Can I see your products before I place an order?

Our focus is on offering our clients beautiful unique products direct from the workshops of Italian artisans. Due to the bespoke nature of our products, we don’t have any stockists or showrooms. 

We do however offer sample packs of all our finishes which can be purchased here. If you subsequently place an order with us and send the samples back, we will happily refund you the cost of them. 

We are also available via telephone and email for help and advice on all our products so if you have a question that isn’t answered on our website please do not hesitate to contact us.  

Trade clients - please get in touch for your complimentary sample packs. 

Can I customize the height and length of any tap spout on your website?

- Spouts & Shower arms. We make many customisations on our spouts/shower arms however there is a difference between straight pipes and curve pipes. - Straight pipes. These can be made in any lengths without limits, provided there is enough room for the fittings (if too short). - Curve pipes. In those cases, for the straight brass parts of curve pipes we can offer any height. For the reach, so for the curve itself we offer two options: 1) Custom solution made by additional components like little curves and straight pipes (see example BT25S, etc). 2) We cut the existing pipes and we weld a straight pipe that make the curve or “S-shape” longer/shorter. The issue with this is that the welded joint is slightly visible and can cover that with a brass nut.

Why is the finish showing marks or spots?

All our finishes are unlacquered, creating a "living" finish that undergoes natural tarnishing and patination after purchase. We highly advise all our customers to thoroughly review the information below before making a purchase of any special finish, as these finishes will undergo transformations in appearance during storage, installation, and use. The pace at which this transformation occurs is influenced by several factors, including the environmental conditions, such as heat, moisture, and the presence of limescale. Additionally, the frequency of handling of the products plays a significant role. For instance, a basin tap that is frequently handled will tarnish and patinate more rapidly compared to a brass basin stand that is rarely handled or comes into contact with water. We aim to provide you with the finest quality products, and it is essential to understand the natural evolution of these finishes, as it adds character and uniqueness to each piece over time.

To maintain the integrity of these finishes, we advise using a gentle cloth and warm water for cleaning. To safeguard these finishes, it's essential to wipe down the fixtures with a cloth after each use. This practice prevents the accumulation of residue from harsh shampoos or soaps, which can potentially harm the finish. Moreover, it helps prevent any unwanted signs of aging, such as patina or the development of white water stains, ensuring your fixtures maintain their original luster.

What's the size of traps and wastes?

The size of the trap will depend on the type of appliance and the size of your waste pipework. 

Generally, the following types of appliances use a standard size waste trap and waste pipework:

  • Wash hand basins: 32mm (1 ¼ inch).
  • Sinks: 38mm (1 ½ inch).
  • Urinals: 38mm (1 ½ inch), or 50mm (2 inch).

Sizes stated are based on the internal pipe diameter, external pipe diameters may vary between different manufacturers and may not always be interchangeable.

The water trap’s function is to provide a water seal in the pipework which effectively isolates the appliance from the drainage system.

The depth of seal in the water trap needs to be a minimum of 75mm to comply with new build regulations where wastewater discharges into a single stack waste system.

Below are the common types of trap which are used on installations of sinks, basins, and urinals.

Bottle traps have a horizontal wastewater outlet and the lower half unscrews to allow the clearing of debris and blockages. Bottle traps require less space than P or S traps under the appliance and are ideal where space is limited. Due to their design, they can be prone to trapping debris.

P traps have a horizontal wastewater outlet and usually have a screw coupling in the middle to allow the outlet to be rotated to the correct angle for installation. This type of trap allows free flowing wastewater and are less prone to blockages and a build-up of debris. They do however require more space than a bottle trap.

S traps are manufactured in an S shape with a water outlet pointing downwards. They can be adjusted via a centre swivel joint to align with the drainage pipework for ease of installation. The free-flowing shape allows the water to drain away quickly reducing the accumulation of dirt in the trap to help prevent blockages. More space is required for an S trap than a bottle trap.

Types of hot water systems

Typically, there are 3 types of hot water system:

  1. Open-vented system (also called gravity-fed or low-pressure)
  2. Unvented system (also called a pressurised or sealed system)
  3. Combination boiler

A traditional hot water system consists of 3 main parts:

  1. Cold water storage tank – feeds the hot water cylinder.
  2. Hot water cylinder – stores the heated water.
  3. Boiler – heats the water.

Open-vented hot water system

Gravity fed systems are the most common type of hot water system in the UK. These systems feature a cold-water storage tank, usually in your loft space, a hot water cylinder, usually in your airing cupboard.

