Motor Home Project: Replace Kitchen Faucet
Bushnell, FL - Events of Wednesday, February 20 to Thursday, February 21, 2013
The spout on the kitchen faucet in our motor home pulls out to become a sprayer. After rinsing out the kitchen sink on Wednesday evening after dinner, Paul couldn't get the pull-out sprayer to go back in.
The hose of the sprayer has gotten hung up before on the pot lids we store in a rack under the sink. However, this time, it wasn't anything under the sink that was hanging up the hose - it was something inside the faucet itself.
Paul grabbed a flashlight to look into the hole where the hose comes out, but he couldn't quite see. When he tried to swivel the faucet to a different angle to get a better look, there was sort of a grinding noise. Uh-oh.
It turned out to be a steel component inside the faucet that had rusted out and had begun to break apart. The area under the sink was littered with pieces of rust, and a bunch of rusty particles that were still stuck inside the faucet were causing the grinding noise. A larger piece of rusty steel was lodged against the hose preventing it from going back inside the faucet. Paul had to remove the faucet and partially disassemble it to get all the rust cleaned out.
The steel part from inside was so badly rusted Paul never did figure out exactly what it was supposed to do, but it obviously didn't have anything to do with water because the internal parts that come into direct contact with water are made of copper, brass and plastic - and the faucet wasn't leaking. Paul thinks the part that rusted was a support for the internal components of the faucet and/or something that acted as a stop to keep the spout from swiveling around too far toward the back of the sink.
After Paul got the big piece of rusty metal and all the rust particles out of the faucet, he tried reinstalling the faucet. He figured he would ultimately have to replace the faucet; but since it wasn't leaking, he hoped it would work well enough to use it a few more weeks so we wouldn't have to run out and get a new one right away.
The faucet was a bit wobbly after it was reinstalled. When Paul tightened it down to the sink more, the spout bound up and wouldn't swivel. He adjusted the nut underneath that held the faucet in place and found a good compromise between too wobbly and too tight.
We were thinking about replacing the kitchen faucet anyway since we replaced the bathroom faucets last year, but we weren't planning to do it right now. However, the old faucet was too iffy to trust it for very long, so Paul spent the rest of the evening searching the Home Depot and Lowe's websites for a suitable replacement. He found a reasonably-priced faucet similar to what we had except the new one was made by American Standard instead of Moen and it had a stainless steel finish (which we preferred because all our other faucets are stainless steel) instead of polished chrome. Lowe's in Leesburg was the only store in the area that had one in stock, so Paul purchased it online Wednesday evening, and we headed there fairly early on Thursday morning to pick it up.
Back at the motor home with the new faucet, Paul began to remove the old one for the second time. With the old faucet gone, Paul got to work getting rid of the rust stains and hard water deposits that were around the opening in the sink where the faucet was mounted.
The caulk behind the faucet had gotten some rust particles embedded in it when Paul was removing the old faucet the evening before. Therefore, Paul removed and replaced the old caulk just in that area while the faucet was out of the way.
Installing the new faucet was fairly easy, except Paul's arms got tired reaching up behind the sink to tighten down the faucet and to make the water connections.
Nowadays, faucets are easier to install than they used to be. Most new faucets have flexible connections so there is no need to change existing plumbing so it will line up with the new faucet. The fittings have rubber gaskets in them that make leak-free connections a snap.
After the installation was complete, Paul turned on the water and climbed back under the sink to check for leaks. Wow! This is the third plumbing project in a row with no leaks on the first try! The first two were replacing the water inlet valve and replacing the bathroom sink faucets.
The new faucet doesn't look much different than the old one, but it works a lot better. Like the old one faucet, the new one also has a spout that pulls out to become a sprayer, and the sprayer returns much more smoothly than the old one has done for years. There also seems to be better water flow. Although Paul periodically cleaned out the strainer in the old faucet, the insides must have been pretty gunked up with hard water deposits. We're very pleased with our new faucet.
With Freeway's training classes over and with the unexpected plumbing project out of the way, we are hoping to finally get to do some sightseeing. Stay tuned.