How

How2018-09-17T14:53:44+00:00

How

Welcome to our ‘guides’.

We are always happy to receive contributions to the collective knowledge. Please email us with your suggestions.

  • Feedback has meant some important clarification on kit use:

    • never use the mat on top of the kit. If swarf gets into the cartridges they could, unsurprisingly, leak.
    • when cutting spindles (or anything else) dispose of all swarf properly.
    • when cutting spindles do not ‘blow’ the cut spindle clear of swarf. Knock it on the mat so debris falls out.

Removing

  • Many original cartridges are over-tightened. This means removing them can sometimes lead to loosening of the tap’s supply pipework. Always thoroughly check the supply pipework once you have changed cartridges.

  • Having changed thousands, our experience is to always use either a ring spanner or a deep socket to remove a cartridge.  We have found they come out so much more easily, cleanly and with rarely a problem.

  • Some TapMedic users remove cartridges using a deep socket on an electric impact driver. We completely understand why. However, when doing so it is your personal responsibility to carry out a full appraisal of the potential risks each and every time.

  • An alternative technique to the impact driver, is to use appropriately sized, and protected so you don’t damage the tap, steel or aluminium pipework slid over the tap spout to hold it steady whilst you remove the cartridge.

  • Regardless of how you remove cartridges, all supply pipework must be checked thoroughly for leaks once the cartridge is replaced.

Seat Depth

  • The image shows the seat depth in a tap and the top face of the tap against which the cartridge shoulder sits.

    Your cartridge must be 0.5mm (1.omm absolute MAX) longer than this to allow it to seal correctly.

  • Adjusting a cartridge’s seat depth is simple. Choose an appropriate combination of end seals and/or body extension. The objective is to match the faulty cartridge’s seat depth or exceed the faulty cartridge’s seat depth by the minimum possible. It must never exceed 1mm.

  • The seat depth of the new cartridge can never be less than the one removed – otherwise it will leak. Not always immediately, but almost certainly when system pressures rise – probably overnight when pressures rise

  • When replacing a traditional multi-turn valve with a TapMedic cartridge, e.g. for someone with Arthritis, you will need to measure the original seat depth.

    The driver has a small silicone ring on it. Use this ring (slide it) to mark the seat depth you need to match. See the video for a clearer explanation.

  • TapMedic cartridges are designed to cope with being no more than 1mm taller.

Installing

  • TapMedic cartridges must ONLY be installed using either a socket or a ring spanner. Adjustable wrenches have the potential to distort the hex and cause problems/binding. These issues are not covered by warranty.

  • The shroud adapter, where needed, must be fitted after the cartridge has been installed & fully tested.

  • The cartridge must be tightened thus:

    • do it up so brass touches brass
    • turn another HALF FLAT to lock – no more is necessary. See image.

Checking

  • TapMedic insist the cartridge must be checked at least twice for ‘feel’ before it is considered complete.

  • Too ‘tight’ to be turned by fingers alone using a 35mm shaft, potentially means early wear/failure.

  • Too ‘loose’ means a potential for leakage.

  • Once two or three are fitted, you become familiar with the correct ‘feel’. This is a core reason we consider TapMedic suitable for professionals only

Opening Direction

  • The opening direction of TapMedic cartridges are easily changed; simply swap the grub screws. The long grub screw is the one that decides the opening direction. Two must be fitted at all times.

  • If you & your customer decide you need 360 degree opening/closing, then you simply fit two short grub screws instead of one short and one long.

Choosing

  • The simplest & most effective method of choosing the correct spindle is by using the existing handle. If it fits it’s correct!

  • Setting the length of the new spindle precisely is vital. It is almost impossible to measure accurately, but the method we have developed – see Fig 7 – delivers reliable, consistent and accurate results.

  • All too often, one handle will be loose and one tight on the same tap. When you find this, the best way of overcoming it is:

    Loose?
    Tape does not work as it eventually compresses and loosens. We have found using thin strips of aluminium foil as a form of shim works. It is thin enough to be able to mould, but robust enough not to loosen over time.

    Tight?
    Until you are experienced, it can be a little confusing deciding which spindle is correct. When it’s too tight, then you feel it ‘almost’ fits – as in ‘lines up’ but won’t go in. Our spindles are made to take some filing down in these circumstances. File a little off the first few mm of the spindle to make sure it will fit. Once it does, trim the spindle to size and then mark the spline length you need to file down.

Opening Direction

  • TapMedic cartridges are adjustable for opening direction by simply relocating grub screws. The long grub screw is the one that decides the opening direction although fitting both at all times is both vital & compulsory.