These systems are often referred to by plumbers and heating engineers as low-pressure systems. The flow rate at which water is delivered to your taps and showers is largely dependent on how high the tank is above your hot water outlets.

Suitable shower types:

  • Thermostatic mixer
  • Manual mixer
  • High Pressure unit
  • Electric

Unvented hot water system

Pressurised systems comprise of an unvented hot water cylinder, which can deliver hot water to taps, and showers at an increased flow rate.

Suitable shower types:

  • Thermostatic mixer
  • Manual mixer
  • High Pressure unit
  • Electric

Combination boiler

Power showers have proved very popular in days gone by as they contain an integrated pump to boost the water from older, gravity-fed hot water systems. Since they are designed to be installed to low-pressure water supplies, it means they’re therefore unsuitable for combination boilers. However, mixer showers, digital showers and electric showers are all ideal for use with a combi boiler system.

Suitable shower types:

  • Thermostatic mixer
  • Manual mixer
  • Digital
  • Electric

Types of shower

Thermostatic mixer showers

Thermostatic mixer showers are traditionally considered the best type of shower to pair with combi boilers. If somebody else in your household tries to use hot water while you are showering, this can cause fluctuations in temperature as combi boilers can only produce so much hot water at a time. With a thermostatic mixer shower, it can control any changes in the water temperature, maintaining a consistent and comfortable showering temperature throughout and preventing a scalding hot or freezing cold surprise.

Digital showers

Designed specifically for combination boilers and other high-pressure systems, digital showers are thermostatic which like mixer showers they respond to fluctuations in temperature and pressure, such as when someone in your household runs a tap or decides to shower at the same time. With a digital shower you can also create pre-sets to ensure you get the perfect temperature every time.

Digital showers are also available for older, gravity fed systems and feature an integrated pump to boost the water pressure. These are ideal for a modern shower aesthetic without having to upgrade your boiler.

Electric showers

Electric showers also work well with combi boilers; however, they aren’t considered to be as compatible as a mixer or digital showers. The main benefit of an electric shower is that it will keep working if your boiler fails as the water is heated by the shower itself as opposed to the boiler.


The type of shower you choose is largely dependent on which type of hot water system you have installed. Making the right choice need not be a headache. Household water pressure, flowrates and your existing shower configuration all need to be taken into consideration.

Depending on your preferred choice of shower and desired flowrate it may be necessary to upgrade your existing system slightly to accommodate your new shower.

What is the minimum water pressure I need for your products?

The optimal water supply pressure for our products is 3 bar continual. The minimum pressure required is 1 bar and the maximum 5 bar. 

In the event of pressure over 5 bar, we advise installing a centralised pressure reducer. 

Please note - the difference between your hot and cold pressure should be as low as possible and no more than 1 bar.

How can I test my water pressure?

This can get a little complicated! First, you will need a:

  • 1-2 litre measuring jug
  • Stopwatch
  • Calculator

Then, to calculate your water pressure – test each tap and the shower as follows:

  1. Place the measuring jug under the tap or shower being tested.
  2. Get your stopwatch ready!
  3. At the same time as turning the tap on full – press start on the stopwatch.
  4. Time 6 seconds (then turn off the tap and press stop on the stopwatch)
  5. To calculate the water pressure, multiply the amount of water in the jug in litres by 10.
  6. Note: you could also time 10 seconds and multiply the amount of water by 6 to get the same result)

This gives you the flow rate in litres per minute (for example, 0.8L x 10 = 8L per minute)

Your water pressure should be at least 10L per minute. Anything under 10L is considered low pressure.

Ideally, you would want the pressure to be between 10-15L per minute. And anything above that is good.

Here is what the results can show you.

  • If the pressure in all the taps and shower is weak: you have a plumbing problem somewhere in your home. For example, your stopcock may not be fully open, or you may have a leak. See below on how to check for leaks.
  • If the hot water pressure is low, but the cold is fine: You may have sediment and limescale build-up in the pipes or tap, or it could be caused by a partially closed or restricted shutoff valve. Read further on for potential fixes.
  • If your hot water has low pressure in the shower only - the problem lies with the shower. Follow our checklist below to find the cause and fix it.
What temperature should my water be?

We recommend that your domestic hot water thermostat is set between 60°C and 65°C.

Optimum tap temperature is usually 55°C for handwashing, 43°C for bathing and 41°C for showering. The recommended temperature for bathing babies is 37°C. 

