Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Replacing a bathroom faucet!

It's 5am and I hear a POP followed by a loud sound of hard spraying water. I jump up out of bed and see that the main bathroom has popped a faucet handle off and is streaming water straight into the air...no kidding- like a fire hydrant.  I jumped into action- turning the knobs to shut the water off under the sink...but boy oh boy- was there a mess of water in and spilling out of the bathroom, made it into the kids room even!  I yelled out for my husband who seems to sleep through EVERYTHING...and he stumbles into a sloshing mess asking me "what happened?" Long story short- I had some happy handywoman work to do today!
This is what I saw once the water had been shut off...nice right.  the handle and the innards had completely popped out- made a mark on the ceiling too!


So here is the mess of towels it took to clean up the water...and this does not account for the towels still under the sink when i eventually take the connectors off.  Now I know it doesn't look like alot- but there was full load of towels I did after I fixed this thing- and I have a big load washer!!!
A few things to know when doing this...and thank goodness for the internet- because I found some great advice when I got stuck!
First- you need to know what your sink looks like under the old faucet.  You measure from the middle of the handles - center to center.  Mine was 4", which I guess is kinda the standard...and 3 holes.

This pic was taken after I had removed the old faucet- but I put it up so you can see the holes.  Then you need to go purchase a new faucet...a thrilling task to do with a bored 3 year old! You may also need a basin wrench -see below- (so u can reach those god awful bolts in the back of the sink) and some plumbers tape or putty.
Here is what we picked out: water wise is always nice- especially when you have children!
So now for the removal.  The box of "NEW" does not explain the removal...so I headed to my old pal the internet for some helpful tips! After you shut off the water from behind the sink you should turn the faucet handle on to drain out any left over water- or else cover your floor with a towel to catch the drips.  First thing you have to do is get those old nuts off the stems under the sink. This was super hard for me- but once I got the hang of the basin wrench...it all worked with little cursing. Aghh...there was cursing though!

So I got the big nuts off the stems...but what really proved to be difficult for me were the plastic nuts that secure the faucet to the sink.  They were way up inside the under part of the sink and no tool would reach...so I now went to the internet for some great advice.
1- try tightening then loosening.  
2- try a hair dryer (I guess metal expands as it heats??? so it makes it easier???)
3- WD 40 or liquid wrench
4- take a hammer to it! ***this worked wonders****

I banged it a few times after letting the WD 40 sit for an hour...and used a wet rag to help get it going! Worked like a charm!


Now all I had to do was clean up the sink from some gunk and install the new one! Easy as a breeze!
and as a side note: thank goodness this happened when we were home- or the house would have been a mess!!! OMG!

So now we have a super awesome new faucet...well, two- I did both bathrooms, because our back bathroom had a broken hot water side! Great day to do some home repair!!! Go me!!!