Water leak from kitchen tap mixer

Submitted: Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 12:25
ThreadID: 87694 Views:6113 Replies:10 FollowUps:8
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Has anyone any tips for us - we seem to have a leaking mixer tap.
We think it may have something to do with the different water pressure we have experienced in various van parks.

In most caravan parks we notice the pressure is always stronger than at home. This seems to have lead to a problem with the mixer in the kitchen which has developed a slow leak.

Does this problem usually occur because of the water pressure? How does everyone manage this. Is a water reducer the solution, and what product does everyone use?

This mixer has had very little use. Will we have to replace the whole mixer, or could it be something less complicated, i.e. some sort of washer.

Is this a common problem?

Thanks so much in advice for any of your comments and hints.

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Reply By: Member - Robert A (NSW) - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 13:54

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 13:54
Not sure if your problem is the same as what I experienced but the mixer tap in my camper trailer is made out of chrome plated plastic and developed a slow leak recently which turned out to be a very fine crack in the plastic which was only visible under a magnifying glass when I had removed the tap. This tap runs on a 12volt pump system but had enough pressure to make a big mess in the kitchen. Unfortunately we had no option but to replace the whole tap and they are not cheap. Not sure if you have the same problem but worth a check.


AnswerID: 460500

Reply By: Member -Paintar - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 14:06

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 14:06
hi Bunny go to a trade plumbing store and buy a good quality flick mixer and you won,t have a problem, most flick mixer supplied with kitchens are just not good quality and you will find it a common problem.
AnswerID: 460501

Reply By: gbc - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 14:23

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 14:23
Depending on the brand you'll be able to get a replacement cartridge for it at the local plumbing supplies.
AnswerID: 460504

Reply By: happyfeet - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 16:22

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 16:22
Hi there I have just fix my Father in laws it was the the O rings , we just undid the tap took it to Reece Plumbing and change them, If u a in the outbakc just turn the Orings around until you get to a Plumbing shop or Bunnings , The tap is easy to undo you need a socket to undo the nut and the flex water hose hope this helps

Happy feet
AnswerID: 460518

Reply By: snoopyone - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 17:24

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 17:24
It could be the pressure reducing valve in the van is giving problems.

There is another thread on one of the Caravn forums about this and thats what it was.

It will be too much pressure as the mixers only run up to about 350 and some parks will be a lot more than that.
Thats why vans have pressure reducing valves to limit the pressure to what the tap can manage
It can get dirt in it so a clean out may fix it.
AnswerID: 460528

Reply By: rags - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 17:31

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 17:31
You will find pressure is a killer of any mixer tap,on houses you will find that there is a requirement for water pressure to be resticted to max 500kpa but as a caravan park is a commercial property then the water can be delivered at a greater pressure.Also as an option you could fit a pressure reduction valve on the inlet to the van available from plumbing supplies,, but you can also regulate pressure crudely by limiting the flow from the park connection tap by only slightly turn the tap on,this is what i do.As for repairing mixer taps then as a plumber i don't bother but rather just replaces it with a new one as you can buy them for as little as $35.00-$50.00. The other thing with plumbing fixtures is that the lack of use [no water connected] can result in seals drying out then leaking when wet again.Also depending on the water quality /harshness can result in scale and grit build up and cause issues with ceramic discs found in mixers.
AnswerID: 460530

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 18:44

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 18:44
Agree with your comments as to the cause and the cure
FollowupID: 734210

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:19

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:19
I was always taught that reducing flow only does that IT DOES NOT REDUCE PRESSURE.

Eg when you turn your tap off and the flow stops the pressure will be the same regardless of how much the tap is turned on.

FollowupID: 734215

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:42

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:42
From another answer site

As buildersmate rightly points out, turning the stop-tap down only reduces the flow rate not the pressure. The only way to reduce water pressure is to fit a PRV (Pressure Reducing Valve) just after the incoming mains stop-tap to keep the whole system pressure down or just before the problem outlet so as not to affect other outlets such as showers etc . That may need a higher pressure.

A good article here as well which concentrates on savings

FollowupID: 734217

Follow Up By: rags - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 22:46

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 22:46
The above answers are correct regarding the science in reducing flow will not effect pressure.But in the real world of pipes and pressure in the plumbing industry reducing flow by means of restriction is exactly how pressure reduction valves work.Push water through a small orifice and release it into a larger dia pipe you will have a reduced pressure ,restrict the flow to next to nothing and you end up with little pressure. In fact within areas of Sydney Water operation there has been a program [TO PROTECT AN AGEING PIPE NETWORK $$$ while conserving water] of pressure reduction ,with this principally being achieved by restriction at network supply valves with their guarenteed head pressure being reduced from 500kpa min to 350kpa min.In my role within the plumbing industry it involves regulation and design compliance,and i can say that one of the biggest complaints we will have with new home owners revolves around supply issues relating to pressure/flow.Always the issue can be traced back to 2 factors,1 being the use of new plastic type pipe systems for water with internal fittings smaller in dia than the pipe that restrict the flow and 2 ,new wells water efficent fixture outlets.Plumbing water services designs revolves around flowrate per second at outlet and operating head pressure and pipe sizing.
As state above and by another post below if you regulate the incoming flow at the supply tap you can reduce pressure and achieve an aceptable supply with out damaging your mixer tap
FollowupID: 734245

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 23:19

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 23:19
True while the water is flowing but turn the tap off and the static pressure will rise to what the outside or park pressure is and thats when the seals let go. They are fine when using the tap its only after it has been sitting and the pressure builds up in the pipe.

