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Title:
PLUMBING FIXTURES
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2017/103567
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A faucet has a valve (1) for mixing hot and cold water. The valve (1) has a hot side and a cold side, a first inlet (7) with an inlet adaptor (33) for connecting a first supply of water to one of the hot side and the cold side of the valve (1), and a second inlet (9) with an inlet adaptor (35) for connecting a second supply of water to the other of the hot side and the cold side of the valve (1). A method of installing such a faucet is also described.

Inventors:
JONES, Oliver (Cromwell RoadCheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5EP, GL52 5EP, GB)
BUMPSTEED, Austin (Cromwell RoadCheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5EP, GL52 5EP, GB)
Application Number:
GB2016/053807
Publication Date:
June 22, 2017
Filing Date:
December 02, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
KOHLER MIRA LIMITED (Cromwell Road, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL52 5EP, GL52 5EP, GB)
International Classes:
E03C1/04; F16K11/044; F16K27/02; G05D23/13
Domestic Patent References:
WO2002046853A12002-06-13
WO2010038036A12010-04-08
Foreign References:
DE3643528A11988-06-30
GB1441243A1976-06-30
GB2340210A2000-02-16
EP1672257A12006-06-21
JP2004036118A2004-02-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARKER BRETTELL LLP (100 Hagley Road, EdgbastonBirmingham, West Midlands B16 8QQ, B16 8QQ, GB)
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Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A faucet having a valve for mixing hot and cold water, the valve having a hot side and a cold side, a first inlet with an inlet adaptor for connec ting a first supply of water to one of the hot side and the cold side of the valve, and a second inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a second supply of water to the other of the hot side and the cold side of the valve.

2. The faucet of claim 1 wherein the inlet adaptors can be configured to selectively connect either the first inlet to the cold side and the second inlet to the hot side or the first inlet to the hot side and the second inlet to the cold side.

3. The faucet of claim 1 or claim 2 wherein each inlet communicates with both the hot side and cold side of the valve and the associated inlet adaptor is arranged to permit fluid flow to one side and to block fluid flow to the other side.

4. The faucet of any preceding claim wherein each inlet has an opening to the hot side and another opening to the cold side of the valve wherein one of the openings is closed by the inlet adaptor to block fluid flow to one side of the valve and the other opening is open to permit fluid flow to the other s ide of the valve.

5. The faucet according to claim 4 wherein the inlet adaptors comprise members that can be fitted in the inlet openings to block fluid flow.

6. The faucet of claim 5 wherein the members are configured so that only one member can be fitted in each inlet to close the opening to either the hot side or the cold side of the valve.

7. The faucet of claim 5 or claim 6 wherein two members are provided, one member being configured to close an opening to the cold side of the valve and the other member being configured to close an opening to the hot side of the valve.

8. The faucet of any of claims 5 to 7 wherein the members are distinguished by size and/or shape and/or colour.

9. The faucet of any of claims 5 to 8 wherein the openings and/or members are configured so that the member for closing an opening to the hot side of the valve cannot be installed in an opening to the cold side of the valve, and the member for closing an opening to the cold side of the valve cannot be installed in an opening to the hot side of the valve.

10. The faucet of any of claims 1 to 4 wherein the inlet adaptors comprise members having a first position in which fluid flow to the cold side of the valve is blocked and fluid flow to the hot side of the valve is permitted and a second position in which fluid flow to the cold side of the valve is permitted and fluid flow to the hot side of the valve is blocked.

1 1. The faucet of claim 10 wherein each inlet adaptor has a solid portion blocking fluid flow and an apertured portion permitting fluid flow.

12. The faucet of claim 10 or claim 1 1 wherein each inlet adaptor can be switched between the first and second positions for reversing the hot and cold water connections to the valve. 13. The faucet of claim 12 wherein each inlet includes an actuator for manually switching the associated inlet adaptor between the first and second positions.

14. The faucet of claim 13 wherein the inlet adaptors are rotatable between the first and second positions.

15. The faucet of claim 14 wherein the first and second positions correspond to rotation of the inlet adaptors through 180 degrees.

16. The faucet of any of claims 10 to 15 wherein each inlet includes a marker for providing a visual indication of the position of the associated inlet adaptor.

