- How to choose the type of mixer and where to install it
- Concealed and open water supply
- Do I need to use eccentrics
- Cross-section of pipes and necessary adapters
- Packing the connections and installing the mixer
- What you need to know about decorative cups
- Completion of installation and check of work
It is better to choose the type and location of the main mixer in the bathroom based on the habits and characteristics of the residents’ life. In order to ultimately get a perfect adhesion of the finishing plumbing to the finish, we will go through all the stages of installing the mixer step by step, starting with the requirements for installing water pipes.
How to choose the type of mixer and where to install it
Modern plumbing is diverse, but faucets can be classified quite easily by the way they are installed. Their two main varieties – for wall and built-in installation – have not only different installation schemes, but also have differences in ease of use and maintainability..
Wall mounting is the simplest and most common installation method. The faucet is screwed to the hot and cold water pipes, which are fixed to the wall or under the cladding. At the same time, it is often practiced to install one mixer for the bathroom and the sink. In this case, the length of the gander should be sufficient so that the bowl of the sink does not interfere with access for washing your feet or head. The mixer itself is shifted towards the bathroom so that when turning over the sink, the end of the gander is exactly above the drain hole. The installation height of the mixer must be such that the distance from the gander to the sides of the sink is at least 20 cm.
With built-in installation, the mixer cuts into the side of the bath itself and is used only to fill it with water or turn on the shower hose. Two options are possible here: the control valves are built into the body of the mixer or are installed next to it, thus the number of tapping holes increases to three without taking into account the attachment of the shower head. The inset of such a mixer is quite simple – it can be done anywhere on the side of the bathroom, and all connections are made below, in a free and serviceable area.
The advantages of a built-in installation are the minimum amount of splashes and a higher level of organization of the bathroom interior. In turn, wall mounting is less expensive and more versatile, but it is also characterized by less comfort..
Concealed and open water supply
Typically, the installation location of the mixer is chosen long before the tiling work begins. This makes it possible to fix pipes in the grooves, making communications invisible. In this case, the nozzles for connection must be fixed strictly on a common horizontal axis, plus it is necessary to maintain the exact distance between the centers. For this reason, installing a mixer with hidden pipe laying is much more difficult..
In general, both options have a similar installation procedure. It is optimal if the mixer to be installed is available at the stage of laying and fixing pipes. Although the distance between the centers of the nozzles for the vast majority of mixers is strict 150 mm, the fixed pipes can move during the wall decoration process, after which a neat and aesthetic installation will be very problematic. Therefore, it is best to first assemble the installation “cold”, fix it assembled to the wall, and then dismantle the mixer for the period of tiling..
The simplest installation of the mixer becomes when performing a water supply network on polypropylene pipes. The assortment of fittings for them includes products in which two MR-couplings are rigidly fixed to a bar with a center hole holding. In this case, all that remains is to drill through the strip and fix it to the wall with quick-fit dowels. When routing with reinforced plastic or PEX pipes, the fittings will have to be fastened manually, for example, on alabaster clots.
Do I need to use eccentrics
Eccentric bushings help to level the inaccuracy of maintaining the center distance, but their use hides several pitfalls at once. The most important of them is associated with the use of low-quality eccentrics, the threads of which are covered with an impressive layer of oxides in 1–2 years of operation. Often these products have thin walls and can simply break off inside a rigidly fixed fitting, which will greatly complicate the replacement or repair of a faulty mixer.
The second disadvantage of eccentrics is that it is rather difficult to calculate the required position of the water supply couplings with them so that the decorative cups of the mixer press firmly against the wall after the installation is completed. Instead of maintaining the distance between the centers, the connecting fittings have to be sunk to an indefinite depth, which is quite difficult to do without knowing where the final finishing plane will be. These reasons are enough to understand: it is much easier to pay more attention at the stage of laying water pipes, while making it easier to install the mixer without using eccentrics.
Cross-section of pipes and necessary adapters
The choice of the nominal pipe passage should be carried out according to the cross-section of the lumen of the nozzles with which the mixer is connected to the water supply. The throughput of pipes should not be less than that of the mixer itself, usually wiring is carried out with PP-R pipes 16 mm (3/4 ”), as well as PEX and metal-plastic 10 mm.
