes the following steps:
- it is necessary to get an adapter and a rod with a spring;
- the defective part is removed, and with the help of a tool a new one is put on the rod.
In order for the purchased product to work, the spring diameter must be smaller than that of the old one.
In addition, it is worth buying steel springs with electroplated coating.
Useful tips from the pros
Unfortunately, repair work will not always be able to solve all the problems and faults that may arise during the operation of single-lever mixers. Often, the faucet is no longer amenable to any repair, so the question will arise of purchasing a new bathroom unit. To reduce the likelihood of such situations and maximize the service life of the device, manufacturers advise to take preventive measures and deliberately choose products for use.
List of recommendations of experts:
- To prevent the mixers from breaking down as a result of their contact with low-quality tap water, it will be right to take care of the presence of a filter to clean the water entering the apartment or house.
- Among the large range of products from different manufacturers you can find products made from various materials. However, the most durable are still brass single-lever mixers.
- If it was not possible to avoid situations in which it became necessary to repair the device, before beginning the dismantling of the mixer, you should read the instructions for the product in detail or ask a specialist for consultation.
- Regularly performing routine inspection of the mixer, you can eliminate the possibility of serious damage in time.
For information on how to disassemble and repair a single lever mixer, see the following video.