17. A method of installing a faucet having a valve for mixing hot and cold water, the method including the steps of providing a first inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a first supply of water to one of a hot side and a cold side of the valve, and a second inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a second supply of water to the other of the hot side and cold side of the valve, and configuring the inlet adaptors for connecting the hot and cold sides of the valve to the correct supplies.

Description:
PLUMBING FIXTURES

This invention relates to plumbing fixtures and particularly to faucets. The invention has particular, but not exclusive, application to mixer valves for shower systems.

A shower mixer valve has separate inlets for connection to supplies of hot and cold water and an outlet for connection to a shower head such as a handset or a spray head. When installing the valve, the pipework for the hot and cold supplies must be plumbed into position for connection to the inlets. It is an industry standard in the UK that the hot supply is on the left hand side and the cold supply is on the right hand side and shower mixer valves are configured with the inlets arranged accordingly for connection to the hot and cold supplies. A typical shower mixer valve comprises a valve body housing a cartridge designed to mix hot and cold water to provide outlet water having a desired temperature . The cartridge has hot and cold sides separated from one another for receiving hot and cold water from the inlets and this arrangement requires the inlets to be connected to the correct supplies. However, sometimes by mistake or other reason the arrangement of the pipework may be reversed so that the cold supply is on the left hand side and the hot supply is on the right hand side. If the valve is installed with the inlets connected to the wrong supplies, i.e. the cold inlet connected to the hot supply and the hot inlet connected to the cold supply, the valve may not function correctly and/or performance may be impaired.

One solution to the problem of installing the valve when the arrangement of the pipework is reversed from the industry standard is to provide the valve with two outlets, one on the top and another on the bottom of the valve body . This allows the installer to rotate the whole valve through 180 degrees to connect the inlets to the correct supplies and connect one of the outlets for supplying outlet water to a spray fitting such as a handset or spray head. With this arrangement the outlet that is not used is closed with a blanking plug. This is a relatively simple solution but is not aesthetically pleasing as the blanking plug is always visible. Another solution to the problem of installing the valve when the arrangement of the pipework is reversed from the industry standard is to remove the cartridge from the valve body, turn the cartridge through 180 degrees and re -insert the cartridge in the valve body to connect the inlets to the correct side of the cartridge. Such an arrangement is described in Applicants earlier UK Patent 2291693B. With this arrangement, when reversing the installed position of the cartridge, the installer has to adjust the stops on the cartridge so the valve has the same operation. This is a more aesthetically pleasing solution than the use of blanking plugs but requires a plumber or other skilled person to remove, adjust and replace the cartridge in the valve body.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a faucet having a valve for mixing hot and cold water, the valve having a hot side and a cold side, a first inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a first supply of water to one of the hot side and the cold side of the valve, and a second inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a second supply of water to the other of the hot side and the cold side of the valve.

The inlet adaptors allow the faucet to be configured with the inlet adaptors either connecting the first inlet to the cold side and the second inlet to the hot side or connecting the first inlet to the hot side and the second inlet to the cold side. In this way, the inlets can be configured for connecting a supply of cold water to the cold side of the valve or a supply of hot water to the hot side of the valve for connecting the hot and cold sides of the valve to the correct supply of hot and cold water by means of the inlet adaptors.

It may be that each inlet communicates with both the hot side and cold side of the valve and the associated inlet adaptor is arranged to permit fluid flow to one side and to block fluid flow to the other side.

It may be that each inlet has an opening to the hot side and another opening to the cold side of the valve wherein one of the openings is closed by the inlet adaptor to block fluid flow to one side of the valve and the other opening is open to permit fluid flow to the other side of the valve. In one arrangement, the inlet adaptors comprise members that can be fitted in the inlet openings to block fluid flow. It may be that the members are configured so that only one member can be fitted in each inlet to close the opening to either the hot side or the cold side of the valve. In this way the faucet cannot be installed with both openings associated with an inlet closed to prevent fluid flow to both the hot and cold sides of the valve.

It may be that two members are provided, one member being configured to close an opening to the cold side of the valve and the other member being configured to close an opening to the hot side of the valve. The members may be distinguished by size and/or shape and/or colour. In this way, the member for closing an opening to the cold side of the valve can be installed in one of the inlets and the member for closing an opening to the hot side of the valve can be installed in the other inlet and the installation of the members can be reversed to configure the inlets according to whether the supply of water connected to the inlet is hot water or cold water.

