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Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:17 PM

Any Advice on Installing a Faucet on a Bathroom Sink?

The old faucet finally decided to start spraying water out the side.

Here's the deal:
All I want to do is replace the fixture. We don't use the plunger because I've never had one that didn't let water drain out almost as quickly as a non-stoppered sink. The only thing we use the sink for is to wash hands and brush teeth.

All the hoses and pipes under the sink are in excellent shape. I'm keeping them and plan on hooking them up to the new faucet.

Anyone who has a story to tell or some advice (or encouragement / discouragement) is welcome to tell it. I pride myself on minor (amateur) handy skills (I helped install my dishwasher and I built half the furniture in my house so I'm not afraid of scrapes). What worries me most is the pressure on my ribs when I'm working under the sink.

Help me out here. Crowdsourcing is good.

39 replies, 3643 views

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Arrow 39 replies Author Time Post
Reply Any Advice on Installing a Faucet on a Bathroom Sink? (Original post)
Leith Jul 2017 OP
bettyellen Jul 2017 #1
SHRED Jul 2017 #2
Leith Jul 2017 #8
hedda_foil Jul 2017 #13
Hoyt Jul 2017 #3
Leith Jul 2017 #9
Phoenix61 Jul 2017 #4
Leith Jul 2017 #10
jmowreader Jul 2017 #26
Leith Jul 2017 #27
htuttle Jul 2017 #5
Leith Jul 2017 #7
Panich52 Jul 2017 #11
csziggy Jul 2017 #20
Kali Jul 2017 #37
physioex Jul 2017 #6
safeinOhio Jul 2017 #12
Brother Buzz Jul 2017 #32
Binkie The Clown Jul 2017 #14
mercuryblues Jul 2017 #15
Hassin Bin Sober Jul 2017 #17
Leith Jul 2017 #18
Kaleva Jul 2017 #16
lunasun Jul 2017 #28
msongs Jul 2017 #19
hunter Jul 2017 #24
Rabrrrrrr Jul 2017 #21
stopbush Jul 2017 #22
JDC Jul 2017 #23
Leith Jul 2017 #25
Leith Jul 2017 #29
Kali Jul 2017 #38
Leith Jul 2017 #39
calikid Jul 2017 #30
SeattleVet Jul 2017 #31
Leith Jul 2017 #33
Iggo Jul 2017 #34
discntnt_irny_srcsm Jul 2017 #35
Kali Jul 2017 #36

Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:19 PM

1. 1) look up the fixture in Amazon and search for most helpful reviews for tips ....

 

And same for YouTube videos

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:19 PM

2. I think there's a Home Improvement forum here

 

Might try there.

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Response to SHRED (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:34 PM

8. I Just Looked

I had no idea that there was a Home Improvement group! Thanks for telling me.

It was interesting, but it seems that there isn't a lot going on there. I figure the Lounge will get more replies, anyway.

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Response to Leith (Reply #8)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:58 PM

13. Watch a couple YouTube videos on the subject. You'll see how to do everything.

There are, without a doubt, several on what to do if anything is mismatched too. It's amazing, you can learn how to do just about anything on YouTube. My 11 year old grandson taught himself to play the full theme from Star Wars, both hands, in the original key, without ever having a piano lesson ...just YouTube. We were putting together my new utility cart and couldn't figure out the written directions, so I googled the exact model and he put it together by watching .the YouTube.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:21 PM

3. There are plenty of good Youtube videos. You are right, the hardest part is getting under the sink.

 

The faucet manufacturer might have an installation video for the specific model too.

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Response to Hoyt (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:39 PM

9. I Have a Sofa Pillow

That worked pretty well when we installed the dishwasher. The men's shoulders and upper bodies were too big to fit under the kitchen sink and maneuver around the garbage disposal to do the work. The other woman was 75. So I did it (and felt good about myself).

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:25 PM

4. Super easy job

as long as you get a replacement faucet the same size as the current one or get a single handle faucet. Size being the distance between the faucet handles. The hardest part is maneuvering yourself on your back so you can see what you're doing.

