This weekend Scott and I decided to try our hand at our first home improvement project. Technically it started Friday night with me trying to clean the grout in the bathroom … but that was very unsuccessful and managed to take some paint off the baseboards, so we’re not going to talk about that.
No, we’re going to talk about our new kitchen faucet! Much more exciting. Scott and I have some grandiose plans of redoing the kitchen to open it up to the dining room, but that is going to take a little fundraising, some major planning, and definitely some warmer weather.
So, as a little precursor for what is to come we decided to put in a new faucet. The one that was originally in there was crap. Like seriously. It was really low to the sink basin and I knew that this would be an easy fix to put in a new one. Plus the new one could easily be removed for when we redo the kitchen. This girl wants to do her dishes in style!
So, this morning Scott went Scuba diving with the boys and I stayed home and watched, no joke, like 10 YouTube videos on replacing your kitchen faucet. I felt pretty prepared and checked to see how many sink hole mounts our sink basin has (4) and went to Lowes.com to see what was in stock that would work with our current basin. After reading the reviews I had one picked out.
However, the one thing that I kept getting hung up on was in all the videos all the installers would do is unscrew the stainless steel–sleeved supply tubes and viola! the faucet head and handles would come right out. As I looked under our sink, we didn’t have those. Nope. We have a really really old faucet that has copper tubing going straight from the water valves to the faucet. And all the nuts/joints were soldered together. Great.
By this time Scott had come home and we had lunch and watched another video by the guy on “This Old House” and he installed a sink that specifically had old copper tubing. Yay! Pretty much he said that we had to get a blow torch and hold it on joints that were soldered together. Then we would be able to unscrew it and put on a new compression valve (aka a new shut off valve). The funny thing was, he spent like 1.5 minutes of the 9 minute video telling us about plumber’s putty and spent maybe 15 seconds on the whole blow torch deal. We started to get a little anxious about this. Scott didn’t want to burn our new house down, so we had to find an alternate approach.
I had already made a list of items we needed for this project and we figured that some guy in the plumbing section at Lowe’s could help us out with all this. So off we went. We found a nice old man working in the plumbing section and he hooked us up.
We bought a new high-arc, Spot-free, Moen faucet with spray hose. Next we picked up some plumber’s putty, thread seal tape and a basin wrench. We asked our Lowe’s helper about the whole blowtorch deal. He said that there was really no need for that and all we would have to do is get a mini copper tube cutter. With this we would just clamp it on the copper tube and twist it around until it cut through the tube. Then we would just slip on two new compression valves. We already have two on/off valves, but he said this would be much easier, so now we’ll have four! Haha!
The other obstacle we had to deal with was our garbage disposal and dishwasher lines. One of the holes in the top of the sink basin is used for the dishwasher to breathe to. Well, we can’t have this since we have to use three holes for the faucet and one for the sprayer. So our Lowe’s helper said that we could simply take the tube that comes from the dishwasher and plug it into the garbage disposal, just as long as some point of the tube come above the sink basin. I was really confused by all of this, but Scott got it. That’s good!
We left Lowe’s feeling pretty good about what we were about to undertake. Here is a before picture of our faucet:
Ugly. You can also see the dishwasher air tube thingy to the right. Here are all our supplies to start our project:
Oooooooh! Ahhhhh! Pretty, new faucet!
Now let the games begin! First to get the old faucet out we had to cut through the copper pipes with our fancy new cutting tool:
Then we were able to remove our hunk of junk faucet:
Look at my cute plumber husband =):
After we cut through the lines successfully without flooding the house, we danced, then installed the new compression valves. Below you can see our doubled up on/off valves and our rerouted dishwasher tube to the disposal:
Next, we just had to install the faucet and connect all the lines. And here’s the finished project:
Yay!!!!!! We turned on all the water … no leaks … ran the dishwasher … no leaks! We’re pretty pumped that everything worked and nothing exploded. I love our kitchen even more now. Oh and a special shout out and thanks to Grandma D. She sent us a housewarming card (actually the first piece of mail we received at the new house) with a nice little gift that funded this whole project. Thanks!
We’ll keep you updated with all our new home improvement adventures. =)