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Kitchen Sink Faucet - Repair Becomes Replacement

I’ve had some sort of water leak going on under the kitchen sink for a while. One day last week the opportunity to address that leak finally arose. It was a perfect day for an indoor DIY project - rainy.

LOCATING THE LEAK

One of the first steps involved with repairing any leak is to locate the source of the leak. In this situation, I needed to empty the contents of my kitchen sink cabinet so I could get in there for a better view. (Sort of looks like I needed to do some dishes too!)

To locate the source of a leak it’s always best to start with a dry area, if at all possible. After removing the sink cabinet contents, I thoroughly wiped the water supply lines and the inside of the cabinet dry with a towel. Starting with a dry area allows you to easily see new drips.

I turned on the cold water tap and let the water run for about a minute. No leak. Next I tried the hot water tap. Ah hah - there it was! I turned off the hot water tap, and with a dry paper towel, wiped off the current drips, then turned the hot water tap on again to see exactly where it was leaking from. My first thought was that the water was leaking at one of the connections between the faucet and the water supply lines. As it turned out that wasn’t the case. Upon closer inspection, the drips appeared to be coming from within the kitchen faucet itself. Like many people, I turned to the web for repair help, but the only leak repair instructions to be found were for dripping spouts or leaks at the base of the spout. My kitchen faucet was leaking underneath. Looked like I’d be replacing it.

KITCHEN SINK FAUCET SHOPPING

As with the leak repair, once again I went to the internet to begin my search for a new kitchen sink faucet. The options were vast and the prices ranged from dirt cheap to unbelievably expensive! It didn’t take me long to rule out the high end faucets. Math may not be my strong point, but it was pretty easy to figure out that a $300+ faucet was an unnecessary expense.

My kitchen sink faucet shopping advice:

  1. stick with a name you know or recognize - like Moen or Delta
  2. comparison shop
  3. don’t buy a faucet with features you don’t need, they only add to the expense of the faucet
  4. buy your replacement faucet before dismantling the existing kitchen sink faucet
  5. if buying online, make sure you confirm availability and shipping time

    In a small community the selection can be somewhat limited. I live in a small town and for me to buy locally, it meant finding something in one of only two stores. This is where online shopping comes in very handy. You can do your browsing, comparison shopping, and purchasing without ever leaving home. If, however, you are in a hurry and are looking for next day delivery, you may just find it worthwhile to take a trip to a larger town or city and buy in person. Please note points 4 and 5 listed under shopping advice. Yes, I did dismantle the old before having the new. No, I didn’t find anything I liked in the local stores. And yes, it meant a speedy trip to the city to find something to replace it with because delivery would take too long. Although I didn’t follow my own advice exactly, I did still find the internet helpful for looking at the different options and giving me a guide for pricing.

    The kitchen sink faucet I chose to buy was a Moen - a one-handle kitchen faucet, model 87485. That’s it pictured above at the beginning of this post. Simple, but stylish with a slight gooseneck faucet appearance. The price - a reasonable $129.00 CAD.

    KITCHEN SINK FAUCET INSTALLATION

    Installation was a breeze. The installation instructions were clear, and because there were no extra features like a soap pump or a pull-out spray, it was extremely quick too. With my old faucet already removed it was simply a matter of following the diagrams to put the very few pieces together and tighten the connections.

    1. The first step to take when replacing a faucet is to turn off the water. In most cases there will be shut-off valves on each of the two water supply lines inside the sink cabinet. Obviously, my water was already turned off because I’d already removed the old faucet.

    2. Remove old faucet.

    3. Slip supplied round rubber gasket over bottom parts of faucet and slide up into place.

    4. Slide base plate up over bottom of faucet parts.

    5. Feed bottom of faucet parts through the top of the deck to the inside of sink cabinet.

    6. Inside the sink cabinet, place bracket on the underside of deck, align it so mounting stud comes through the hole provided.

    7. Connect and tighten nut on mounting stud.

    8. Pull copper pipes apart by about 3″. Connect water supply lines using two adjustable wrenches - one to hold the end of the copper pipe (A) steady and the second to tighten the connector (B) on the water supply line.

    9. Turn water back on, open tap, and check for leaks.

    Kitchen Sink Faucet Installation Advice:

    • turn off the water before beginning replacement
    • place gaskets carefully
    • tighten nuts securely

    An extra helpful piece of information I can give you is to tell you to label your hot and cold water supply lines before disconnecting them from your old faucet. This is easy to do with a piece of masking tape. Run your hot water tap until the water is hot and heats up the supply line, then attach a piece of tape to that warm line. That way after connecting the water supply lines to your new faucet you’ll have no worries about crossing the lines and getting cold water from the hot side and hot water from the cold side.

    The toughest part of replacing my kitchen sink faucet was removing the old one. The most inconvenient part - rinsing dishes in the bathroom sink until I picked up the new faucet!

    2 comments

    1 Home Maintenance - No More Procrastinating — SuzyRenovator { 07.02.08 at 5:21 pm }

    [...] tuned for cleaning rain gutters, fixing a leak at the kitchen sink, repairing a nail pop, and trimming around the base of a [...]

    2 charlie { 01.04.09 at 7:35 pm }

    I think my situation is about the same. I found water under sink and dryed it. there is no leak when the faucet is not in use. leak starts only I use the faucet. in my case it is the cold water. I am going to replace it anyway, it is 20 year old.

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