I purchased two products with the same finish but the colour looks slightly different, why?
Our products are meticulously handmade by master artisans one piece at a time. As a result, each item is unique and one-of-a-kind with some slight variations in finish and tonality. Furthermore, our finishes age over time and this natural ageing process can vary, with certain products ageing a little quicker than others.
Can I fit your products myself?
All water fittings should only be installed by a qualified plumbing engineer.
What should I use to clean my taps or shower fittings?

Francone Bespoke Taps fittings are made from premium solid brass and all our finishes should be treated with care to maintain the beauty of the product. Please follow the instructions below to look after your products.

General recommendations
We recommend that your products are immediately washed of any residue left by liquid soap, shampoo, shower gel or toothpaste after use.

Be sure to dry the brass completely once you are finished cleaning, to prevent water spots and further damage.

Do not use harsh cleaning agents containing caustics, abrasive, citrus acidic, bleach, vinegar, or alcohol ingredients.

Do not use abrasive cloths, scouring pads etc. or the surface will become damaged.

Do not locate the tapware and fittings in environments exposed to elements such salt spray and chlorine that can cause damage to decorative finishes.

We recommend regular cleaning of aerators and shower heads a couple of times per year, to prevent the formation of limestone.

Please ask your plumber to take care when handling the products.

Unlacquered finishes
Our unlacquered finishes (Unlacquered Brass and Unlacquered Satin Brass) come with no protective coating. This allows them to age naturally and gain a distinctive patina over time.

In addition to the above recommendations, for a shiny new look we suggest using a good quality brass polish (Brasso or less abrasive Silvo) with a non-abrasive clean cloth. For a more authentic ‘aged’ look, we advise a gentle polish less frequently, only applying pressure to raised surfaces, giving crevices a chance to darken over time for a well-worn appearance. 

To slow down the oxidizing or aging of the finish, we recommend waxing unlacquered finishes a few times a year by using a micro-crystalline wax (Renaissance Wax is recommended) with a soft clean cloth to remove surface spots. 

Electroplated and Powder coated finishes 
Our Electroplated (Unlacquered Nickel, Chrome and Gunmetal with all other Bronze based finishes) coated finishes should be regularly cleaned with warm water and then immediately polished with a dry microfiber cloth to prevent water spots.

Whilst we endeavor to create products of the highest quality, their hand finished nature means there may be small minor distinctions that will make your purchase special and truly unique.  


What guarantee do you offer on your products?

Click here to view our product guarantee.

Can I get spare parts for your products?

All of our products are covered by our warranty however if you require spare parts for any of our products outside of the guarantee period, please do get in touch. 


How long do your products take to be made and delivered?

For our non-bespoke products, delivery time is currently as per below.

  • Products in Unlacquered Brass are usually available from stock and have a lead time of about 2 weeks from the date of order. If not in stock, lead time for this finish is 4-6 weeks. This finish is our most popular and tend to be restocked on an on-going basis – please contact us for lead time details as required.

  • Products in any other finishes are typically made to order with a longer lead time of 8 to 10 weeks depending on the manufacturing process.

For our bespoke or made to order products, delivery time is currently between 10-12 weeks.

Please get in touch for further info.

  • No liability whatsoever is accepted by us in respect of late deliveries. Please do not commence any installation work, book plumbers or other tradespersons until the Goods have been received and thoroughly checked for damage or discrepancies.
  • As items are handcrafted, occasionally there may be an additional delay in delivering your goods. We do not accept order cancellations in these circumstances. We shall be entitled to make partial deliveries or deliveries by instalments. Each instalment shall be a separate agreement to which all the provisions of these conditions shall apply.
  • For International Orders, you may need to pay import duties or other taxes, as we will not pay them. We advise contacting your local customs office before placing an order for a customs estimate so you are not surprised by these charges when your parcel arrives.
How much do you charge for delivery?

UK orders: Free delivery
International orders (Europe, USA & Canada): Free delivery
International orders (Outside of Europe & USA): Flat rate of £190 

Do you deliver worldwide?

Yes - please see above for our international shipping fees. 

Please note that for international orders, you may be required to pay import duties or other taxes, as we do not cover these. We advise contacting your local Customs Office before placing an order for a Customs estimate so that you are not surprised by these charges when your parcel arrives. 

Can I order without paying the VAT if relevant?
For private clients in EU, local VAT at the time of purchase in is calculated on our online shop. For trade clients, please apply here
Can I get a trade discount?

Given that our products are handmade, we believe they are very competitively priced. That said, we can usually offer a 10% discount to trade clients.