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Response to Phoenix61 (Reply #4)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:46 PM

10. Yup - Thanks to Standard Sizes

I measured the distance between the hot and cold water inlets and I got the right size.

It will be easier to maneuver under the bathroom sink than the kitchen sink and I have a couple flashlights that can be set up to shine light everywhere.

Actually, I'm going from a single handle faucet to two handles. Is that going to be a problem with how the hot and cold mix? I saw that in a video where the temperatures could mix in a small round chamber under the sink or in the ball portion of the single handle. Like I said, we use the sink for washing hands and brushing teeth...

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Response to Leith (Reply #10)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 07:40 PM

26. It'll take a little getting-used-to, but you should be okay

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Response to jmowreader (Reply #26)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 07:46 PM

27. Well, It's 2 Temp Handles, One Spigot

It used to be one lever that you push back to turn on, left for hot, right for cold. Now there are two handles that you twist to open. Mr Leith is left-handed/ambidextrous and, like what happens sometimes, he mixes up left and right. He has had to verify more than once that right was cold, left was hot. He was happy to see that the handles have red dots on the left one and blue dots on the right one.

If the water doesn't mix like it used to, I don't care. It probably won't be noticeable when it comes out the tap.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:26 PM

5. First time I changed a sink faucet, I tried to do it without the use of an amazing useful tool

It's called a Basin Wrench:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basin_wrench



The jaws of the wrench angle to 90 degrees from the long handle, and you can just poke it up underneath into the space where the faucet is attached to the sink and loosen the nut without worrying about your knuckles or trying to loosen it in 1/4 turn increments.

You may already know if you need to use one of these, but just in case you didn't, now you know it exists (as I said -- i didn't).

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Response to htuttle (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:31 PM

7. Yes, the Instructions Recommend the Basin Wrench

I was going to go out tomorrow for silicon sealant & mineral spirits, and I considered getting a basin wrench (I had to look it up). I have four hammers, about 20 screwdrivers of various types and sizes (including 2 electric), and every other type of tools known to mankind, but not a basin wrench. I think it will be well worth the $20 or so to get one.

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Response to Leith (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:47 PM

11. This tool was going to be my #1 suggestion

#2 is that if there's a cabinet around the pipes, take a handful of Xanax before starting. 😜

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Response to Leith (Reply #7)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 10:33 PM

20. For tools like this go to Harbor Freight

It won't be as good quality as a brand name tool but for a once a decade use, it will be cheap and handle the job. They have a basin wrench for only $6: https://www.harborfreight.com/12-inch-basin-wrench-91958.html

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Response to csziggy (Reply #20)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 04:00 PM

37. this

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:30 PM

6. I prefer two brands.....

My perference:

Delta: Easy to obtain parts, rebuild/repair.

Moen: Also easy to repair, but parts are bit more expensive.

Stay away from the cheap Chinese brands. Not really to hard with average mechanical skills. The better brands typically include the drain, I always change that out and the supply lines. To me its worth it to change those out periodically.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 08:57 PM

12. Don't forget to use plumbers tape and

have a bucket ready to catch any left over water that might come out. DIYS vedios are great.

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Response to safeinOhio (Reply #12)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 01:06 AM

32. Plumbers tape?

Back in my days, we used plumbers tape to hang pipes in the crawl space or basement, but I guess I'm dating myself.



Ok, I know you were thinking Teflon tape, but there really aren't any connections above the shutoff valve that require the tape these days; they're all compression fittings.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 09:02 PM

14. I dreaded having to do that a few years back.

Turned out it was a piece of cake.
YouTube is your friend.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 09:23 PM

15. It is easy enough

Don't forget to turn off the water supply to the sink.

when you open the box look for the instructions. Compare the parts to list and familiarize their names. Follow instructions. The first time I did it, I put the pieces together before actually installing them.

