REPLACEMENT TAP PROBLEM

Sep 19, 2021
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Last September we purchased a sterling eccles sport 2014 ,from a caravan dealer, we used it for one weekend .
we closed it up after that and may not have drained it properly.
In February we attempted to start everything up to use it and found the digital side had failed.
we took the caravan to the dealer in June , the screen was replaced at cost of £500 which was the limit on the insurance warranty we were sold at point of purchase, we were also informed at this time that the kitchen tap was now leaking due to frost damage which we will need to pay for, and no replacements are available. we are finding it hard to believe that only one model of tap will fit this model of caravan, does anyone offer any thoughts or guidance please.
 
Jan 31, 2018
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Should be asimple ceramic cartridge replacement-somewhere on the tap will be a hot/cold blob that covers a grubscrew-undo grub screw prise off tap handle-remover and replace ceramic cartidge-easy fix assuming your tap is one of these=and most are. Get the number off the cartridge to ensure you get an exact replacement. You really shouldn't need a new tap.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Whether the cartridge sorts a frost leaking tap depends on what part is "leaking".
Frost has the ability to readily crack the body and if that has happened, changing the cartridge will be no solution.

On a more positive note, I have very little doubt there are alternative replacement taps that could be used.
Photos of the tap, including one taken from up under the counter showing the fixing would be helpful here for members to give you better targeted guidance.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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Swift has a habit of using taps with integral tails of a specified length, with a rigid ends for connection to tee connectors. The tails are crimped into the tap so you cannot replace the tap unless you also install new tails. The tails are connected to tee connectors, which should be replaced as they are likely to leak. The tee connections are usually behind the oven, so that has to be taken out for access. Gas has to be disconnected/connected, and tested.
How do I know? Because I found out the hard way on our 2016 Swift. By the way, I fitted standard domestic taps from Screwfix.
 
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Jan 31, 2018
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Whether the cartridge sorts a frost leaking tap depends on what part is "leaking".
Frost has the ability to readily crack the body and if that has happened, changing the cartridge will be no solution.

On a more positive note, I have very little doubt there are alternative replacement taps that could be used.
Photos of the tap, including one taken from up under the counter showing the fixing would be helpful here for members to give you better targeted guidance.
It does but the cartridge is plastic and most prone to breaking since that is where the water is-not in the metal body-we've had them go because of our stupidity/forgetfulness and it has always been the plastic cartridge
 
Sep 19, 2021
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cheers all for your input. especially ERN. specific configuration of tails etc perhaps may be the reason the dealers service department cannot obtain a replacement tap. Will visit storage soon to see what else can be done tho I'm sure if it was a simple fix the service dept would have dealt with this months ago.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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I'm absolutely certain you should be able to replace the tap, but it might need some additional plumbing to overcome the caravan manufacturers assembly process.
 
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Sep 19, 2021
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It appears we cannot alter the plumbing to fit a different tap. Modifications invalidate the insurance backed warranty.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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It appears we cannot alter the plumbing to fit a different tap. Modifications invalidate the insurance backed warranty.
If you had reached the limit of the warranty with the £500 "screen", what does "invalidating it" matter?
If not, then that's the dealer's problem to get around, unless there are T&C clauses to get them off the hook if an item is no longer available.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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If you had reached the limit of the warranty with the £500 "screen", what does "invalidating it" matter?
If not, then that's the dealer's problem to get around, unless there are T&C clauses to get them off the hook if an item is no longer available.
It is often the limit of an individual claim.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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It is often the limit of an individual claim.
Yes, as I expected hence the second sentence, it will be the dealer's problem how they get round repairing or replacing the tap issue.

There are on many fronts the probability components for a 7 year old caravan are not going to be available, thus so called "modifications" commonplace.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Yes, as I expected hence the second sentence, it will be the dealer's problem how they get round repairing or replacing the tap issue.

