Faucet without supply line
May 30, 2016 4:29 AM   Subscribe

I am currently in morrocco and am coming across a lot of beautiful faucet heads unlike anything ive seen in the United states. The problem is that it appears the faucet heads don't have the usual copper supply lines running into the faucet holes. Here's a picture. You'll see that where there usually are hot and cold supply lines just have two separate holes. Is this fixable? How?
posted by Karaage to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The picture isn't good enough to see much of the bottom. What diameter are the holes? Do they have threads tapped into them, or are they just drilled? How thick is the brass in that area?

It doesn't look like the exit hole has been machined for an aerator, either. I suspect that this faucet would be rather rustic, in a functional sense, compared to the faucets you're accustomed to. Not that that's necessarily bad.
posted by jon1270 at 5:05 AM on May 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

It's hard to say from the pictures, but if you're committed and are willing to make a couple trips to a machinist that will work on small projects, you can take them just about any fitting and say "make this fit this" and you could probably get yourself an adapter made.

Not straightforward, and probably not cheap, but possible.
posted by furnace.heart at 6:00 AM on May 30, 2016 [4 favorites]

I've found it's hard to get washers for "non-standard" faucets.
posted by Obscure Reference at 6:23 AM on May 30, 2016

jon1270 has nailed the important questions. Could you investigate how these faucets are connected locally? If they are in fact tapped (threaded) it may be possible to get adapters for British or metric threads. It may also be possible to braze in adapters for PEX (plastic tubing). It's also likely the valves are simple old-school bonnet style. Cool, but indeed rustic.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:31 AM on May 30, 2016

Also, unless you plan to DIY, you'll need to find a plumber with a sense of adventure.
posted by werkzeuger at 6:33 AM on May 30, 2016

There are a phenomenally different fittings for different uses and industries but not at the big box stores. So if this is a long term project and you have patience and determination to measure accurately and perhaps find a machine shop this should not be impossible or overly expensive. But yea, plan on entering the DIY world.
posted by sammyo at 6:48 AM on May 30, 2016

Going to head back to the souk and will take more pictures with the answers so far in mind. Stay tuned..
posted by Karaage at 8:31 AM on May 30, 2016

Whatever the setup up it would certainly be possible to solder soft drawn copper supply lines into the holes. The holes may need to be drilled/reamed to fit the tubes. The copper lines then would fit standard compression shutoff valves.

You might be able to tap and thread the fixture for a NPT-compression fitting however often that won't leave you with space to turn the nuts.

The few times I've had to deal with European imported plumbing devices (I'm in Canada) getting fittings that worked was a serious hassle and at some point you needed to go from their standard to ours. We generally transitioned to North American standard as soon as possible often by soldering up a custom transition.

That tap looks like a pretty standard brass which regular plumbing solder will stick to well. However if it is something weird it might require using a solder with a silver content.

Also as jon1270 mentioned this tap doesn't have an aerator and is probably designed to be used with a low pressure system. The 50-90 psi that your common American home has at the tap is going to come out of that faucet like a rocket. An inline pressure reducer at the tap would mitigate that.

On washers. As long as the tap takes a flat or cone washer you can usually sand a larger washer down to fit a smaller non-standard mounts.
posted by Mitheral at 9:56 AM on May 30, 2016 [3 favorites]

and here is a (still not great) picture of the bottom.
It's not super visible in the picture, but it does appear to be threaded and the seller said it was threaded to European sizes. He noted he can add the copper fitting for me for a small fee.

I'd imagine once that fitting is in then I can adapt it for the US, right?
posted by Karaage at 2:35 PM on May 30, 2016

How does that thing mount? Is that the purpose of that third hole?
posted by werkzeuger at 5:52 PM on May 30, 2016

Yes. A bolt goes in there that first goes though a moon shaped plate. The sink flange gets clamped between the faucet body and the moon plate.
posted by Mitheral at 6:07 PM on May 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

Looks like you could sweat solder a modern soft copper lines cut from a used fixture in there.
since it is brass it would not be that hard. Otherwise it might take forever to find adapters.
The pressure reducer might be a good idea.
There are things like taking a chamfer tool and making the water outlet go from narrow to wide in a reverse cone shape,this would slow and widen the water stream as it emerges.
posted by boilermonster at 10:07 PM on May 30, 2016

and I ended up buying a set from another place that had both an aerator, mounting plate and the supply lines.

I think the next trick is finding the correct adapter.
posted by Karaage at 1:30 AM on June 1, 2016

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