Most households have, sometimes in the past, faced the problem of leaking taps. Apart from the sound of dripping, the waste of water until it is fixed or replaced is frustrating. As the leaking worsens, we end up turning the levers as far as we possibly can to reduce the drip. However, as the taps have traditionally used a rubber washer that wears and cracks with use, helping to create the leak in the first place, the additional turning can damage the washer further. This is where ceramic discs can provide a more resilient alternative that can extend the life of your faucets.
In place of the traditional washer, two ceramic discs are used, one of which is fixed, the other being turned by the levers. The tap only needs a 90-degree rotation, which aligns these two discs, allowing the water to flow. When the discs are not aligned, the water is stopped. This quarter turn means less friction being applied to the discs and, therefore, less wear and tear.
Another term – a ceramic cartridge spindle- is also used to describe the fixture. A ceramic disc tap comprises a cartridge spindle, which is what allows the tap to be turned off with a 90-degree turn. It is not an extra attachment but rather refers to the mechanism of the two discs.
This reduced friction and the harder nature of the ceramic, which results in less water erosion, means they will last longer than the washers. Added to this advantage is the increased convenience a quarter turn provides. It also becomes convenient when there is dirt on your hands that you would rather not touch anything; a quarter-turn tap can be switched on with just a nudge of an elbow or the back of the hand.
Are there disadvantages to ceramic disc taps?
Ceramic disc taps certainly come with downsides, as do all products. These issues, however, shouldn’t put you off installing them in your home. Ceramic disc taps/spindles can be more costly than the older types of washers but often fare better in the long run. One thing to be aware of, though, is that hard water and/or sediment-contaminated water can wear ceramic discs down much faster than usual.
Plumbing connections for ceramic discs are no different to other taps, and with that comes all the ease of a quarter-turn technology and a more durable, longer-lasting fixture without those annoying leaks. From a long-term maintenance point of view, ceramic disc taps are much better than standard taps. It is always worthwhile to buy taps from a reputable manufacturer for durable and long-lasting products that can be easily replaced.