Why are there 2 taps on a British sink, one for cold water and one for hot?

in Europe there is just one tap that you can switch to warm to avoid getting one blue hand and one red ;-)


im British..i was just wondering where the logic behind it was as icouldnt find it:)

23 Answers

  • xenon
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Originally at the birth of indoor plumbing, they installed a cold tap,and as most people were right handed, it tended to be on the right. later on when they were able to produce hot water by thermo-syphon from a back boiler, and a storage tank in the attic, they installed the hot tap in the only other available space , the left. and of course they were delighted, as they did'nt have to disturb the original cold tap.

    This scenario extended to after the Second World War when designers decided to incorporate the two, usually in baths/tubs.

    They then decided to make monoblock type suitable for sinks, but as they could only use smaller pipes ( 10mm 3/8" ) to connect to the H & C they discovered that the flow rate was reduced, and that is what we have today, a reduced flow in the kitchen sink,


    In the UK the pressure generally does'nt exceed 2 bars (30 psi ) and even today there are many mains which are lead pipe, so they cannot increase the pressure.

  • 6 years ago

    Post war most British houses were fitted with a storage tank in the roof space, and this fed into a hot water boiler. Because the storage tank was often open it could become contaminated with dust, algae or even the odd rat.

    The cold water was drawn directly from the mains supply and is considered safe. In the old system if a seal failed on a mixer tap in the system it would contaminate the cold water from the mains, hence they were kept separate.

    These days most places have boilers that heat on demand and don t have a water tank so it s fine to drink from the hot or cold tap :)

  • 1 decade ago

    Older plumbing had one tap each for hot and cold, newer plumbing is much more likely to have a mixer tap. I don't think it's much to do with the country or even the continent, just how recently your plumbing was put in. I'm in Canada and when I was growing up 50 some years ago, all the taps were single. Now they all seem to be mixers unless it's an old house that hasn't had plumbing updated.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just a matter of fashion and preference. Some prefer a mixer, some prefer separate taps, some basins are made for the one, some for the other, some for both. I've just removed a mixer from the kitchen sink and replaced it with two taller individual taps where the kettle goes under the cold one more easily . . .

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  • mckown
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Sink Mixer Taps Uk

  • 4 years ago

    Two Taps

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    In our home we have 1 tap for the bathroom, 1 for the kitchen, however there are 2 knobs. One for hot and one for cold. From visiting Europe quite a lot I see its the same there. Is that what you meant?

    Source(s): Visited France, Germany, Austria, Spain, Gibraltar etc
  • hank
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    not everywhere in the UK has 2 taps. Not everywhere in Europe has 1 tap.

    Mixer taps are better as you say, we have them, and you see them in a lotof peoples homes, in hotels, public washrooms etc.in the UK.

    In older sinks that were made before mixer taps were around there are 2 holes for the taps, so unless you buy a new sink with 1 hole, you stick with 2 taps.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Just in a similar vein, we're in the process of buying a house with Persimmon homes in the UK. My partner is from Romania and cannot see the logic in having two taps as she has been brought up in a country using mixer taps (as they're prevalent around Europe). Persimmon only build their homes with two taps in their bathroom sinks, no option apparently. So it seems we will have to rip out a perfectly good sink (with two holes) in order to fit one that houses a mixer tap, rather than have the option to fit a mixer tap/sink in the first place. Bizarre!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The correct answer is - UK regulations do not allow mixing mains (drinking) water with heated water in the body of the tap. They must be kept apart until the tap outlet where they can be mixed. This avoids drawing warm, potentially harmful (bacteria sustaining) water into the drinking water if the mains is turned off or loses pressure. Buy a single outlet, single control with a mixing gauze in the outlet that complies with UK regs.

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