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 09:45 PM

17. And always know where your main shut off is

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Response to mercuryblues (Reply #15)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 09:53 PM

18. Oh, Yeah - Water Is Off Already

We had sprays coming out a couple places. The cheap old faucet that was installed when the house was built probably just disintegrated inside.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 09:32 PM

16. When I can, I pull the whole sink and then replace the faucet

On some bathroom vanities, this is rather easy to do. You ought to be able to look to see how the sink is secured to the vanity counter. I prefer this method as sometimes with old faucets, everything is so corroded, I've had to hack saw the faucet into pieces in order to get it off the sink. And it's so much easier to take off the old faucet and install the new fixture when the sink is right there on the floor.

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Response to Kaleva (Reply #16)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 08:02 PM

28. + 1 Agree sink off best and no struggle esp like with ours it had sort of fused in to the sink

Didn't need a saw or anything but the angle to get it off is better .
Then put it all back on the vanity
caulk
use

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 10:22 PM

19. try to get a good faucet made of metal - metal pipe, metal threads, metal caps nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #19)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 11:41 PM

24. We live in a place with aggressive water.

The trouble with most new "all metal" faucets I've seen is that only part of the faucet is made out of a good copper alloy. The rest of the faucet will be made out of some horrid die-cast metal with cheap plating that our water will destroy or make ugly in 5-10 years. I've had better luck with faucets from reputable manufacturers that have largely plastic internals and plastic or stainless steel exteriors.

We live in one of the first California cities to have an exemption to use cpvc pipe instead of copper because the water from some wells is so aggressive it can eat copper pipe. What it does to galvanized pipe and die-cast metal is even worse.

But CPVC has issues with chemical hazards, especially with the solvents used to weld pipe and fittings together.

Of course these days the preferred water pipe in many places is PEX tubing, which is wonderful stuff, easy to work with if you have the right tools; just keep it away from the sun or other UV light sources.

I'm not sure what to think about the direct-to-fixture Pex installations I've seen, where you can control the water to individual fixtures or a group of fixtures from a single row of valves in the garage or utility room. It's rather similar to the way you can flip individual circuit breakers on and off from a central electric panel. In construction like this here are no shut off valves under the sinks or behind the toilet. Our oldest kid rents a house like that. The blue and red PEX tubing emerges directly from the wall and goes straight to the sink fixtures or toilets.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 10:44 PM

21. My advice is the simpleist and most helpful of all advice: just do it correctly.



Sorry, plumbing isn't my thing. But my experience with plumbing is that this is one area, along with electrical, and unlike a lot of other areas in life, where doing it correctly really, truly, totally, absolutely matters.

Thankfully, you have had many responses from people who know what they're talking about.

I can only add that you should, definitely, pay attention to their wisdom because a fucked up plumbing job will haunt you forever.

Good luck!

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 11:13 PM

22. Have you tried the Next Door app?

Connects you to people in your neighborhood. I found a plumber who was willing to come by and diagnose replacing a dripping outside spigot for no charge. I thought it would involve just replacing a washer or the spigot. Turned out it would have been a much bigger job. My solution was to put on a new spray head on the end of the hose that contained the dripping.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Fri Jul 14, 2017, 11:33 PM

23. Verify the threading on the water line connectors

They gave different thread types on flex hoses that have the same size "fitting". Ace is super helpful with stuff like that

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 07:31 PM

25. Update: Almost Done!!

I have everything connected and in place. I'm just waiting for Mr Leith to finish his TV show so I'm taking a break.

I need hubby to make sure that the new fixture stays in place while I screw in the "holders" and the water intake lines.

I'll come back once that is done and the water is turned back on and tested for leaks.

Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Edited to add: don't blame Mr. Leith for not doing the hard work on this. He's 6'2" with shoulders like a linebacker. He's also claustrophobic. There is no way he is spending time under a sink trying to maneuver. Plus, this gives me bragging rights which I get a real kick out of.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 08:06 PM

29. SUCCESS!!

We ran both temps full blast for a couple minutes. No leaks, works great!