If turning the tap down works why do they make pressure reducing valves.

In the instance of our house they didnt measure the pressure when water was flowing, they attached a gauge and then turned the tap on so the pressure registered on the gauge but it wasnt flowing through it.

The kitchen mixer in the house was fine till you turned it off and in 5 minutes the water was blowing past the seals.
Obviously the static pressure was blowing them.
FollowupID: 734251

Follow Up By: rags - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 12:20

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 12:20
Snoopy your understanding of pressure and flow is correct, but thru experience it can be manipulated
The reason why they make PLV.S is threefold,
1 so plumbing installations can comply with AS3500 PT1
2To remove the human element factor
3 To enable the tapware and fixtures to function with in manufacturers specification and therefore a plumber can warrant his work
Remember a control valve shut off to only minute flow is in most ways similar to a PLV which is a valve with an inlet and outlet of the same size but with a form of an orifice with a spring loaded control for adjustment and control,but also having a relief port for excess pressure situation.These valves rely on a differential reading across the valve to operate safely.
Your correct in how you measure the static pressure with gauge attached to the garden tap with meter valve opened.But reduce the flow down to next to nothing and you can get a variation to the gauge reading.Most excess pressure failures occur in the dark hours of the night when pressure varies [rise]due to storage tanks filling raising levels and little water consumption within the community.In a cp park situation it will be hard to gain full static pressue as there will be many other outlets operating or leaking .
FollowupID: 734287

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 12:34

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 12:34
Yep fair enough we are on the same page, I understand all that.

BUT for those who say just turn the supply tap down will fix it is only a bandaid solution.
The better and probably correct solution is to fit a proper pressure reducing valve and you are then assured of having an even pressure regardless of what the supply is.

Not a $6 one from Bunnings either. A decent one is probably about $50 or so.

FollowupID: 734288

Reply By: DesF - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 18:05

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 18:05
Hi, we have over come this by only turning on the park tap to the pressure you want , in our jayco , if it is on too much the water splashes out of the sink.

the wife turns the sink tap on and I then turn on the park tap till the pressure is as we want it , then I have a cover ( cut of plastic bottle) that I fix over the tap as it is easy to turn the wrong tap at the multi points,
Some one did this and then turned it back on full and it blew the fitting off the van and there was water everwhere when we got home .
Cheers Des.
AnswerID: 460534

Follow Up By: snoopyone - Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:29

Thursday, Jul 21, 2011 at 19:29
As above reducing flow does not reduce pressure especiially when van tap is turned off.

Had a house that had 1100kpa??? of pressure Turning the supply tap nearly off did not fix the problem.
As soon as we turned the mixer off it still leaked.

Got a plumbing inspector in to check and he confirmed that turning the tap nearly off had no effect whatever apart from reducing the flow.

Had to buy and install a pressure reducing valve to get it down under what the seals on the mixer could handle.

This from Yahoo answers

Is the problem low or high pressure? And are you talking about the actual water pressure (measured with a pressure guage attached to a hose faucet), or is the problem low water volume?

Contrary to what some posters have said, partially closing a valve does NOT reduce the STATIC pressure on the outlet side - it just reduces the flow. Static pressure is what ruptures supply hoses and causes valves to fail prematurely.

If your problem is high water PRESSURE (measured with a pressure gauge), the fix is a pressure regulator installed at your water inlet (or adjusting the existing one - sometimes they stick).

If the problem is low pressure, and you've opened up your pressure regulator (assuming you've got one), contact your water department and tell them that you're only getting XX lbs of pressure at the main.

If your problem is insufficient water FLOW--
-- If it's on both the hot and cold side, at all outlets, you've either got a restricted main valve (the old "gate" valves have a habit of sticking half-way shut when they've been closed and then re-opened), or corroded water pipes (do you have old iron water pipes?)
-- If only the hot water is slow at all outlets, look at the water heater's supply valve, or again, corroded pipes.
-- If it's only bad at one/some outlets, either bad supply valves/faucets at those locations, or, once again, corroded pipes.

FollowupID: 734216

Reply By: Roamin Oz - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 05:30

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 05:30
Hi Guys, I picked up a pressure reducer fro the garden supplies in a Bunnings, They are designed for garden dripper systems think they come in two pressure sizes and the cost is around $6.00, I always carry a spare as well just in case I leave one on the tap. Works for my set up.
AnswerID: 460563

Reply By: Bluefin48 - Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 09:33

Friday, Jul 22, 2011 at 09:33
You are spot on Snoopyone, A lot of people can't grasp the concept of flow pressure and static pressure. I'm having the same problem in my van and am is the process of purchasing an PRLV 30.
AnswerID: 460576

Reply By: Bunny - Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 06:57

Thursday, Jul 28, 2011 at 06:57



AnswerID: 461126

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