Please email for more information. 

To apply for a trade account with us click here. 

How can I check the current status of my order?

At Francone Bespoke Taps, we understand the importance of keeping our valued clients informed about the status of their orders. To enhance your shopping experience with us, we have implemented a dedicated "Track Your Order" page on our website. This page is designed to provide you with real-time updates on the progress of your orders, ensuring transparency and convenience throughout the entire process.

Click below to track your order.

If I am not home when my delivery arrives, what happens?
At Francone Bespoke Taps, we prioritize the smooth and efficient delivery of your orders. To ensure your order reaches you in a timely manner, we collaborate with some of the most reputable and popular international courier services. When your order is ready for shipment, we'll promptly inform you via email, providing a tracking number. This tracking number is a valuable tool to keep you informed about the status of your order as it makes its way to your specified delivery address.

Here's what you can expect regarding the delivery process:

1) Order Dispatch Notification: As soon as your order is dispatched, you will receive an email notification from us. This notification will contain the essential tracking number, which you can use to trace the progress of your delivery.

2) Real-Time Tracking: With the tracking number in hand, you can easily monitor the status of your order by visiting the courier's website. This real-time tracking feature allows you to know exactly where your package is and when you can expect its arrival.

3) Delivery Attempts: If you happen to be unavailable at the time of the initial delivery attempt, don't worry. Our courier service is committed to ensuring successful delivery. In such cases, they will typically make a second delivery attempt on the following day.

4) Rescheduling: In the event that you anticipate being unavailable for the second delivery attempt, the courier will usually leave a calling card at your doorstep. This card will contain information on how to reschedule the delivery at a more convenient time or provide alternative delivery instructions based on the courier's policies.

My item has arrived damaged, what do I do?
In the event that you receive a shipment with damaged or missing items, we ask that you please report this to us within 5 business days of receipt of the shipment. After this time frame, we reserve the right to charge for any missing parts or items.
An item is missing, what do I do?

In order to get your products to you faster, we sometimes make partial deliveries or deliveries by instalments. In the event that you receive a shipment with damaged or missing items, we ask that you please report this to us within 5 business days of receipt of the shipment. After this time frame, we reserve the right to charge for any missing parts or items. If you are concerned that your delivery doesn’t match your order please contact us immediately. 


What is your returns policy?

We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure you are happy with you order. 


For standard products, you may return your item(s) to either our UK office (Francesco Bespoke Taps at The Old Vicarage, The Street, South Stoke, Reading, RG8 0JS, UK) or our Italian office (Francone Bespoke Taps at MBE Corso Roma 123/B 28021 Borgomanero (No) Italy) within 14 days of delivery for a full refund. Please note that we do not cover the cost of return postage. 

Unfortunately we are unable to offer any exchanges or refunds for bespoke or customised products. 

Click here to read our Returns Policy in full. 


Hot water is not consistent with a thermostatic valve, why?

There are several possible reasons why a thermostatic shower may not run hot enough when first installed, including:

1) Hot water supply temperature: The hot water supply temperature may be too low to heat the shower to the desired temperature. This can occur if the water heater is set too low or if there are other issues with the hot water supply from the main system.

2) Operating conditions are incorrect: The shower may not be running under the correct operating conditions. For example, the hot water pressure may be too low or not balanced to the cold water pressure, preventing the hot water from reaching the shower. Or hot & cold water supplies are plumbed the wrong sides of the valve (usually red and blue colors help with the right connections).

3) Blockage in the hot side of the system: There may be a blockage in the hot side of the shower system, preventing hot water from flowing to the shower. This can occur if there is a buildup of sediment or debris in the pipes or if there is a blockage in the shower valve itself.

My water pressure is low

What could affect your water pressure?

Heating appliances and showers

Sometimes installing new appliances like washing machines, dishwashers or power showers can affect your water pressure. If you operated the internal stop tap to install the new appliance, please check it is fully open again.

The layout of the water pipes in your home may reduce the water pressure or water flow to your taps and your shower. Many new showers will need a minimum level of flow and pressure to work effectively, which can vary by manufacturer.

If you are planning to fit a new shower or heating system soon, please make sure you check with your water industry approved plumber that it will work efficiently at our minimum target of 7 meters head (0.7 bar) pressure and check your internal pipework will deliver the water flow necessary for the best performance.

If you are planning to carry out some plumbing work in your home, it is a good idea to check that your internal stop tap is working properly so you can turn off the water in an emergency. In many homes, the stop tap can be found in the kitchen, near the sink.