I'm so happy. I was stressing so bad this morning because I couldn't get the water lines off the old sink. I was turning the nut so hard that the copper tubing from the old sink twisted. Come to find out, turning it the way the guy in the YouTube video looked like he was turning it was entirely the wrong way. Well, live and learn. I fixed that problem by removing the hoses from the wall, removing the entire old fixture from the sink, and making Mr. Leith do it.


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Response to Leith (Reply #29)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 04:04 PM

38. sheesh, read the thread first, Kali

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Response to Kali (Reply #38)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 10:29 PM

39. LOL!

Don't beat yourself up. I'm happy for everyone's input. It lets me know that I'm not alone in doing something like this. To some people, message forums are just words on a screen. To me, it's people contributing to a real conversation. I appreciate your input.


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Response to Leith (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 08:12 PM

30. I've replaced a lot of faucets

I've never used tape on the threads. I've almost always replaced the water lines at the same time, lots of times when I didn't, there would be leaks, maybe I should of used the tape. As suggested above, it's much easier to do if you replace the sink too, in fact sometimes it's cheaper, easier and more fun to replace the whole vanity.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Sun Jul 16, 2017, 08:29 PM

31. If it's a home DIY plumbing job...

you should always expect the unexpected, and anticipate at least 3 trips to the hardware store. (If it doesn't take at least 3 trips, I figure that it's either not a real project, or I missed something!)

The last time I tried to replace what I thought was a leaky p-trapin a bathroom sink, it turned out to be the sink basin itself that had rotted out around the drain...

then the drain pipe attached to the trap crumbled in my hand when I put a wrench on the trap...

and I eventually wound up replacing everything from the wall on out...sink, drain, trap, and pretty much everything that was attached to anything, including the fixtures because, of course, the new sink had a totally different configuration than the old one, and the old fixtures wouldn't fit the new sink.

2 or 3 years later we tore down the house and built a new one on the foundation.

Today we had to go out to two different stores to get the (wrong) washer and an O-ring to fix a dripping freeze-proof outdoor spigot. I though it was a size 00 flat washer, grabbed a pack of " since they didn't have any size 00 in stock, figuring I could trim them to size. I did find a size 00 beveled washer, and trimmed off the beveled portion to make it flat, and now everything works again.

Home plumbing isn't usually a lot of fun, but it sure can get interesting at times!

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Response to SeattleVet (Reply #31)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 11:18 AM

33. Yup - I Went to the Store 3 Times

It made me feel kinda dumb, but I let the people there know right away that I was a newbie. Being courteous and nice (with a heaping helping of self-deprecation) to them at all times assures that they're nice to me. It's the truth and it always works.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 11:59 AM

34. Turn off the water. (n/t)

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 12:12 PM

35. Plan ahead

Check that the shutoff valves cutoff the water supply all the way. If not, check for shutoffs back further in the water supply. The main house supply line is a last resort. Space under bathroom sinks is sometimes limited. Make sure you have a container the fits there available to catching dripping/leaking water. If space is really tight, an ice container from the freezer may fit.

Most new plumbing utilizes flexible water lines:


I would buy a new pair since these feature compression fittings that (as you said) sometimes wear after faucet replacement. AFAIK teflon tape shouldn't be needed. (Check with someone at the hardware/home center/plumbing supply before you leave.)

To make your life easier buy/borrow a basin wrench:


These are indispensable when you tighten the supply lines on to the new faucet set.

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Response to Leith (Original post)

Mon Jul 17, 2017, 03:56 PM

36. the last cheap bathroom faucet I installed came with that stupid drain plunger too

I just didn't connect it, left the knob in place for appearance and chucked the drain plug. I keep a little drain screen in place to keep crap from going down the pipe. never have reason to fill the sink and I have a plastic stopper I use on the pool if for some reason I did need to.

one somewhat handy tool is a faucet wrench for working under sinks. work on your back, add a couple folded towels or a pillow if you have a vanity and not working on the floor itself.

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