It may be that, the openings and/or members are configured so that the member for closing an opening to the hot side of the valve cannot be installed in an opening to the cold side of the valve, and the member for closing an opening to the cold side of the valve cannot be installed in an opening to the hot side of the valve. In this way the faucet cannot be installed with openings to the same side of the valve blocked.

In another arrangement, the inlet adaptors comprise members having a first position in which fluid flow to the cold side of the valve is blocked and fluid flow to the hot side of the valve is permitted and a second position in which fluid flow to the cold side of the valve is permitted and fluid flow to the hot side of the valve is blocked. In this way, the one inlet provides fluid flow to the cold side of the valve when the associated inlet adaptor is in the second position and the other inlet provides fluid flow to the hot side of the valve when the associated inlet adaptor is in the first position. It may be that each inlet adaptor has a solid portion blocking fluid flow and an apertured portion permitting fluid flow. It may be that the apertured portion comprises one or more apertures. It may be that in the first position, the solid portion blocks the opening to the cold side of the valve and the apertured portion aligns with the opening to the hot side of the valve. It may be that in the second position, the solid portion blocks the opening to the hot side of the valve and the apertured portion aligns with the opening to the cold side of the valve.

It may be that each inlet adaptor can be switched between the first and second positions for reversing the hot and cold water connections to the valve. It may be that each inlet includes an actuator for manually switching the associated inlet adaptor between the first and second positions. It may be that the inlet adaptors are rotatable between the first and second positions. It may be that the first and second positions correspond to rotation of the inlet adaptors through 180 degrees. It may be that each inlet includes a marker for providing a visual indication of the position of the associated inlet adaptor.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of installing a faucet having a valve for mixing hot and cold water, the method including the steps of providing a first inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a first supply of water to one of a hot side and a cold side of the valve, and a second inlet with an inlet adaptor for connecting a second supply of water to the other of the hot side and cold side of the valve, and configuring the inlet adaptors for connecting the hot and cold sides of the valve to the correct supplies.

The inlet adaptors allow the faucet to be configured with the inlet adaptors arranged either for connecting the first inlet to the cold side and the second inlet to the hot side or for connecting the first inlet to the hot side and the second inlet to the cold side. In this way, the inlets can be reversed for connecting the hot and cold sides of the valve to the correct supply by setting the inlet adaptors according to whether the incoming supplies are hot or cold water .

The inlet adaptors may comprise any of the features of the first aspect of the invention. The invention will now be described in more detail by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings wherein: Figure 1 is a sectional view of a valve assembly according to the invention with the inlet adaptors in a first configuration;

Figure 2 is a perspective view from one side of the valve body shown in Figure 1 ; Figure 3 is a sectional view, similar to Figure 1 , with the inlet adaptors in a second configuration;

Figure 4 is a perspective view from one side of the valve body shown in Figure 3 ; Figure 5 is a perspective view of a shower mixer valve;

Figure 6 is a sectional view of a modification to the valve assembly shown in Figures 1 to 4; Figure 7 is a perspective view from one side showing a modification to the valve assembly of figures 1 to 4;

Figure 8 is a perspective view from the other side of the modification of Figure 7; and

Figures 9 and 10 are perspective views showing the relationship between the inlet adaptors.

Referring first to Figures 1 to 4, a valve assembly 1 is shown having a valve cartridge body 3 and a valve cartridge 5 received in the valve cartridge body 3. The valve cartridge body 3 has inlets 7, 9 for connection to supplies of hot and cold water and an outlet 1 1 for connection to a supply fitting such as shower spray head or shower handset. The supplies of hot and cold water flow from the inlets 7, 9 through the valve cartridge 5 to the outlet 1 1. Within the valve cartridge 5, the supplies of hot and cold water can be mixed to provide a source of blended water at the outlet 1 1 having a desired temperature according to user selection. The valve cartridge 5 may comprise a shuttle valve having a valve member movable between hot and cold seats to control the relative proportions of hot and cold water admitted to a mixing chamber where the water is mixed to provide the user selected temperature at the outlet 1 1. The valve cartridge 5 may be arranged to allow the user to select outlet water temperature from full cold through to full hot.

The valve cartridge 5 may be thermostatic with a sensor 13, for example a thermostat, for monitoring the water temperature in the mixing chamber, and the shuttle valve may be responsive to a detected change in outlet water temperature from that selected, for example due to changes in the temperature and/or pressure of one or both inlet supplies, to adjust the relative proportions of hot and cold water to return the outlet water temperature to that selected by the user. In other embodiments, the valve cartridge 5 may be non-thermostatic.