Once your works are completed please remember to fully open your stop tap, it is surprising how often this can cause an issue.

Please note: You are required by law to have a working internal stop tap, so you can turn off your water in an emergency.

Homes with a water tank

The water from the mains flows through your underground supply pipe straight to your kitchen tap. The water then flows to a storage tank, which supplies water to all your taps including the hot water.

Water pressure is lost the higher water must be lifted, so how high your water tank is positioned above your underground supply pipe will affect how quickly it refills. The position of the tank above the taps will affect the water pressure to the taps.

Homes with a combination boiler

The water from the mains flows through your underground supply pipe and the water goes to your combination boiler. The boiler then supplies all the hot taps inside your home. Combination boilers will not work below certain pressure levels.

Some combination boilers are only capable of supplying water to one hot tap at a time. Also the pressure at your cold water taps may reduce if they are run at the same time as a hot tap.

If you are planning to install a new boiler soon, please make sure you check with a water industry approved plumber that it will work efficiently at the minimum target water pressure of 7 meters head (0.7 bar) and your internal pipework will deliver the water flow necessary for the best performance.


Megaflows are another system for heating your water and often require an increase to your supply pipe diameter to increase the flow of water to the cylinder. Megaflows operate differently to conventional heating systems because they are directly fed from the water mains instead of the cold-water tank, which can make them more sensitive to fluctuations in the mains water pressure.

Water pressure to a property can fluctuate depending on customer demands especially during the busier times such as mornings, early evening and during the summer. High demand may reduce the water pressure in our water mains network.

Megaflows require a minimum water flow to work. If you are considering fitting a Megaflow to your property, please check that your internal pipe work and supply pipe are capable of delivery the required water flow. It is advisable to check with a water industry approved plumber first who can tell you if a Megaflow will work in your property and if you need to make any adjustments to your pipework.

Your water flow should not be affected by any works completed on the water network (except in case of an emergency) but Megaflows may require a higher flow rate than you currently have. You can resolve this by increasing the size of your water supply pipe (the pipe which runs from the boundary stop tap to your kitchen tap). 

My water pressure is low in my shower but fine from my basin taps

When you are looking forward to a refreshing shower, there is nothing worse than being greeted with an unenthusiastic slow flow of water.

The good news is that many causes of low water pressure in the shower can be easily fixed.

Note: If you have a traditional system (cold water cistern in loft, hot water cylinder in airing cupboard, no shower pump) then the pressure will not be high enough for the shower to work properly. Your shower requires a minimum of 0.5 bar to run properly. You will only get this if you have a combi boiler, an unvented hot water system, or a pumped shower supply.

Below are the most common causes, an explanation of how to test your water pressure and a helpful checklist of things you can try to fix the problem.

Signs of low water pressure

The first sign of low water pressure is your shower running slowly. But, before thinking that the shower is on its way out, check that the problem does not extend to the entire house by carrying out the following test:

How to test your water pressure

This can get a little complicated! First, you will need a:

  • 1-2 litre measuring jug
  • Stopwatch
  • Calculator

Then, to calculate your water pressure – test each tap and the shower as follows:

  1. Place the measuring jug under the tap or shower being tested.
  2. Get your stopwatch ready!
  3. At the same time as turning the tap on full – press start on the stopwatch.
  4. Time 6 seconds (then turn off the tap and press stop on the stopwatch)
  5. To calculate the water pressure, multiply the amount of water in the jug in litres by 10.
  6. Note: you could also time 10 seconds and multiply the amount of water by 6 to get the same result)

This gives you the flow rate in litres per minute (for example, 0.8L x 10 = 8L per minute)

Your water pressure should be at least 10L per minute. Anything under 10L is considered low pressure.

Ideally, you would want the pressure to be between 10-15L per minute. And anything above that is good.

Here is what the results can show you.

  • If the pressure in all the taps and shower is weak: you have a plumbing problem somewhere in your home. For example, your stopcock may not be fully open, or you may have a leak. See below on how to check for leaks.
  • If the hot water pressure is low, but the cold is fine: You may have sediment and limescale build-up in the pipes or tap, or it could be caused by a partially closed or restricted shutoff valve. Read further on for potential fixes.
  • If your hot water has low pressure in the shower only - the problem lies with the shower. Follow our checklist below to find the cause and fix it.

Causes of low water pressure in the shower.

There are many common causes of low water pressure, some of which you can do things about, and unfortunately some of which are out of your control.

