Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Sinking Feeling - Fun With Faucets

Tash had commented that the faucets in the bathroom were looking kinda past their prime.

Indeed they were, the plating had rubbed off and they didn't look particularly good, not to mention the handles were rather loose and the stoppers in the sink were less than shiny.

Her wish being my command it was time to venture into yet more home repair adventures and vocabulary enhancement.

I purchased two Moen Hamden Faucets as they looked nice and offered a neat push button stopper for the sink and got to work.

Of course space was at a premium under the sinks. Adventures began under Tash's sink.

Lying on my back I was soon cursing the prior people who had installed the sinks. Those plastic nuts securing the water lines were not just tight, it took a ridiculous amount of torque and a set of vise gripes and much verbal abuse to get them to move. The larger plastic nuts keeping the sink itself in place came off relatively easily, which would not be the case with Sink #2.

Then I was able to remove the faucet and on to the drain pipe and the fun really began.

Taking the trap apart led to a rather terrible stench and the trap was literally so full of hair you could have made a shoulder length braid with it. Yep, that's the sink the kids style their hair by. That explained the slow drain problem with that sink all right. Stench aside, the trap removal wasn't bad. But getting the drain pipe off, not so much. It did not want to leave. Sadly I couldn't find my large adjustable wrench and no wrench I had was large enough to fit that shinny large nut holding the pipe in place that you see in the picture to the right side.

Off to Lowe's, and now I own a pipe wrench and a nice large set of vise grips.

With those tools in hand and torque and magic words applied, the drain pipe came loose. Then the fun of getting the top of the drain separated from the drain pipe so it could be removed was also a battle of wits and torque.

Then I installed the new drain pipe, reattached the trap, connected the water lines and mirabile dictu, all worked on the first try. Only one trip to Lowe's was required and it was a success.

Then on to Sink #2. Since I had just installed a sink it should be easy right?

The install wasn't the problem, it was the uninstall that caused lots of issues.

Yes, the water supply nuts were on tighter than hell. But they came off with proper technique learned on Sink #1.

One of the two large plastic nuts securing the faucet came off easily. The other one not so much. It stuck, hard. Nothing would move it, Vise grips just ripped the plastic tabs off, grabbing it full on and it still wouldn't turn. It had been cross-threaded on the install and did not want to move. At all. Curses followed.

I thought of sawing it off as both it and the threads it was attached to were plastic, but there was no room to get a saw under the sink and the threads on top of the sink that were visible were metal so no go there.

Unwilling to declare defeat, and with much vocabulary, I gave it yet another mighty twist with the vise grips and while the large nut stayed firmly attached to the plastic, the plastic threaded pipe came loose from the metal threaded pipe it was attached to above, and the faucet was free at last. That took some effort to say the least.

After that the rest of it worked pretty well and the drain pipe was removed easily and the install was completed without any problems. The Moen installation instructions were actually quite decent and the simple tool they included for tightening the mounting screw for the faucet is worth its weight in gold.

They look a lot nicer now, both sinks drain easily, and the push button drains work like a charm.

About three hours spent in total including the trip to Lowe's and all was done.

Well, If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.


drjim said...

I've got a new Moen "Three Hole Set" for the kitchen sink I have to install.

At least I have a bunch more room under there than you did on yours!

B said...

Hint: Silicone spray on the threads of the plastic next time. You will thank me in a few years.

Stuff a rag or paper towel into the drain pipe to limit the gasses coming out while you work. Limits the amount of "stench".

A Basin Wrench is a handy tool for removing those nuts Way Up Under the sink

Old NFO said...

Yep, handy with a phone these days... I 'call' somebody. I get down and under a sink, I'll need a crane to get back out and up with my back... sigh

Aaron said...

drjim: The space under the sinks was certainly at premium. This one covered the old 3 hole installation nicely, and Moen seems to have pretty well thought out their installation instructions and assemblies.

B: Good idea, I will definitely try the silicone spray when the next sink project comes along.

Old NFO: A phone call can make it easier, back back is indeed a little sore after resting on the base of the cabinet. I did get semi stuck in there a few times as well. Good times indeed.

John in Philly said...

A couple of cushions on the floor in front of the cabinet will create a sort of leveling platform, your back will thank you, and I find the job goes much easier.
We have been in this house so long that my complaining about the guy that installed things means I'm complaining about me.
If only I knew then what I know now!

jon spencer said...

Things that make working under a sink easier.
A good closed cell foam pad that goes under your back.
A bright headlamp.
If you wear bi-focals, a pair of these,
And one of these wrenches,