The valve cartridge 5 may be a push fit in the valve cartridge body 3 through an opening 15 at one end of the valve cartridge body 3. The valve cartridge body 3 has an internal bore 17 leading from the opening 15 to the other end of the valve cartridge body 3. The internal bore 17 is closed at the other end of the valve cartridge body 3 by an end cap 19. In other embodiments (not shown), the end cap 19 may be omitted and the internal bore 17 closed by an end wall integral with the valve cartridge body 3.

The internal bore 17 is provided with three axially spaced annular sealing faces 21 , 23, 25 and the valve cartridge 5 is provided with three axially spaced annular sealing members 27, 29, 31 such as O-rings that are engageable with the sealing faces 21 , 23 , 25 respectively.

The sealing faces 21 , 23 , 25 are arranged coaxially and reduce in diameter in the direction of insertion of the valve cartridge 5 from the sealing face 21 to the sealing face 25. The sealing members 27, 29, 31 are also arranged coaxially and reduce in diameter in the direction of insertion of the valve cartridge 5 from the sealing member 27 to the sealing member 31.

The progressive change in diameter of the sealing faces 21 , 23, 25 within the internal bore 17 and sealing members 27, 29, 31 on the valve cartridge 5 may be advantageous when inserting the valve cartridge 5 into the valve cartridge body 3 and/or removing the valve cartridge 5 from the valve cartridge body 3. Thus the force to insert/remove the valve cartridge 5 may be reduced and/or damage to the sealing members 27, 29 , 31 may be avoided. In other embodiments, the sealing faces 21 , 23, 25 and sealing members 27, 29 , 31 may be of the same diameter.

The valve cartridge 5 has a hot side for connection to the incoming supply of hot water and a cold side for connection to the incoming supply of cold water. The hot side and cold side are separated by engagement of the sealing member 29 with the sealing face 23. In this embodiment, the cold side is positioned in the area between the sealing member 27 and the sealing member 29, and the hot side is positioned in the area between the sealing member 29 and the sealing member 31. The hot side and cold side may be reversed in other embodiments. Each inlet 7, 9 is provided with an inlet adaptor member 33, 35 respectively by means of which each inlet 7, 9 can selectively communicate with the hot side or the cold side of the valve cartridge 5. The inlet adaptor members 33, 35 allow the valve assembly 1 to be configured either with inlet 7 designated the "cold" inlet and inlet 9 designated the "hot" inlet or with inlet 9 designated the "cold" inlet and inlet 7 designated the "hot" inlet. In this way the hot and cold designation of each inlet 7, 9 can be switched to match the orientation of the incoming supplies of hot and cold water without changing the installed orientation of the valve assembly 1.

A first configuration of the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 is shown in Figures 1 and 2 with the inlet 7 configured as the "cold" inlet for connection to the cold supply and the inlet 9 configured as the "hot" inlet for connection to the hot supply. A second configuration of the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 is shown in Figures 3 and 4 with the inlet 7 configured as the "hot" inlet for connection to the hot supply and the inlet 9 configured as the "cold" inlet for connection to the cold supply. In the first configuration (Figures 1 and 2), the inlet adaptor member 33 configures the inlet 7 to connect the cold side of the valve cartridge 5 to the incoming supply of cold water through one or more apertures 33a in the inlet adaptor member 33 and blocks flow of cold water to the hot side of the valve cartridge 5, and the inlet adaptor member 35 configures the inlet 9 to connect the hot side of the valve cartridge 5 to the incoming supply of hot water through one or more apertures 35a in the inlet adaptor member 35 and blocks flow of hot water to the cold side of the valve cartridge 5.

In the second configuration (Figures 3 and 4), the inlet adaptor member 33 configures the inlet 7 to connect the hot side of the valve cartridge 5 to the incoming supply of hot water through the one or more apertures 33a and blocks flow of hot water to the cold side of the valve cartridge 5, and the inlet adaptor member 35 configures the inlet 9 to connect the cold side of the valve cartridge 5 to the incoming supply of cold water through the one or more apertures 35 a and blocks flow of cold water to the hot side of the valve cartridge 5.

