Concept Design, Design Engineering, Prototyping & Test Procedures, Production Sourcing, Project Management.
Tap washers are disposable and require regular changing over time. While changing a tap washer it is often found that due to the constant pressure of the tap being screwed down, the tap washer compresses and expands past its desired diameter causing the tap washer to remain lodged in the valve cavity. This can be a problem as sometimes long nose pliers have problems with removal. The client wishes to develop a solution that can allow the repairer to easily remove the old tap washer every time.
The retrieval of the tap washer posed the biggest design issue for the Fix-A-Tap. It was originally proposed that the best method of retrieval would be a tweezer function with an appropriately shaped pair of tongs to engage with the tap washer piston. However in the concept development stages a new method of retrieval was found to be most effective. The design team created a device concept that included two components, a washer holding sleeve and a washer locking sleeve. When the holding sleeve of the Fix-A-Tap is pushed against the washer the holding portion expands to accommodate the washer diameter and helical ribs help to keep it in place. When the locking sleeve is pushed down, the inner wall of the sleeve compresses the expanded portion of the holding sleeve and maintains a clamping pressure that helps to pull out the washer from the tap.