For example, your pressure can be affected by how far your home is from the water source, whether you live on high ground, above the water source (meaning the water must travel uphill), and how much water is being used by those on your water line (e.g., your neighbours) at the same time as you during the day. Please note that if your water pressure is non-existent, it is likely that your stopcock (the switch normally under your kitchen sink) is closed, or there is a mains leak on the water line entering your house. If it is the stopcock, this can be rectified easily by turning the handle on the stopcock to the “open” position.

Note: this is potentially only going to happen if you have accidentally knocked it when moving things under the sink.

If it is a mains leak, your local water authority will probably already know, and you may see water on the roads near where you live.

However, there are other causes that you can fix, such as:

  • Limescale and sediment build-up causing low water pressure in the shower head.

If you have had your shower for some time, there may be a build-up of limescale and sediment in the showerhead obstructing the flow of water.

To clean it, unscrew the showerhead from the hose and immerse the whole thing in a bowl of vinegar for 8 hours. Then manually remove any remaining debris.

Top tip: Use a toothpick to push limescale out of the small holes.

If this does not work, it’s probably time to replace the showerhead with a new one.


  • Restrictive valves on the showerhead.

A low-flow showerhead may have been fitted to your shower, or your showerhead may have a valve that restricts the flow of water. These restrictors are normally small circular pieces of plastic or rubber with holes in them and are put in place to help save water. However, sometimes they may limit it too much. You may be able to adjust the restrictor or, if not, remove it entirely or replace the showerhead.


  • A clogged water system.

If you live in an old house with iron pipes, the iron may have rusted, broken off and caused an obstruction. Older pipework is also at risk of being obstructed by dirt, gravel or sand entering the pipes. In this situation, it is best to call a professional plumber who can advise you of the best solution, which may include replacing pipes or flushing the system.


  • Gravity-fed system. 

Gravity fed systems are usually found in older homes, that have not been renovated. It can be difficult to have a strong water pressure to the shower with this type of system. This is because the water must come down from a large tank through gravity rather than being pushed via a pump. It can only be resolved with shower pump or a whole house pump to fix the supply line.

Pumps give the water a boost as it flows from the hot water tank to the shower. Or you could change your shower to a power shower that has a pump already built in.

Installing an electric shower is another option. However, because electric showers only use cold water, the water must flow slowly to allow time for it to heat up. This gives them a gentler flow.

Whichever option you choose, it is always best to get a professional plumber to do the installation for you.


  • Issues with the main water piping system. 

If you have ruled out all other possible causes, there could be a problem with the water pressure as it enters your home. It is possible to increase the flow, but this must be done carefully, so it is best to call your water provider.

When to call a professional

There are a few DIY fixes to your problem, such as cleaning or replacing the showerhead, removing restrictor valves, checking your stopcock is fully open and checking your combi boiler stop tap.

But if you have low pressure throughout the home caused by a leak or clogged pipes, or if you need a pump or new shower fitted, it is time to call in a professional plumber.

My shower isn’t getting very hot

Your shower water is heated by your water heater, where it starts its journey to your showerhead. So, if the water in your shower is leaving you in the cold, there are a few places to check to find the problem.

Water Heater

One place where the problem might be is at the very start of the hot water process in your water heater. If the water temperature in your shower never gets warm, check the temperature setting to make sure it is set correctly. Newer water heaters may have had their heating elements faulty or burned out in some way. This may prevent it from providing a consistent flow of hot water.


Check to see if the problem is occurring in the entire house by turning on all the hot water taps in your home. If they all start hot but fade quickly, you may have a problem with the burner in your water heater. But if there does not seem to be a problem with your other taps, one of the shower components may be to blame.

Shower Valve

A shower valve mixes hot and cold water to provide you with your desired water temperature. The valve may not be able to properly mix, however, if the O-rings or washers have worn out. This is usually a simple and inexpensive fix.

Cross-Connected Pipes

In older homes, cross-connected pipes were used to balance hot and cold-water flow. If you have a hand sprayer in your shower and it gets hot when the regular shower turns off, you should contact a professional plumber to have this issue resolved. This is a more complex problem than the shower valve issue.

Time of Use

Finally, consider the time of usage. If other members of your family are taking showers right before you or your washing machine is running, all the hot water in your water heater tank may be used up before you get a chance to use it. Always allow half an hour after a shower or wash load for the water heater to replenish its supply of on-demand hot water. And if you are still having issues, you might need to look at a new water heater, so contact your plumber.