In this embodiment, the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 are annular and are received in annular openings 37, 39 respectively in the valve cartridge body 3. Each opening 37, 39 is in communication with the hot and cold sides of the valve cartridge 5 on opposite sides of the sealing member 29. A portion of each adaptor member 33, 35 is solid and another portion is provided with one or more apertures 33a, 35a. In this embodiment, each portion comprises one half of the adaptor member 33, 35.

When the adaptor members 33, 35 are arranged in the associated openings 37, 39 in the valve cartridge body 5 in the first configuration (Figures 1 and 2) , the apertured portion of the adaptor member 33 connects the cold side of the valve cartridge 5 to the inlet 7 and the solid portion isolates the hot side from the inlet 7, and the apertured portion of the adaptor member 35 connects the hot side of the valve cartridge 5 to the inlet 9 and the solid portion isolates the cold side from the inlet The configuration of the adaptor members 33, 35 can be reversed to switch the connections so that when the adaptor members 33, 35 are arranged in the associated openings 37, 39 in the valve cartridge body 5 in the second configuration (Figures 3 and 4), the apertured portion of the adaptor member 33 connects the hot side of the valve cartridge 5 to the inlet 7 and the solid portion isolates the cold side from the inlet 7, and the apertured portion of the adaptor member 35 connects the cold side of the valve cartridge 5 to the inlet 9 and the solid portion isolates the hot side from the inlet 9. The adaptor members 33, 35 and openings 37, 39 may be provided with means to locate the adaptor members 33, 35 in each configuration. For example, markings that are aligned to provide a visual indication when the adaptor members 33, 35 are correctly positioned and/or formations that engage to provide a physical indication when the adaptor members 33, 35 are correctly positioned. In this way installation of one or both adaptor members 33, 35 with the apertured portion communicating with both sides of the valve cartridge 5 can be prevented.

Referring now to Figure 5, a shower mixer valve 101 is shown having a cylindrical body 103 with inlet elbow connectors 105 , 107 on each side for connection to supply pipes for hot and cold water. An outlet (not shown) for temperature controlled water is provided on the underside of the body 103 , and a rotatable control knob 109 is arranged at the front end of the body 103 for user selection of outlet water temperature. The shower mixer valve 101 may be provided with the valve assembly 1 of Figures 1 to 4 received in the valve body 103 and the inlet adaptors 33, 35 configured for installing the mixer valve 101 with the inlet elbow connector 105 connected to the supply pipe for cold water and the inlet elbow connector 107 connected to the supply pipe for hot water.

If, however, the supply pipes are reversed, the installer can remove the valve assembly 1 from the valve body 103, remove and re-fit the inlet adaptors 33, 35 in the inlets 7, 9 with the inlet adaptors 33, 35 configured for connecting the inlet elbow connector 105 to the supply pipe for hot water and the inlet elbow connector 107 to the supply pipe for cold water. The installer can then re-fit the valve assembly 1 in the valve body 103 so that the inlet elbow connectors 105, 107 can be connected to the supply pipes without changing the installed orientation of the shower mixer valve 101.

It will be understood that the invention is not limited to shower mixer valves of the type shown in Figure 5 and that the invention may be employed in any shower mixer valve where the valve is connected to supplies of hot and cold water. In the embodiment shown in Figures 1 to 4, the installer has to remove and re-fit the valve assembly 1 when it is required to changeover the inlets 7, 9 from inlet 7 being the cold inlet and inlet 9 being the hot inlet to inlet 7 being the hot inlet and inlet 9 being the cold inlet and vice versa. Figure 6 shows a modification that allows the installer to changeover the inlets 7, 9 without removing the valve assembly 1 from the valve body 103. Like reference numerals are used in Figure 6 to indicate parts that are the same or similar to the parts shown in Figures 1 to 5 In the modification of Figure 6, incoming supplies of hot and cold water are connected to inlet elbow connectors 105 (one only shown). Each connector 105 is similar and the following description of the connector 105 associated with the inlet adaptor member 33 will be understood to apply to the other connector associated with the inlet adaptor member 35. The inlet elbow connector 105 has an internal actuator member 1 13 that is operatively connected to the inlet adaptor member 33. For example the actuator member 1 13 may have a drive formation 1 13a, for example a projection such as a rib, and the inlet adaptor member 33 may have a coupling formation 33b, for example a recess such as a groove, engaged by the drive formation. The inlet adaptor member 33 may be rotated between the first and second positions by removing a detachable end cap (not shown) and inserting a tool into the open end 1 15 of the inlet elbow connector 105 to operate the actuator member 1 13. End stops may be provided to limit rotation of the actuator member 1 13 and define the first and second positions of the inlet adaptor member 33. Markers may be provided to indicate the configuration of the inlet 7 in each end position of the adaptor member 33. For example the end positions may be designated hot or cold by any suitable means such as by colour, for example red for hot and blue for cold and/or by one or more letters, for example "H" for hot and "C" for cold. The other inlet elbow connector has a similar arrangement for rotating the inlet adaptor member 35. In this embodiment, the internal actuator member 1 13 is a chassis or sleeve but may take different forms in other embodiments. For example the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 could be mounted in an housing and rotated with a screw driver or other suitable tool. In this embodiment, the angular spacing between the end positions of the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 is 180 degrees. This may not be essential and in other embodiments the angular spacing may be more than or less than 180 degrees.

