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home>>family>>home & decor 3>>eliminating faucet fear

Eliminating Faucet Fear


(ARA) - Don't be afraid. Put down the remote and walk away from the TV. Yes, they make installing a kitchen faucet look so easy, but even the average "DIYer" can tackle this project.

According to Gary Pember, director of wholesale marketing for Moen Incorporated, "Replacing your faucet is one of the quickest and easiest ways to give your kitchen a style upgrade. The majority of today's faucets are designed with the average do-it-yourselfer' in mind, so you may be surprised to find the hardest part of the process may be choosing your new faucet."

Following these suggestions, anyone can feel like a pro:

Step One: Fetch a Flashlight

The first step? Shine a light on your current faucet and see how many mounting holes are in your sink. You'll probably need to look underneath the sink to find out, as these are usually covered by a deck plate (also called an escutcheon) and will not be visible from the top. Next, look at the water supply lines. If they are in good condition, you may be able to reuse them. However, if you decide to change them, determine the required length of the supply line by measuring from the faucet to the shut-off valve. Add at least two inches to the length to give some room to spare. You also need to determine the size of the supply lines so they will properly attach to your faucet fittings and shut-off valves. Standard sizes are 3/8 inch and 1/2 inch.

Step Two: Go Shopping

You've done your homework, so now you're ready for step two -- choosing your new faucet. To get some style ideas, take a look at a few home d´┐Żor magazines and various manufacturers' Web sites. Popular features in kitchen faucet designs include high arching, pulldown and pullout spouts, as well as designer styles and finishes.

"Be sure to remember that your new faucet should not be chosen solely on looks -- you'll want it to last for years to come," says Pember. "Look for a reputable brand name and select a faucet constructed of high-quality materials that's covered by a lifetime warranty."

Moen's new Camerist faucet is a great example of a stylish, high-quality, yet affordable option available for less than $150. It features gracefully curved surfaces, a sleek higher arching spout, solid brass construction and a lifetime warranty against leaks, drips and finish defects. As with all Moen faucets, Camerist also features a patented one-piece cartridge -- which means no washers -- the most common cause of annoying drips.

Step Three: Out with the Old

Before disconnecting the old faucet, make sure you have the tools to complete the job, including:

* Phillips and/or regular screwdriver

* Basin wrench

* Adjustable wrench

* Pair of pliers

* Flashlight

* Teflon tape

* New water supply lines

* Plumber's putty (may not be required for all installations)

* Penetrating oil spray

The first and most important thing to do is turn off the water supply. Next, turn on the faucet to relieve any remaining pressure in the lines and to ensure the supply is completely off.

Disconnect the supply lines by unscrewing them from the bottom of the faucet. Remove the mounting nuts using a basin wrench. Use a penetrating oil spray to loosen any corrosion and assist in removing the faucet connections.

After loosening the connections, remove the old faucet from the sink by pulling it out from the top of the sink deck (grab it by the spout and pull upward, taking care not to scratch your sink). Lastly, thoroughly clean and dry the sink area to prepare it for the new faucet installation.

Step Four: In with the New

Once the old faucet has been removed, place the stem of the new faucet through the holes on the top of your sink deck. To create a watertight seal, use the gasket provided with the faucet and/or plumber's putty. Once you have the new faucet in place, tighten the mounting nuts using your basin wrench.

When connecting the faucet inlet threads, use Teflon tape (wrap the faucet inlet threads clockwise) to ensure a tight seal. Complete the job by reconnecting the water supply lines and turning on the water to make sure all connections are working properly. As necessary, tighten the connections.

"For an even simpler installation, consider a faucet that features technology such as Moen's Hydrolock quick connect installation system," adds Pember.

The patented Hydrolock installation system is Moen's solution for connecting water lines to a new faucet with ease. Hydrolock snaps together with a telltale "click" so the novice do-it-yourselfer can be assured the connection is secure with audible, visual, and tactile confirmation. It reduces labor time by eliminating the need to use tools to attach the water lines to the faucet. Hydrolock's dual internal o-ring seal prevents the possibility of leaks.

Should you have a problem or have a question during the installation process, your faucet's manufacturer may be able to help. Most manufacturers have toll-free help lines staffed by trained plumbing professionals to provide step-by-step assistance. Moen's Helpline can be reached by calling 1-800-BUY-MOEN (1-800-289-6636).

For more information about faucet installation or the new Camerist kitchen faucet, you can visit www.moen.com.

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