process projects

What Took Us So Long?

Hubby and I are the proud owners of a new kitchen faucet.

New kitchen faucet with slinky connection that releases to become a sprayer, March 2016.
New kitchen faucet with slinky connection that releases to become a sprayer, March 2016.

We weren’t supposed to be the proud owners of a new kitchen faucet, just a new sprayer. As with all home improvement projects, this took longer and was more expensive than we expected it to be. Except that we expected exactly this, which is why it has taken us years to tackle the sprayer that was going haywire on us, spraying us through the bottom of the sprayer at random times.  We were finally being sprayed so often that we had had enough and purchased a new sprayer.

I’m not one to buy supplies for a home improvement project and let them sit around forever, especially when they are staring at me from the kitchen counter, so yesterday, while still in my pajamas, I set to work. How hard could it be to take the sprayer off and put on a new one?

After taking a look at the hose connection a few days ago, I realized there was no way I was going to get my hand up between the sink and the wall with a standard wrench in order to loosen the nut. Erik said I needed a basin wrench. My step-mom had one that she let us borrow.

With the basin wrench in hand, I made myself into a pretzel and crawled under the kitchen counter. The basin wrench was too big for the tiny nut holding on the sprayer hose. Plus, the nut was calcified into place. There was no turning it by hand.

Time for a new plan. Maybe if I removed the water hoses supplying the faucet, I’d have enough room to maneuver a pliers or small wrench.

The basin wrench worked wonderfully on the water hose nuts, but I still had no room to work on the sprayer hose connection.

Maybe if I took the entire faucet off, I could reach the sprayer hose. Because I was planning to replace the hose anyway, I cut it off so I could pull it through the sink once the faucet was loose.

In trying to remove the plastic nut holding the faucet down on the left side, I broke it. That was actually a good thing because there was no way I could get a tool up to the spot to loosen it. (Can you see a theme here?) The plastic nut on the right side wouldn’t budge, either, nor could I get it to break. I had Erik under the counter, giving it a go. After trying to remove it, he asked for a screwdriver and hammer and intentionally broke it.

Now that we had the faucet off, we decided we might as well replace it because it had been leaking anyway.

This necessitated a couple-hour trip to a nearby town to visit Home Depot. (You’ll be happy to know that by this time I was no longer in my pajamas.) Erik spotted a faucet he liked. There was another one I was eyeing up, but after looking at the complication of sprayer and two handles, plus the spigot, decided I liked the simplicity of the one Erik wanted.

We brought it home and installed it, which sounds easy enough, except that when we went to hook up the water lines, one line was about 2 inches too short. Gah!

Off to the local hardware store to get an additional piece of hose and a coupler to hold the hoses together.

We closed up the hole that had once held the sprayer and re-siliconed behind the faucet.

After an entire day’s work on what was intellectually a simple project, but physically a difficult one, we now have a sink that looks brand new.

We are enjoying our new faucet immensely, partly because it’s easier to clean behind, partly because we no longer have a sprayer spitting at us, partly because we can now easily blend the hot and cold water (just one handle!), and partly because we did the job ourselves. Even if it did take us years to get to it.

The old faucet with the sprayer hose and nut still attached.
The old faucet with the sprayer hose and nut still attached.