The most important nuance lies in the fact that the threaded connections of the mixer can have a different device. In one case, these are two 3/4 ” pipe union nuts. In another, less common version, the mixer nozzles have an external thread of the same size, and the nuts are located on the nipples that are screwed into the connecting fitting inside the wall..
In the first case, it is enough to install an adapter from the pipe used to an external thread of the appropriate size; for polypropylene, angular MPH couplings will be the best option. In this case, the connection diagram gets rid of unnecessary threaded connections, which means it becomes more reliable..
If, during the installation of the water supply system, the possibility of installing eccentrics was initially provided, the fittings will have an internal thread, usually 1/2 ”. In this case, it is recommended to use threaded reducers – transitions to the external thread 3/4 ”. They are much shorter in length than eccentrics and allow installation with tight-fitting cups. Fitting the mixer to the connection fittings also requires 1/2 ” female threaded fittings.
Packing the connections and installing the mixer
So, when the entire mixer connection system is assembled, it remains only to pack it tightly. Due to the shallow thread profile in such places it is allowed to use Teflon FUM tape or Unipack cord. Also, sealing can be done with linseed tow and sealant..
First, a sealing agent is applied to the side of the connection with an external thread: the tape is wound in even layers along its entire length, and a strand of flax or cord is wound in a direction from the inner edge of the thread to the outer one. In both cases, the winding of the seal is carried out strictly in the direction of the thread.
Straight threaded transitions may require a hexagon or wide blade screwdriver, some fittings do not have a notch on the outside. Straight transitions must be tightened to the stop. With eccentrics, everything is somewhat different: they can be turned with a 14-17mm wrench for the flat central part. In this case, initially you need to count the number of turns so that after packing the eccentric is in the right position. The center distance must be adjusted with two eccentrics at once, otherwise the horizontal level will be violated, while in the case of packing without sealant, it is better not to turn the fitting counterclockwise. After packing the threaded connections, their inner passage is cleaned with a nail, removing the remaining tape or tow.
The sealing of the union nuts of the mixer is carried out without sealant on PVC or paronite O-rings. Before proceeding with the installation of the mixer directly, decorative cups must be screwed onto the threaded terminals. Before tightening the nuts, make sure that the seals and plastic screens of the coarse filters are embedded in them. When installing a thermostatted mixer, ensure that the hot and cold water connections are correct. Tighten the nuts with a decorative coating using a tool whose jaws do not have notches, otherwise the nuts must be wrapped with a thick cotton cloth or rubber pads should be used.
What you need to know about decorative cups
Nickel-plated mixer cups have the task of hiding unflattering fittings, eccentrics, traces of sealant and pipe passages through the wall. However, even in such seemingly trifles there are several tricky nuances..
The first of them: a cup, in which the edge for winding is made in the form of a straight ring, will be skewed during installation and an uneven gap is formed near the wall. It is best if the inner opening of the cup is in the form of a half-coil or two small protrusions.
The second point: cups are different in depth, while sometimes their shape does not allow placing a bulky threaded fitting or coupling inside. The length of the cups can be long enough to hide the mounting marks on the eccentrics. However, if the cups are too deep, you simply won’t be able to tighten the mixer nuts. However, the lack of tightening of 1-1.5 turns can be easily eliminated by lining two O-rings instead of one.
Completion of installation and check of work
It would seem that after twisting the cups to the wall, the installation is complete, but a couple of little things still remain. First of all, do not forget to rearrange the marks on the valves so that hot water really flows from the hot tap..
Also, the mixer must be tested in operation. In this case, you may have to reposition the handwheel for switching the shower to a more comfortable position. It will not be superfluous to check how smoothly and accurately the temperature is adjusted, whether it does not go astray by itself. It is possible that over time it is better to change the crane towers for better quality.
Be careful not to mix up the order of the shower hose connection. The nut, which does not have notches or edges, is screwed by hand onto the thread of the shower head, and the nut with edges – onto the mixer outlet with a tightening wrench.