Monday, January 08, 2007

Faucet Replacement

Our existing kitchen faucet was the original from when the house was built. And though it is not particularly old as faucets go, it had developed a nasty tendency to leak water all over the place if you weren't careful with the relative position of the handle and the spout. The garbage disposal was also problematic, in that it leaked a bit when it was actually used (which is rarely).

So, when we got some joint Christmas money from our grandparents, Linzy and I decided to put some of it towards a new faucet and disposal. Yesterday, fresh off my crushing Risk defeat I decided to try my hand at replacing them.

Here you can see the old faucet with its stylish calcium stains.

The amount of tools I bring to work on a project is usually inversely proportional to how much I know about what I am doing. In this case it turned out that I knew exactly what I was doing, and was just trying to avoid having water spraying everywhere while the Right Tool was down in the basement.

The mounting ring from the old garbage disposal. Yuck.

The washer and nut from the underside of one of the faucet posts. Clearly the gasket under the faucet had outlived its usefulness.

My main concern with this whole project was what the area of the sink would look like when I took off the old faucet, since the new one was a different design. Thus parts of the sink that had not seen the light of day in 10 years would be exposed.

A bunch of CLR and 30 minutes of elbow grease got things looking better.

The faucet almost completely installed.

The moment of truth, for the faucet at least. I have to admit I had a towel nearby, just in case something decided to be angry. As it turned out, everything worked perfectly.

The garbage disposal instructions insisted the drain ring required a 3/4 inch rope of plumbers putty. Not so much. By the time everything was in place 99% of that putty had squished out.

Getting the stupid disposal locked onto the mounting bracket was the worst part of the entire job. [ Incidentally, the disposal is much more level then this picture makes it appear. ]

I only really ended up needing screwdrivers, wrenches and sockets to do everything. All the rest of the tools were just there for show.

On the left, the overpriced "Basin Wrench" which I bought specifically for this job. Except that it was more or less useless for loosening calcified nuts or doing much of anything. My improvised deep socket+extension arm was a million times better.

All in all the job turned out to be a lot less troublesome then I expected. The new faucet is great and you can hardly even notice the stain from the previous faucet once all the pieces of the new faucet were installed.

It took a bit longer then I was expecting (about 4 hours start to finish) but it wasn't an unreasonable job for one person on an afternoon. Any plumbing story that doesn't end with buckets being required is a success in my book.


McBrideFarm said...

"Do do do do do...nothing going on here...Where do we keep our buckets? do do do do...How many buckets do we have?"

Good job with the plumbing. Way to NOT pull a Calvin. :)

wleino said...

I've replaced faucet or two in my day and it is always much harder than I anticipate.

The new one looks very classy.

Isn't is suprising how expensive faucets are?

Steve Eck said...

Sarah, when I was telling Dad about my plans for replacing the sink, we both thought of that same Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. Clearly we all think too much alike. :)

Bill, I was indeed surprised at how expensive faucets are. The worst was the $50 premium they charge for nickel-finish versus shiny chrome. That was a blatent ripoff just to avoid having an ultra-shiny chrome faucet with our dulled old sink.