Don’t Try This At Home

So the faucet had been leaking for awhile…

old faucet

drinking from sink

Not that it was a problem for a certain cat…but it was bugging me. At night I could hear it dripping and would have to get up and move the handle around until I got it to quit. So it was not surprising that eventually I would start thinking: I could probably change that faucet myself.

After measuring the base of the old faucet, I went to Orchard Supply and found just the one I wanted. It couldn’t be that hard…or could it?pipes 1

Along with my trusty assistant, I checked out the pipes under the sink. Then I went to gather my tools. Which wasn’t hard now that I’d gotten the garage organized…Oh by the way, I know that’s a hair clip next to the adjustable pliers. I forgot to move it before taking the picture. (Just in case you were wondering.)

Always read the directions first…

safety tipsI want you to notice the first safety tip: “The products should be installed by a locally licensed plumber.” Seriously? This brought back memories of the assembly instructions on the “trampoline” in the living room. Okay, I thought, I don’t need a locally licensed plumber for this. And if I do get stuck, and it turns out I can’t finish it by myself, I’ll ask Carlos to come look at it. (Sorry, Carlos, I didn’t tell you about this part of the plan!)under sink

rusted bolt 2The first thing the instructions said to do was to remove the old faucet by unscrewing it from under the sink. Just like that. But it didn’t say what to do if your bolts were so rusted they looked like something you’d expect to see at the bottom of the sea on the Titanic…water hoseIt wasn’t too hard disconnecting the water lines. But when it came to taking off the actual bolts, I realized I was probably a little bit in over my head. I worked on it for hours, trying all different tools, and spraying the rusty bolts with some stuff that is supposed to loosen rust. I went online and searched “How to remove rusty faucet.” I was a bit miffed that Google search asked if I really meant “rusted faucet”. Rusty or rusted, it’s all the same to me! I just wanted to know how to remove it.

how to remove

rusted boltBy the evening I had managed to get the first bolt off. I was so sore from all the hammering, twisting, sliding in and out from under the sink, that I knew the next day I would have to go to “Plan B”. If that didn’t work I would have to go to “Plan C” (Carlos)!oil and brushAfter reading a few articles online, the next day I went back to the hardware store for a small wire brush and a different kind of rust-dissolving oil. On the first day I had tried using the only wire brush I had, but it was too big and I couldn’t get it in between the bolts to scrape off the rust properly. The smaller one worked much better. And since the remaining washer was basically solid rust, the oil pretty much ate right through it.rusty washer 2Finally! On the second day I managed to get the last washer off!

My first reaction was to throw the old faucet in the trash, because by now I was so mad at it, I never wanted to see it again! But then a thought struck me: This is a trophy! I’m not throwing it away. I’ll put it in my “whimsical garden” and make it look like it is watering a plant with tiny solar lights. (Have I mentioned that I spend way too much time looking at ideas on Pinterest?)

There were a few glitches that had to do with the pop-up drain plug, which caused some leaking, but fortunately I had purchased plumber’s putty, and it worked great! new faucetThe new faucet!

So now that I have my new faucet that doesn’t leak, I have had time to reflect on the whole experience. Let me say here that it would have been much easier if the old faucet hadn’t been so rusted. What took me two days would have taken much less time and effort if it hadn’t been for that. But while I don’t intend on doing this again, I am glad I didn’t give up. Still, my recommendation? Don’t try this at home!