  • By fitting the long grub screw in the RH hole it will open CLOCKWISE

  • By fitting the long grub screw in the LH hole it will open ANTI-CLOCKWISE

  • If you & your customer decide to have 360 degree opening/closing then you simply fit two short grub screws instead of one short and one long. All other issues tightness, number etc are as standard.

  • A word about our grub screws. Once again, our grub screws are made to our unique specification. They do not comply with DIN916. No formal standard specification could deliver us the very tight and very specific manufacturing criteria we needed. By using TapMedic grubs screws you will remain trouble free with your warranty fully intact.

  • The cutting jig is supplied with two thumb screws. These screw are designed to ‘help’ hold the spindle or sleeve length you are cutting in place. They are not used when cutting a screw.

  • Over-tightening the thumb screws will cause damage to whatever is being held.
    When that happens, that component is scrap.
    The design of the screws is such that they can be tightened appropriately by using only your fingers. Doing it this way holds the piece in place, rather than damages it.

  • When you have marked the ‘cut line’ onto your chosen spindle, make sure the marked line is clearly visible in the cutting slot. It really is worth adjusting it so it’s spot-on.

  • When trimming a handle screw, make sure you thread (screw in) the side you want to be left with.
    Doing it like way means that the part you remove (the part you will use) will have to be unscrewed giving you a beautifully clean thread. Warning. The ‘wrong’ way could well mean you having to buy a new jig!

  • We’re not trying to teach you to suck eggs. However, as you’ll use the jig mainly for cutting splined spindles, always draw the hacksaw blade back over the work firmly for its full length before cutting forward. Doing so takes the tops off the splines and stops the blade getting caught up on them going forward. We were amazed at how much simpler & easier it made cutting.

  • With a new hacksaw blade, it should take no more than 12 strokes to cut a spindle – that’s without pressure.

  • Grub screws (also known as ‘set’ screws in American influenced countries)

    • Two grub screws must be fitted to every cartridge.
    • Standard fitment is 1 × 6mm & 1 × 3mm.
    • You can however fit 2 × 3mm if you want a 360 degree opening cartridge.

  • Handle Screws

    • Typically you fit the 8mm screw.
    • The 20mm screw is for the occasional need for more length. It may however need to be trimmed down using the cutting jig. Unscrewing from the jig automatically cleans its thread.

  • Trimming

    • Screw in to the size you need and cut. As you remove it the steel of the jig cleans the screw thread for you.

  • The screwdrivers included in TapMedic kits are unique:

    • They are made to a specific size for us.
    • They are manufactured to closer tolerances than standard allen keys.
    • Their length is specifically calculated to limit applied torque in normal use.

  • Our drivers however are not ‘foolproof’. When too much torque is applied (we have measured it at over twice what is needed), ‘something’ will give. Either the internal hex of the grub screw will round out, or the brass into which it is threaded will strip or the key will break. If any of these happen you will need to buy new keys and dial your efforts way back. Trying to apply more torque to the screws will NOT provide more grip, it will weaken it plus, it will simply cost you more money in screwdrivers.

  • We supply two drivers initially so you can learn your lessons. One is all you need to do the job perfectly.

  • In normal use, our estimation is that a new driver will be needed around every 200 cartridges.

  • All cartridges have what we term a ‘handle shoulder’. It exists so that handles with splines all the way through them do not drop down the spindle.
    However, not all taps need it. Many handles have an in-built ‘stop’.
    The test to determine whether you need to replicate the shoulder is to try the spindle in the handle. If the spindle goes straight through then you need a shoulder. If it doesn’t then save some money and do not fit one. See the images.

  • To replicate the shoulder, you can use either the pre-sized sleeves supplied, or you can make custom sizes using the 120mm length of sleeving and the cutting jig.

  • See the image for how to mark the handle shoulder position accurately. 1mm higher up the splines is perfectly acceptable. Lower and it may bind. 

  • Our experience is that often the cartridge you wish to replace has a shroud thread that’s not needed. When you remove the cartridge to be replaced, if the one fitted isn’t used there is no point in paying to fit a component that isn’t used. To save money and materials, only fit an adapter when it is needed.

  • Overwhelmingly, shroud adapters are fitted with the thread towards the top. If, however, the cartridge being replaced has its shoulder threaded (see image) then the adapter can be fitted thread down; i.e. thread closest to the cartridge shoulder. This cannot perfectly replicate what was, but it has been perfectly acceptable for every customer we have encountered so far. If you do this, then our advice is always to change both so they remain symmetrical.