Water is dripping from my tap

How to fix a dripping tap

Before you get started on repairing a dripping tap, you will need to have a few key tools and parts to hand. We suggest gathering the following, so you do not have to search for them in the middle of your repair:

  • Adjustable spanner
  • Assortment of flat and crosshead screwdrivers
  • Scissors
  • New tap cartridge or tap washer and O-rings.

Note: If you are unsure whether you need a cartridge or tap washer, it will all depend on the type of tap you have installed. 

  • A traditional tap will use a tap washer (either this or the O-Rings will need replacing)
  • Mixer taps generally use a ceramic disc, housed in a cartridge. These parts are likely to need replacing to stop a dripping tap. 

How to fix a leaking tap (traditional)

Turn off the water supply.

Avoid making a mess by turning off the water. You can either do this at the stopcock or isolation valve, which is located on the pipes underneath the sink. Turn on the tap and wait until the water stops running.

Remove any decorative parts.

If you have fancy taps, you will want to remove the decorative part from the knobs. Use your flathead screwdriver to carefully lift them and place somewhere safe.

Unscrew the tap handle.

You should be able to remove your tap’s tap handle by unscrewing it with your hands. If it is a little tricky, try using some lubricant.

Remove the stem.

Next, you will need to loosen the nut that holds the tap parts together with your spanner and remove the stem. Some stems will simply pop out, whereas others need to be twisted to remove them from the valve.

Lay all your parts on your worktop in the order you removed them. This will make it easier to re-assemble your tap later.

Replace tap washer.

A damaged or loosened tap washer is likely to be the reason you have a dripping tap. All you need to do to replace it is unscrew or slide off the original washer and screw or slide on a new one. Make sure it is tight and an exact fit for your tap.

Replace O-ring.

If the tap washer is not the cause of the leak, it could be the O-ring instead. The O-ring looks like a bigger washer and is the seal found at the base of the spout. To check and replace it, carefully remove the spout. You will then need to use a flat-head screwdriver to loosen and lift off the O-ring. Alternatively, snip it with your scissors and it will come right off. Slide the replacement O-ring on and put the spout back.

Re-assemble your tap.

Once you have replaced the tap washer, O-ring or both parts, you can begin to re-assemble your tap. Turn your water back on and test the tap to check it is working properly.

How to change washer on mixer tap

Some modern mixer taps (including monobloc taps) operate with ceramic discs instead of rubber washers, which are hidden inside cartridges within the tap. There is one cartridge for hot water and another for cold water. If one of the ceramic discs breaks (the most common cause for a leaking tap), you will need to replace the whole cartridge. Make sure you buy an exact replacement and follow the steps below.

Turn off the water supply.

Cut off your water supply at the stopcock or isolation valve. Run your taps to check the water has stopped.

Unscrew the tap.

Unscrew the handles of your tap and carefully remove any decorative parts with a flat head screwdriver. You will find the entrance screw below the hot or cold indicator. There is a chance it could be hidden behind a smaller screw (known as a grub screw). This can be easily removed with your flat head screwdriver too. Take off the metal shroud and you will see the valve. You will need to grip this with your spanner and twist, until it is loose enough to remove.

Remove the cartridge and replace.

Make sure you know which one is your hot water and which one is your cold-water cartridge. Take out the damaged cartridge and simply pop in a new one.

Reassemble your tap.

Put your tap back together. Turn the water supply on and see if the leak has stopped.

My taps are making a banging noise when I turn them on

This situation is called “water hammer” and is a common situation when replacing taps or pipework. 

It is an annoying sound like a bang and it can eventually damage your plumbing system. Learning the basics of water hammer and fixing it can save you thousands in repairs in the future.

How You Know If You Have Water Hammer

Water hammer, or hydraulic shock, is both a sound and a sensation. You will be shutting off a tap when a quite audible bang vibrates up the pipes. Because sound is vibration, it is often strong enough so that you can feel it under your hand as you hold the tap or the handle. You may even see the tap slightly jump.

What Causes Water Hammer

Water hammer happens because water is shut off quickly. While sink, tub, and shower taps can cause water hammer, more often washing machines and dishwashers cause water hammer because they can shut off water faster than by hand. These appliances use solenoid valves, which can close off in as fast as 30 milliseconds.

The alarming sound is caused by the sudden stoppage of water flow. This causes the water supply pipes to bang against studs, joists, beams, or even against other water supply or drainpipes.

