The mixer is one of the main attributes of the bathroom, which not only serves the function of supplying and regulating the pressure of water, but also acts as an important element of the decor, capable of harmoniously supplementing the bath or washbasin. The modern market of sanitary equipment is so extensive that it is very difficult for an ordinary user to make the best choice, so further on, it will be considered how to choose the right mixer.
The mixer not only regulates the supply of water, but is also the subject of the bathroom and kitchen decor.
Selection according to purpose
To understand which mixer you need, the first step is to determine where it will be installed: in the kitchen or in the bathroom. When buying a kitchen faucet, it is necessary to take into account that it should ensure the convenience of washing fruits, vegetables and dishes. Its spout should be high enough that it will allow placing large dishes in the sink.
Single-lever mixer is convenient to adjust the temperature and head of water.
A very popular mixer with a retractable hose on a special suspension. If the kitchen is double-sinked, it is recommended to buy a separate version: a normal faucet is installed in the middle of the sink, and a mixer with a flexible hose is installed in the most convenient place in which it could reach any corner of the sink.
The bathroom faucet can be divided into several types:
- tap for sink;
- combined version with a switch mode "faucet-shower";
- Separate, representing 2 mixers, one of which works as a tap, and the second is placed on the wall and performs the function of a shower.
By design, the mixers can be of the following types:
Single-lever valves (Figure 1) in the domestic market are the most in demand. This is mainly due to the convenience of adjusting the head and water temperature, which is carried out by moving one handle up and down (head) and left-right (temperature). One of the types of single-lever devices are joystick cranes. Unlike conventional models, in which the handle is placed horizontally, the joystick is located in an upright position.
Figure 2. The two-valve mixer fits perfectly into a classic bathtub or in a country style bathroom.
If you want to save water, it is recommended to buy a single-lever valve with economy function. The operation of such models provides a two-stage adjustment of the water supply. The transition from the normal operating mode to the "economy" mode is accompanied by a slight resistance to the movement of the handle.
Despite the obvious change of market priority in favor of single-lever valves, two-valve models remain popular to this day (Figure 2). And it's not just their small price. Most modern devices are very difficult to harmoniously fit into the bathroom interior, made in classical style, country or retro. From this situation, the best way out is to install two-valve cranes. In them, the control of the head and water temperature is made by means of two valves. The main disadvantage of such devices is gaskets that have a short service life, so they often need to be changed.
Thermostatic mixers in the domestic market appeared relatively recently (Fig. 3). Their main task is to provide users with water of a given temperature. At the same time, the pressure and temperature in the main line do not matter.
Non-contact valves do not need manual control, since the infrared sensors are responsible for the water supply (Fig. 4). Water from the tap starts to flow when a person brings his hands to the sink, and turns off after finishing water procedures. Some models require a fixed power network, but there are also mixers that run on built-in batteries.
Figure 3. Diagram of thermostatic mixer.
By the method of installation, the faucets are divided into wall and those that are attached directly to the sink. In the second case, they are often equipped with a bottom valve, that is, a special lever, with which you can open or close the drain hole.
If the faucet is mounted on plumbing equipment, special openings must be provided.
This option is often used for acrylic bathtubs. But if you have a cast iron bath and you want to install this mixer, then do not be upset, as the holes can be drilled by yourself.
When it comes to a wall-mounted faucet, special attention should be paid to the length of the sink. You can always find all sizes of sanitary ware in the technical map. If the mixer outlet turns out to be too short, a jet of water will beat against the side of the bath and spray onto the walls. If we talk about the height of the installation of the crane, then the best option is a distance of 10-15 cm from the side of the bath.
There is another way to mount the mixer - on a special rack. This is a very beautiful and modern version, but it can only be used if there is enough free space.
Material of manufacture
Non-contact water faucets are equipped with IR sensors.
Considering which mixer is best to choose, you should pay attention to the material of its manufacture. Cranes are usually made of brass. The basis of the ceramic cartridge is made of aluminum oxide, which for burning technical characteristics is fired at a temperature of 1100-1300 ° C. All fasteners and ball joints are made of stainless steel. As for the handles and casings, they are made of plastic.
To improve the anti-corrosion properties of the product, the metal surfaces are additionally nickelized, after which they are coated with chrome or enamel. But not all materials are equally good. For example, the enamel, though externally beautiful, has a low mechanical strength, and nickel can cause an allergic reaction. Therefore, it is recommended to buy chrome faucets for a bath.
Most Chinese manufacturers produce fairly cheap mixers, but the price should not be guided, since silumin is used for the manufacture of such products - an alloy of aluminum with silicon, which is not very strong. Such cranes will not last for one year.
More qualitative models are brass with chrome plating. Due to this, there is no divorce on their surface. The service life of such devices is more than 5 years. The most reliable and, accordingly, expensive are mixers made of stainless steel and chromium alloy, the manufacturers of which can give a guarantee for their products for more than 30 years.
To choose the right mixer, first evaluate its appearance, it should best fit into the interior of the bath. After that, take your favorite model in hand: if it is very light, then it is better to refuse such a crane, because the quality product should be heavy, only in this case it will serve you for many years.