If your brand new tap or shower is not working as expected, it is important that you or your plumber establishes whether the issue is related to the plumbing installation, the water supply, or the product itself.
Most, but not all, taps and showers are factory tested so it is quite rare for the product to be fault, but certainly not impossible.
In our experience, it is considerably more likely that water flow or temperature problems are caused by one of the following:
Insufficient Water Pressure (Poor Flow Rates)
This is the big one. In the UK, not all water systems are equal, and some products are suitable for low pressure gravity systems, and some are not. We list all the water pressure requirements on our site, and have a guide to water pressure that you can read here. We understand that you might have had a perfectly usable product fitted previously, but that’s not to say that all products will have the same flow rate - far from it. Modern taps and showers have ceramic disc cartridges rather than rubber washers. The flow rate through these is generally less, but they last much, much longer. If you’ve gone from very old taps to new, you might need to fit a pump to achieve an acceptable flow rate, or choose alternative products that are rated for low water pressure (0.1 or 0.2 bar for example).
Imbalanced Water Pressure (Too Hot, Too Cold, Flow Rate Issues)
Another common cause of flow issues results from having unequal flow of hot and cold water coming in. If one of the two feeds is much higher than the other, you will almost always have issues with the flow and temperature as a result. The fix is relatively simple - your plumber should equalise the flow rates by fitting a pressure reducing valve on the higher flow feed.
Air Locks (Poor or No Flow, Temperature Issues)
If water flow is non-existent, or extremely low, check for an air lock in the supply. If one supply is blocked, it will result in the flow being not only too low, but also too hot or cold.
Blocked Inlet Connectors & Strainers (Poor or No Flow, Temperature Issues)
During a brand new installation, it is not at all uncommon for scale, debris and grit to work their way into your new valve. Your plumber should generally flush the valve through and check for any blockages before leaving the job.
Isolation Valves are Closed (Poor or No Flow, Temperature Issues)
If the water is too hot or cold, you may have an isolation valve closed shutting off the flow of one of the supplies.
Pressure is Too High (Water Spraying Everywhere!)
This one is slightly rarer, but if your tap or shower is spurting water out and it is splashing all over the floor, you would do well to fit pressure reducing valves to slow the water down to an acceptable level. Taps and showers usually operate well within quite a broad spectrum of pressures, but if you have a shallow basin and you can’t deal with the high flow of the tap, the fix is a simple one.
It is important to remember that a tap or shower is a relatively simple device that simply acts as a ‘gate’ to the water flowing around your home.
Generally, the main working part is a cartridge - something that is easily replaced should it be found to be faulty. There is rarely a need to uninstall an item; at least not until you have troubleshooted the array of other, non-product related faults that might be causing the issue.
A good plumber has spent time and money learning his or her trade, and getting the necessary qualifications to do what is a highly complex job (which is why they charge accordingly!). You’re more than welcome to DIY-fit, or have your builder install the product, but please bear in mind that plumbing systems, like car engines, are not always as simple as you’d like them to be. Problems aren’t always caused by faulty products, and to avoid unnecessary upset and costs, it is important that you do not rush to the conclusion that an item is definitely faulty without a qualified plumber doing a proper troubleshooting procedure. This will certainly save you money in the long run.
I’m sure the item is faulty. What now?
We can proceed in a couple of different ways. If time is not of the essence, we can collect the item, have it tested, and once the fault is confirmed, we will issue a replacement (or a refund if the purchase was made in the 28 days prior to reporting the issue and this is what you would rather).
Alternatively, if you want a replacement immediately, we will normally take payment details (without charging them) and dispatch the replacement item as soon as we can. We will collect the faulty item at the earliest convenience.
Once the item has been tested and the fault is confirmed, nothing further will happen as you have already been issued a free of charge replacement.
If the item is found not to be faulty, we are unable to take back an item that has been installed (which will likely be the case here), so at this point the replacement we issued will become chargeable, and any costs incurred collecting the original item and delivering the replacement will also be charged at the costs we incurred ourselves.
Generally, we allow about 2 weeks for testing, and this is always done by the manufacturer at their testing facilities; or if that’s not possible we may use a qualified third party. We will share with you any results found, and if there is any doubt about the possible fault, we will always assume faulty until proven not!