How to Fix Water Hammer

Air Chambers

If you have ever seen mysterious lengths of 12-inch capped pipe extending from the supply pipes, these are air chambers meant to quieten water hammer.

Filled with air, each pipe acts as a shock absorber for the water that comes to a sudden halt. Air compresses; water does not. This means that the air in the chamber acts as a cushion for the water.

This simple solution requires advanced plumbing skills for installation. Plus, air chambers can fill with water over time, so the pipes may occasionally need to be drained.

Tip: Water supply pipes always must be properly secured. So, it is always a great idea to replace broken or loose straps as a part of a proper house maintenance schedule. When possible, replace with cushioned pipe clamps made of steel and soft EPDM rubber.

Water Hammer Arrestors

A water hammer arrestor improves on the idea of the air chamber by adding a chamber filled with gas or air that is sealed with a piston or a diaphragm. The diaphragm separates the water and the gas or air.

What Is a Diaphragm?

In plumbing, a diaphragm is a flexible disc that responds to pressure to form a seal, stopping water flow. Diaphragms are often made of various kinds of rubber, along with other materials.

A water hammer arrestor is often spliced into the point where the water supply tube/hose meets up with a shutoff valve. With this method, no pipes need to be cut or sweated back together. Push-fit water arrestors are also available.

Tip: Look for water arrestors that are combined with a valve. Sometimes, space may be an issue, so be sure to purchase a water arrestor that fits the space.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Bucket or towel
  • Tongue-and-groove pliers or adjustable wrench
  • Old towels


  • Water hammer arrestor
  • Plumber's thread seal tape


Turn Off the Water

Shut off water to the washing machine, dishwasher, or other areas that experiences water hammer. The device usually will have a shutoff valve that can be turned clockwise to shut off the water. In some cases, you may find an intermediary shutoff valve further up the line. For installing multiple water hammer arrestors, you may want to shut off the home's entire water supply.

Tip: The washing machine will have two shutoff valves, one for hot and another for cold. The dishwasher will have one shutoff valve for hot.

Disconnect the Hoses

Use a basin to catch spilled water from disconnecting the water. Have a few old towels nearby, too. Use an adjustable wrench to turn loose the hose fittings.

Wrap Thread Seal Tape

Wrap the male end of each shutoff valve or water inlet with thread seal tape. Wrap tightly three or four times clockwise. Wrap any male threads on the water hammer arrestor with tape, too.

Install the Water Hammer Arrestor

  • Threaded: For threaded water hammer arrestors, thread the device onto each valve or inlet. Turn the female fitting clockwise by hand, then tighten with the pliers.
  • Compression: For compression fittings, slide the compression ring against the valve, then thread on the compression nut and tighten.
  • Push-Fit: Push-fit water hammer arrestors need no tools for installation (though removal does require a small plastic tool). Clean copper tubes of burrs. Make sure that all cuts are square. Push the fitting firmly onto the pipe.

Connect the Supply Tube or Hoses

Use the pliers or the wrench, to connect the water supply tube or hose to the water hammer arrestor. Tighten the connection.

Turn on the Water.

Slowly turn on the water supply by turning the shutoff valve anticlockwise. If you shut off the water to the entire house, taps may sputter before water begins running freely again. Use a flashlight to visually inspect the connections for leaks. Run every appliance on a water hammer arrestor on one test cycle.

This can be a complex situation and may be better to call in a plumber to resolve for you.

My sink/bath/shower are draining very slowly

This problem is typically caused by a blockage that is restricting water flow. Your kitchen sink drain may contain things like congealed fat and food remnants. In a bathroom sink, the blockage is more likely to be caused by knotted hair and soap.

Methods for clearing a clogged sink might involve using a plunger, pouring down baking soda and vinegar or a chemical clog remover, or using a plumber's snake. If the problem is not tackled, then it will likely worsen over time, until eventually the drain is completely blocked.

How to Unclog a Sink/Bath/Shower Drain Using Chemicals

Be sure to follow all the directions on the packaging and make sure not to use too much.

  • Wear gloves and goggles for safety.
  • Do not mix chemicals. This can produce poisonous gas.
  • Pour chemicals down the drain.

How to Unclog a Sink/Bath/Shower Drain Using a Plunger

  • Adding petroleum jelly to the edge of the suction pad will improve the seal.
  • Make sure there is enough water in the shower so that the end of the plunger is submerged.
  • Plunge vigorously.

Note: Chemicals can cause damage to your drainage pipes if used repeatedly, so I would recommend not resorting to this method lightly.