Referring now to Figures 7 to 10, a modification of the valve assembly 1 is shown in which like reference numerals in the series are used to indicate corresponding parts.

In this modification, the valve cartridge body 3 receives a valve cartridge (not shown) as described above and has inlets 7, 9 for connection to supplies of hot and cold water and an outlet 1 1 for connection to a supply fitting such as a shower spray head or shower handset.

Each inlet 7, 9 has two openings or ports 7a, 7b, 9a, 9b which, in this embodiment are of elliptical shape although this is not essential and the openings 7a, 7b , 9a, 9b may have other shapes. The openings 7a, 9a open to the cold side of the valve cartridge and the openings 7b, 9b open to the hot side of the valve cartridge.

The inlets 7, 9 are provided with inlet adaptor members 33, 35 by means of which the inlets 7, 9 can be configured to communicate with the hot side or the cold side of the valve cartridge 5.

Figure 7 shows the inlet 7 configured for connection to the hot side of the valve cartridge through opening 7b by closing opening 7a with the inlet adaptor member 33 and Figure 8 shows the inlet 9 configured for connection to the cold side through opening 9a by closing the opening 9b with the inlet adaptor member 35. The inlet adaptor members 33, 35 which may take the form of plugs, bungs or the like can be reversed or switched to configure the inlet 7 for connection to the cold side of the valve cartridge through opening 7a by closing opening 7b with the inlet adaptor member 35 and the inlet 9 for connection to the hot side through opening 9b by closing the opening 9a with the inlet adaptor member 33.

As shown in Figures 7 and 8, the size and shape of the inlets 7, 9 and the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 is preferably such that the adaptor member 33 can only be fitted in the openings 7a or 9a and the adaptor member 35 can only be fitted in the openings 7b or 9b. This prevents the faucet being assembled with both inlets configured to block flow to the same side of the valve cartridge.

As shown in Figure 9, the size and shape of the inlet adaptor members is preferably such that, when the adaptor member 33 is fitted in the opening 7a of inlet 7, the adaptor member 35 cannot be fitted in the opening 7b. Similarly, as shown in Figure 10, the size and shape of the inlet adaptor members is preferably such that, when the adaptor member 35 is fitted in the opening 9b of inlet 9, the adaptor member 33 cannot be fitted in the opening 9a. This prevents the faucet being assembled with both adaptors fitted in the same inlet.

As will be appreciated, the inlet adaptors 33, 35 allow the valve assembly 1 to be configured either with inlet 7 designated the "cold" inlet and inlet 9 designated the "hot" inlet or with inlet 9 designated the "cold" inlet and inlet 7 designated the "hot" inlet. In this way the hot and cold designation of each inlet 7, 9 can be switched to match the orientation of the incoming supplies of hot and cold water without changing the installed orientation of the valve assembly 1.

In the embodiments described, the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 may be made of any suitable material. In some embodiments, the inlet adaptor members 33, 35 may provide a sealing function and may comprise an elastomeric material which may be over-moulded on a support to provide greater strength and/or location features. In the embodiments described the valve cartridge 5 is received in the valve cartridge body 3 that is received in the valve body 103. This may not be essential and in other embodiments the valve cartridge body 3 may be omitted and the valve cartridge 5 received in the valve body 103.

Although the invention has been described in the exemplary embodiments with reference to shower mixer valves, it will be understood that the invention has wider application to any faucet for mixing two fluids.




 
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