The mixer tap and its construction

Taps are everyday objects that we serve without thinking. But no one really knows exactly how a mixer tap is made and how it works. What makes the difference between a single lever mixer and faucet, and what are thermostatic mixer taps, you will therefore learn in detail in this post.

Types of mixer taps

  • classic mixer tap with two swivel handles
  • Single lever
  • Thermostatic mixing valves

The basic function of the mixer tap is always the mixing of hot and cold water in different amounts in order to set a certain temperature. In the classical faucet, this works by regulating the water flow on the cold and warm water side (change in the flow rate). The single lever mixer works differently.

How it works with the single-lever mixer

The heart of the single-lever mixer is a ceramic disc, which also acts as a seal. In the upper area are two elongated slots, which are at a 45-degree angle to each other.

Warm water (left side) and cold water (right side) flow through these two slots. If the lever is pushed up in the middle position, the same amount of water starts to flow out of both slots. If you turn the lever to the right, more cold water flows than warm water, turn it to the left, and vice versa.

This mechanism is also called "cartridge".

How the thermostatic mixing valve works

Thermostatic mixing valves are often found in showers. The temperature can be adjusted via a rotary control and is automatically kept constant. Hot and cold water come here from slots, the temperature control is usually worried by a twisted into a spring bimetallic wire. Depending on the incoming water temperature, it changes in length and opens more or less the two slots, so that the temperature remains balanced. Alternatively, so-called Wachsdehnstoff elements (paraffin-filled capsules) are used as a regulator.

Tips & Tricks

Many mixers can hardly be repaired in case of a defect. In most cases, it is worth replacing rather than buying and installing spare parts, which are usually available for expensive faucets.

Video Board: How to replace a kitchen tap part 1: preparing your new tap