My mother-in-law told me something a few year back and it has stuck with me as valuable advice. I, being the frugal, guilt-ridden, buyer’s remorse suffering human that I am, stress over making a purchase especially when it comes to clothes. I hate buying clothes! Her advice when considering a potential purchase is to think of the price per wear, or P.P.W. Her philosophy is that if you think that you will get a lot of mileage out of an item; break down the cost of the item into how often you think you will use it. If the P.P.W. is low, as in you will get a lot of use out of it, then it’s a no brainer. If the P.P.W. is kinda high then, maybe you can do without it and should spend your money elsewhere. I apply this kind of thought process to home projects too. If there is a design flaw in the layout of the kitchen or the floor plan doesn’t make sense, then I factor in what I like to call, C.O.S., or Cost Of Sanity. My kitchen faucet was one of those things that was costing me my sanity. It had a very high C.O.S. and I just decided that I was done with dealing with it. So off to Lowe’s we went and found a better fitting faucet and I am now all smiles. It really is the little things.
Before, the lever on my faucet actuated in a full 105-degree motion. This was problematic because the D.P.O., Dumb Previous Owner, didn’t leave enough space from the hole where the faucet mounted on the counter top to the backsplash so anytime I wanted to use the hot water the lever hit the backsplash.
It was slowly but surely wearing on my sanity. So we found this awesome sleek looking faucet from Home Depot where the lever actuated forward! Ah! Yes! Perfect!! We were so excited. We went home and installed it immediately.
- New faucet
- Adjustable wrench
- Screw driver
- A friend to help hold the faucet straight while you tighten. (helpful but optional)
- Plumbing tape…. just incase
- Advil for your back after you have been face up under cabinet for a while….
REMOVING THE OLD
Before you get started, make sure that you check to see how many holes are in your counter or sink for your faucet. Usually, there are between 1 and 3 holes for the faucet, a soap pump, and a sprayer. Make sure when shopping for your new faucet that the faucet you choose will fit the number of holes you have. It is not usually a problem if you have more holes than you need because most faucets come with a base plate option that will cover the other two holes.
Not every faucet is the same but in my experience a lot of them are similar. Most faucets will have a wide threaded pipe at the end of the faucet that fits into the hole, under the counter. There is also usually a plastic or metal washer that fits on the threaded pipe and fastens the faucet tight to the counter. To remove your old faucet, check under the counter and see what kind of faucet you have. For us, we turned off both the hot and cold water supply lines and disconnected them using an adjustable wrench. To be sure that your water is off before you disconnect the lines, I highly recommend that you turn on your faucet to check for water. It might be a good idea to have a bucket or a bunch of towels on hand just in case there is still water in the line when you disconnect it. You also want to make a note which water supply is your hot and which is cold. They are not always marked and this note will come in handy when you install your new faucet.
Then we just loosened the washer on the base of the faucet and gave it a good wiggle to loosen it from the counter. Once the washer was all the way off the pipe at the end of the faucet and all the water lines are disconnected we just pulled the faucet right out of the top of the counter. Not bad right? Congratulations, you just successfully removed your faucet!
INSTALLING THE NEW
Before you toss or donate all of the old parts, open up your new faucet box and make sure you aren’t missing any nuts or washers. A lot of the time these pieces can be interchangeable. We had a single hole sink so I will share with you how we installed ours. Every faucet should come with instructions so if in doubt go by what is provided.
First, check your faucet to see if there is a gasket or a seal that fits between the base of your faucet and the hole. This will ensure that all of the water will stay on the counter… soggy cabinets are never fun. Feed the seal over all of the water lines until you can place it at the base of the faucet.
Next, feed all of the water lines into the hole on the counter (or sink). Spin the faucet so that the brand name is centered in the front. This is where a friend is really helpful. Ask a friend to hold the faucet in place while you take the washer that was provided in your kit, feed all the water lines through and fasten the washer on the threaded pipe at the end of the faucet until it is as snug as you can get it to the underside of the counter. Some faucet companies include special tools to ensure that this washer gets nice and snug. Other companies include a washer that has screw holes on the left and right side of the washer where you can use screws to tighten the washer to the counter top and reinforces the faucet to ensures that it does not wiggle over time (see below).
Once your faucet is secure, move on to the water lines. Most of the time the water lines attached to the faucet are labeled which is hot and which is cold. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten the lines to the supply using the provided nuts.After both lines are tightened slowly turn your hot water back on. If there are leaks from the supply try to tighten the nut further. If that doesn’t help shut off your water, remove the line, and apply a ring or two of plumbing tape around the threaded spigot on the water supply. Reattach the line and try again. Providing there are no leaks or drips continue on to your cold water supply and repeat.
Once your lines are connected check to see that your faucet does in fact work and that you correctly matched the hot and the cold water supply lines……and you are done!!
When little things like a faucet make you think about how it functions every time you use it there is something wrong. Function should not be considered; function just is. It is so nice to no longer think about my kitchen faucet. It is seriously nice to just be able to use it and go about my day without taking chunks of my sanity.