True Value DIY Rescue Mission: Replacing A Trick Faucet

When I was in college, we had a faucet. And not just your plain old run-of-the-mill two-handles-and-a-spigot, oh no, we had a trick faucet. If you pushed the handle on the sprayer just the right way and then set it back in it’s holster, the next innocent bystander person who turned on the faucet… well hey, who couldn’t use an extra impromptu shower in college?

And okay, I set up the trick faucet deliberately on more than one occasion… you may think that karma has a statute of limitations on that kind of practical joke, but let me tell you, it does not.

A few months ago I thought I was being a good granddaughter by clearing some dishes to the second sink in my grandmothers utility kitchen…


And I patted myself on the back for using the sprayer to rinse of the pan– something I only do at home under threat of bodily harm. And the next time I turned on that faucet…


Yeah, you know how this story goes- stuck handle on the sprayer, face full of cold water, thankyouverymuch.

I once lived with my grandparents for a couple of years, so the least I could do was put on my True Value DIY Hero cape and change out their trick faucet (after a really big plate of homemade spaghetti and meatballs).

Part 1: Extraction

Hey look, a brand new Delta faucet!


Now if only I could get the old faucet out…




It’s hard to tell from this picture, but this cast iron sink used to live in my grandmothers kitchen thirty years ago. On this very cabinet, in fact. And when the old cabinetry was moved out into the utility room, they literally moved this sink and all of it’s plumbing with it. Those were thirty year old fittings to be dealt with.


Normally, this is how my projects go… I take a look around at the situation. I stick my little hands in cramped spaces and worry the fittings around a bit. I might delicately tap on something with a hammer. In other words, I like to get my bearings. I also like to take pictures of what I’m doing so I can share them with you on the internet.

But I have to confess… something happened this time. Which resulted in me not getting a lot of face time with my tools or my camera. Do you want to know what that was?

Meet Ricky.

That’s my dad. He is the reason I own a lot of powertools, but not the reason I know how to use them. When he sees me installing drywall, or building a house, or monkeying around under my grandmothers sink he’s all UR DOIN IT WRONG, and next thing I know that dude is under the sink in his Ralph Lauren sweater shouting things like, “wrench. Wrench. WRENCH!” every five seconds, and it’s hard to get a decent picture under that kind of pressure.

Let’s just say the next 45 minutes went a little like this:

  1. Ricky under cabinet trying to remove faucet
  2. Ricky on top of sink yelling at yours truly under the cabinet trying to remove faucet
  3. Ricky deciding to remove entire sink
  4. Ricky deciding sink does not need to be removed after we’ve disconnected the disposal, water, waste water, and miscellaneous pipes

This website is not called DIYdad, Ricky. I’m the person with the tools here, even if you bought a lot of them for me.

Incidentally, when I was installing the new disposal for my mother (without parental interference, thank you) I showed you the plug-into-socket method of wiring the disposal. This is what it looks like if the disposal is hardwired into a box.


Here’s how we actually got the faucet out.

  1. I crammed myself up under the sink and held on to the bottom nut with a pair of large vicegrips.
  2. Ricky he-mans the faucet parts on top of the sink until they break off and he can spin them around with a pair of pliers.

After we worked out this method of extraction, it actually went quite fast. Here’s the aftermath….


And the series of tools we used in the process, yes, including a grill fork…


Part 2: Making it Pretty Again

A little more shimmying under the the cabinet to attach the nuts that keep the faucet in place…


And the water lines…


Here’s the thing I *heart* about delta faucets, the PEX tubing that attaches directly to the water lines runs through the whole faucet, so there’s no messing with those flexible metal lines (extra fittings) that are impossible to reach.

You can also check out my full tutorial on installing a new drain and faucet for more information on DIY plumbing.

And thanks to True Value, I will not be getting sprayed by the trick faucet the next time my grandma makes me meatballs. Karma? I win.


3 Responses

  1. We used to put a rubber band around the sprayer to accomplish the same goal of dousing someone with water when they innocently went to get a drink of water. So nice of you to fix it- even if it was just for the meatballs.

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