How to choose the faucet that best suits your bathroom

Remember when a faucet was made up of two separate controls to control the flow of hot and cold water, and you needed the patience of a watchmaker to use it?

Luckily, nowadays there is an almost infinite number and variety of faucet models, with all kinds of possibilities, accessories and extras.

Technology has entered this important and often overlooked point of our homes and lives, with solutions such as the incorporation of variable LED light at the outlet of the water jet so that we can see its temperature with our own eyes before touching it.

But, today I want to review the different types of faucets that you can find on the market and their possibilities to adjust to your domestic taste.

Two-way tap
Classic among the classics, I opened this post with a retrospective mental image with him. It has the advantage, of course, that it allows you to fine-tune the flow rates of hot and cold water, but in exchange for investing more time in its use and, presumably, both hands.

Single-lever tap
Today, the most widespread in homes, has a single control with which we can regulate temperature and flow in a single movement. Some incorporate ingenious mechanisms that touch the fantasy as leverage, and can give your bathroom or kitchen a touch of spectacular design.

A peculiarity is that we must open them with moderation, because in a single stroke it can provide us with the totality of the flow without being necessary (not so with the taps single-lever wheel, which had to turn several times to take to its top).

Another very common error in the operation is to open it in half often, which makes the hot and cold water mix many times without being necessary (the correct thing would be to always open it from the position of cold water, if it is not lukewarmness what we are looking for).

Thermostatic tap
Much more advanced and also more expensive than the previous ones, this faucet allows you to choose the water temperature and flow rate more specifically. In addition, it incorporates stoppers to prevent the water from running too hot without wanting to, making it safer.

It’s not as easy to install or replace as the other models, but it’s worth the investment.

Built-in tap
It is installed directly on the wall, saving space in the stack and gaining in aesthetics. It also requires, on the other hand, a water intake prepared behind it.

Timer taps
They are usually found in public places, and have their flow limited to a specific time to save water (usually a push-button). They are not recommended for home use because of their obvious limitation, unless there are special safety needs, such as older people with a tendency to leave taps and other appliances open or on.

Infrared controlled taps
They have sensors that detect the hands to get started. We also usually find them in public establishments. They have the convenience of being activated directly with use and turned off when removing hands, but also obvious limitations in the choice of flow and temperature.

Foot pedal tap
Unusual in bathrooms, and even more so in some restaurants, they stand out for hygienic reasons, because you don’t need to use your hands to activate them and they are comfortable -and even fun- to use.

There is something common to any faucet model that you can buy in a hardware store, and that is that the cheap is usually expensive. It is better to invest a little more in a quality model that will give you many more hours of use in perfect condition, avoiding premature replacement.

Speaking of faucet installation, here’s one of our videos that will help you replace your bathroom or kitchen faucet yourself (valid for simple models like the single-lever mixer):

And if you want a helping hand from one of our professional plumbers to save time and complications

8 tips to prevent your pipes from freezing and protect your boiler in winter

If you live in cold and humid climates, and your pipes are especially exposed to these harsh weather conditions (as in many low houses, chalets or duplexes), today’s post will be crucial.

Keeping your pipes insulated from low temperatures will guarantee you a quiet and frost-free winter like the freezing of the water they contain, a very common breakdown between December and February whose repair can be very expensive.

What to do to avoid freezing your water pipes?

Tip #1: Stop dripping.
It’s the water, when it freezes, the real danger we’re talking about. That is why it is important that you look for and find solutions to any type of dripping that is occurring in your plumbing system, from taps to sinks, especially those that are closer to the outside or directly outdoors.

Tip #2: Beware of water on the outside.
In the yard and garden, always empty the hoses so that they do not contain water that, when turned into ice, burst them from the inside. In fact, when temperatures are threatening to drop below zero, disconnect them from the external stopcock to prevent them from freezing too, as far as the pipe itself.

If you have a water tank outside, avoid freezing by pouring some glycerin into the tank.

Tip #3: Protect the pipes from unheated water.
The basements and outside parts of the house usually have them, and they are the main candidates to stay stiff and cold and give you more scares.

Isolating these pipes is fundamental, for which there are many thermal tapes and insulating accessories that you should install right now to prevent.

With respect to thermal tapes, there are different types with different materials and functions. Some have an integrated thermostat, which requires the tape to be entangled between the pipe and the insulation. Some thermal tapes do not allow insulation to be placed on them, so it is best to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Tip #4: Water moving against freezing.
When the electrical fluid is unavailable and everything stays at the mercy of the cold, it is better to leave a fine and constant stream of water circulating, whose frictional force will make it harder to freeze the water it contains in the cold.

Tip #5: How to heat a frozen pipe.
First of all, check the state and material we’re talking about.

Some plastics and copper will break if the transition is too abrupt, or simply because they have already cracked with freezing and are waiting to return to a warmer temperature to release all the stored water.

If you notice a broken pipe, call a warranty plumber to take care of it professionally if you want to avoid major problems.

If the tube is made of a sturdy metal, you can heat it by applying a remote welder, dryer or heat lamp. Always do it with great care and slowly, and never leave this process unsupervised.

Tip #6: Use a hot water recirculation valve with thermal convection temperature control.
It sounds Chinese, but it’s a very ingenious device that doesn’t require electricity to operate, and will continuously circulate warm water through the water lines whenever the temperature is below the point you have.

Unlike thermal tape, which only heats the pipes, this process circulates water without interruption to prevent crystallization and freezing, regardless of whether the pipes are hidden.

Keep in mind that this method requires the valve to be installed at a higher level (2nd or 3rd floor) than the water heater. The uninterrupted circulation of water through your system will increase your water heating bill. When you don’t want circulation, uninstall the valve and that’s it.

Tip #7: Place a material called ICE LOC.
It is an elastomer that fits inside pipes in problematic areas and prevents pipes from breaking when absorbing the expansion of frozen water.

Tip #8: line the pipes with grout.
In this post we explain how to do it on video, in addition to giving you some extra valuable tips to avoid having a hard time during this winter that begins.

Share this information with your family and friends who live in colder and more exposed areas.