Saturday, June 22, 2013

Changing out a Kitchen Faucet: Fun!

A leaky faucet is annoying. It's even more annoying when it's been repaired multiple times and just starts leaking again. And we are not talking about leaking out the tap into the sink. This gem was a kitchen faucet that leaked under the cabinet and regularly created pools there. After more than five years, we finally decided to change it out despite the fact that it was still in warranty.

Didn't and Still Don't Know What I'm Doing

Having never changed a faucet out before, I was under the impression that it was a very difficult process with many special tools needed -- I think I was wrong?

Note that this was likely made simpler because all the holes were predrilled and the previous model was installed relatively recently. Thank goodness for the standardization of dimensions for many products. A single handle outlet would have been easier, but we got an older style faucet with both a cold and hot water outlet, which meant more holes. To avoid having empty holes in our sink, we bought another faucet with separate handles.

Removal Nightmare

The most difficult part of the entire process was removing the old faucet. Part of the blame was that we couldn't get a good handle on the nuts attaching the flexible water supply pipes to the faucet. It was a very tight space behind the sink basin. Oh, and did I mention that we didn't know what we were doing and weren't that proficient with tools? Possible didn't even have the right ones?

Luckily, someone bought a new Basin Wrench that was supposed to help. Having never used one, you can guess how that went. An hour or two and half a dozen wrenches later, we finally use the basin wrench and got both water supply nuts off. On to the plastic screw-in fitting used to secure the faucet to the counter. Those took another hour or two because they didn't fit any tool I knew of. It looked like they were supposed to be screwed on by hand, which the person who installed the faucet probably didn't do. Time and swelling of the fiberboard counter from the leak probably didn't help either.

Finally removing the faucet with all nuts and mechanical attachments involved tearing it off. It was still a bit stuck due to the silicone used around the faucet.

Installation Fun

Like I mentioned earlier: thank goodness for standardized dimensions. The three holes required for the new faucet lined up almost perfectly with the old ones. We slid it in, screwed the nuts back in, added some silicone, and that was that. Seriously?


As far as we know, the faucet is properly installed. What really surprised me was that it probably could have been done in less than an hour if we didn't have so much trouble getting to the nuts. Wonder what it'll be like if I ever have to put a new kitchen faucet in without any predrilled holes.