There are on many fronts the probability components for a 7 year old caravan are not going to be available, thus so called "modifications" commonplace.
t
The elephant in the room in this case is proving that frost hasn’t damaged the tap.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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t
The elephant in the room in this case is proving that frost hasn’t damaged the tap.
Point taken, though it has already been stated the tap was frost damaged, which as there was a winter between the sale and raising the issue rather implicates the owner.
They will have to take it on the chin the new tap and its installation will obviously fall outside the warranty, but not anything else unrelated to it.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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This sounds like many issues we have experienced with caravans - you want it sorted promptly, but the dealer wants to b about arguing the toss. We know caravan industry is dreadful for quality and service, but I think life's too short and just get it fixed my own way. I fitted a nice pair of matching domestic taps from Screwfix at minimal cost. Cheap Chinese ones made of brass with real chromium plating, because I can't afford the German branded plastic ones with pretend plastic chrome! Our cheapo taps will be easily replaced if they go wrong, because I have plumbed them in properly. It was a bit of work to do, but history now.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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This sounds like many issues we have experienced with caravans - you want it sorted promptly, but the dealer wants to b about arguing the toss. We know caravan industry is dreadful for quality and service, but I think life's too short and just get it fixed my own way. I fitted a nice pair of matching domestic taps from Screwfix at minimal cost. Cheap Chinese ones made of brass with real chromium plating, because I can't afford the German branded plastic ones with pretend plastic chrome! Our cheapo taps will be easily replaced if they go wrong, because I have plumbed them in properly. It was a bit of work to do, but history now.
It’s a difficult one as the caravan bought in September and taken to the dealer the following June. That’s right through winter and didn’t we have frosts on a large number of nights during April too. So frost damage as said by the OP/dealership could be the reason for the leaking tap. It would have been nice if the dealer had offered a part shared cost to replace it. But they were within their rights not to carry out the repair. But the suggestion to fit a domestic tap is by far the best way of moving forwards.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It appears we cannot alter the plumbing to fit a different tap. Modifications invalidate the insurance backed warranty.
OK Susi , If i'm reading this correctly, what you are telling us is that the insurance/warranty company is saying if you modify the caravan by fitting a new tap they will withdraw their policy cover, but without the tap replacement you are unable to use the caravan, so what point is the insurance?

If that is indeed the case, then I think you would have a good reason to take the company to ombudsman and that would seem to be a wholly unreasonable position for them to take.

I think it should be reasonable to allow repairs provided they have been done correctly and in accordance with any manufacturers instructions, and lawful regulations, as it should actually decrease the risk of future damage.

I suspect you have not fully understood the policies limitations,. and I suggest you get the insurers to spell out what their position actually is on replacing the taps and any associated pipework.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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OK Susi , If i'm reading this correctly, what you are telling us is that the insurance/warranty company is saying if you modify the caravan by fitting a new tap they will withdraw their policy cover, but without the tap replacement you are unable to use the caravan, so what point is the insurance?

If that is indeed the case, then I think you would have a good reason to take the company to ombudsman and that would seem to be a wholly unreasonable position for them to take.

I think it should be reasonable to allow repairs provided they have been done correctly and in accordance with any manufacturers instructions, and lawful regulations, as it should actually decrease the risk of future damage.

I suspect you have not fully understood the policies limitations,. and I suggest you get the insurers to spell out what their position actually is on replacing the taps and any associated pipework.
I agree that it would be unreasonable for the insurer to withdraw all cover if a change were made to the tap and it’s immediate pipework. But it may withdraw cover in that “ area” if it felt that any changes changed its risk. But is it the insurer saying this, or the dealership? It’s not clear from the thread. However I am surprised that the dealership haven’t agreed to fit a different ( domestic) tap to resolve the OPs problem, albeit the OP may have to pay if an agreement cannot be reached on the issue of potential frost damage being the cause.
 

Ern

May 23, 2021
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I interpret the statement to mean that you can not MODIFY the caravan. Fitting a replacement tap is not a modification, so a tap of the original spec' would not invalidate the insurance.
Fitting a tap of different spec which requires a modification to the plumbing is not acceptable to the insurer. An insurance backed warranty policy is quite likely to include that clause, and I don't think it's unreasonable.
I would go ahead and do what I want, as a claim related to my modification would not be made by me.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I interpret the statement to mean that you can not MODIFY the caravan. Fitting a replacement tap is not a modification, so a tap of the original spec' would not invalidate the insurance.
Fitting a tap of different spec which requires a modification to the plumbing is not acceptable to the insurer. An insurance backed warranty policy is quite likely to include that clause, and I don't think it's unreasonable.
I would go ahead and do what I want, as a claim related to my modification would not be made by me.
However they would have a very hard time if the claim was unrelated to the tap being replaced and they refused the warranty claim for a fault somewhere else in the caravan.
 
Jun 20, 2005
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If the limit per claim is £500 and we do not know the extent of cover what is there to worry about? Me, I’d get a Screwfix replacement and diy it for less than £30 in the knowledge the job has been done properly. Who would ever know??
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The OP needs to discuss the matter with the insurance company to establish if or how fitting a modified tap is going to affect the insurers liability.

I do not see how we are in a position offer any other advice.
 
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JTQ

May 7, 2005
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The more pragmatic solution to get some use from the van is just change out the tap, accepting any direct issues for that you take on the chin.
As it is frost damage flagged up after a winter from purchasing, any costs are going to be down to the owner; full stop.

Should a non-related claim need to be made on the warranty, and the warranty underwriters play silly, just take it to an ombudsman or the small claims court, if the cost and hassle warrants it.

And ensure the system is well drained for this coming winter. That a tap went from frost suggests no attempt was made to drain them, as taps drain first when draining them down.
 
May 7, 2012
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I do agree. In practice the warranty would not cover anything to do with the fitting of a none standard tap but should not be relevant to anything else. You simply cannot continue to use a caravan with a faulty tap so it has to be repaired.
 

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