How to deal with deep in-wall plumbing
A quick background to start with
Firstly not all tapware is interchangeable. Often there is variance between different brands of tapware that have been manufactured by various companies over the years. This means you can’t buy any old tap and take it home expecting it to fit. Secondly, renewing your taps and spouts in the bathroom is made even more difficult when it comes to any wall mounted taps. The reason for this is that the pipework and plumbing which is recessed into your wall is difficult and costly to remove or alter, requiring a licensed plumber.
What this means to you?
So basically if you want to keep your renovation costs down you have to work with what you have and often you don’t know what you have until you start pulling your existing tapware apart. The plumbing could be quite deeply recessed into the wall due to excessive tile adhesive use or a failure to chip away all the old remnant adhesive during previous renovations. An example of deep recessed plumbing is pictured below;
As you can see the build up of old tile adhesive plus the thickness of the tiles adds quite a bit of material between the in wall plumbing system and the tiled surface of the bathroom.
Why is deep in wall plumbing a problem?
Essentially it is due to the fact that it can make screwing on your new dress flanges impossible. This is because high quality tapware is manufactured from solid brass as opposed to plastic cheaper taps. The downside to being made from brass is that threads are used for the assembly of the taps which eliminates a lot of the adjustment you can get with cheap plastic taps that use a spring loaded flange system.
However the durability, long life and hassle free serviceability of solid brass tapware make the effort worthwhile. Plus with the use of a few nifty adaptors which we will discuss shortly, you can overcome the challenge presented by deep in wall plumbing.
Which taps are best for use on deep in wall plumbing?
Taps such as the EZYFIX Modern Lever wall tap set come standard with black pvc male to female thread extenders which screw between the dress flange and the locknut on the ceramic disc spindles. These PVC extenders have the benefit of being easy to cut down with a hacksaw or sharp stanley knife, plus because they are male to female thread you can screw mulitple adaptors together if needed as shown below:
What if that is still not enough?
If you have tried using the above adaptors and still are unable to screw on your wall dress flanges then you may need to purchase a set of Ceramic disc in wall seat extenders. See here: Ceramic disc in wall extender kits
These will bring your plumbing 28mm out from the wall and allow you to screw the wall dress flange. Importantly though, when installing these ceramic disc extender kits you must first ensure that all of the old washer and red fibre body washer are completely removed from the existing tap bodies in the wall. Failure to do so will restrict the extender kit from sealing against the existing tap seat. For more detail on how these extender kits are intstalled click here.
What if that is too much extension?
So yes there is a chance that these in wall tap seat extenders may bring the plumbing too far out from the wall and whilst you are now able to screw on your dress flange you may now have the other problem of not being able to screw the wall dress flange all the way down so that it is flush with the wall, leaving a gap. As a result your taps would look like this:
In this case you would require what is known as a set of chrome trouble domes to suit your new taps. These trouble domes allow you to fill the gap between the wall and the base of your new tap flanges and look like an extension of your flanges, however not all tapware companies manufacture these trouble domes. You will be pleased to find out that we have manufactured trouble domes to suite our EZYFIX Modern Lever tapware as shown below:
Here is a picture sent in by one of our customers who installed a pair of them:
They are available now via our online shop click for more info on trouble domes . If you are still unsure or need some more guidance then you can contact our DIY support helpline on 1300 EZYFIX.