Thursday, May 20, 2010

Never Take Running Water for Granted, Part 2: Faucet Installation

Once you have your old sink outta there, you are ready to prepare your new sink for installation. Or, maybe like us, you spend six weeks building new countertops before you are ready to move to this step. Or maybe after your *wonderful* experience dissembling the old faucet and drain, you and your best friend plumbing need to take a little "break". Take all the time you need, we won't judge.

But, when you are ready to mount that shiny new sink in your countertop, be sure to install the faucet into the sink before you permanently bolt your sink into the countertop. Any assembly you can do before you drop the new sink into your countertop and secure it down is a blessing!! Why you ask? Because working on a wide, open, carpeted floor involves much, much less pain, mumbling, and cursing than working in the cabinet under the sink!!

Before we get to the nitty-gritty on faucet installation, let's address another important area: choosing a faucet. Choosing a faucet can be a daunting task, as there are many styles, features, and price levels available on the market today. My approach was to (men listen closely) let my wife choose the new faucet! This was a *very* important step in the faucet installation process, and should be for any husband. You can either be right or happy, end of story :-)

But seriously, Chelsea did a great job picking out the faucet and you can read up on it here.

Lay your new sink out where you have room to work. Instructions will vary by and will come with your sink, so follow them. Mounting the faucet into the sink wasn't too difficult. Depending on you sink, you will have 3 or 4 holes. These are traditionally used for soap pumps, handles or knobs to control your hot/cold water valves, hand sprayers, and the faucet itself. Our faucet needed three holes, one for the soap pump, one for the faucet, and one for the handle that controls the valves. We purchased a 4 hole sink, so the 4th hole was filled with a stainless steel cap that you can find at Lowes for $3-5.

Once your faucet assembly is mounted to the sink, you can drop the sink into your opening. You will want to mount and secure you sink into the countertop before making any plumbing connections, but I'll talk about that in Part 3.

Now you are ready to do the scary part: hook up the water supply! Using your faucet instructions as a guide, connect your cold water supply to the proper inlet on your faucet using a short, flexible hose. The hoses we used could be hand tightened, which was nice because it would have been hard to fit a wrench up behind the sink once it was bolted into the countertop! Do the same with your hot water supply. You are ready to turn the valves on, one at a time.

This is another great time to have your plumbing assistant ready to sprint to the basement and shut off the main supply to the house, just in case disaster strikes.

Chelsea had a great suggestion at this point (courtesy of Young House Love): You can wrap a dry paper towel around your plumbing connections as you turn the water supply on to assess for little leaks. If your towel soaks up some water, you know you've got a leak. Pretty Handy!

And I had to one up her. I found a much easier way to find a leak at your connection. As you turn your valve on, you know you have a leak if you are sprayed in the face with a blinding, gushing geyser! Let me tell you, a jet of water spraying straight into your eyeballs is a quick and effective way to know you've got a leak!

Moral of the story: if you are replacing your faucet, splurge a little and spend a few bucks to replace the supply hoses. It's totally worth it. With new supply hoses and a little plumbers tape wrapped around the threading at the connections, we had a fully hot and cold running water faucet in our kitchen! How luxurious! We repeated the paper towel test (over and over and over again like paranoid people) and had no leaks! Hooray!

Oh yeah, don't forget the bucket. The one under the faucet. You don't have a drain connected yet ;-)

What about you guys, do you have any faucet stories? Planning on starting this project soon? Any tricks or advice?

NextPart 3 - Carving a Sink Hole!

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  1. Good Job on the fawcet selection Chelsea!! Oh and you too Tom, on the installation. It looks wonderful! It's a good idea to check for leaks every once in awhile, we've accidentally pushed things too far back into the pipes and loosened them up. Not fun!!


  2. *Giggle-snort* Ah, the joys of DIY. On the other hand, you have a fabulous kitchen now. And when people ask you for your contractor's name...

  3. Tom, I have one question. How did the "jet of water spraying straight into your eyeballs" compare to forcing you eye open in the shower in an attempt to remove a piece of a broken wine glass???

    Also, good call on letting Chelsea pick the faucet!


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