North Olmsted, Ohio... Installing or fixing a faucet can seem like a daunting task. But, in many cases homeowners can update the kitchen and bath themselves -- all you need are the right tools, good judgment and a little time to devote to the project. As with any home improvement project, there are a range of faucet installation types. However, manufacturers typically provide easy step-by-step illustrated instructions within faucet packaging; but they also offer support via a toll-free phone number, allowing you to speak with a customer service expert. These agents have heard it all, but here are the top five plumbing questions they receive most often, and if you are ever unsure, a licensed plumber can be an exceptional resource.
(1) Does it take long to install a faucet?
The toughest part of the job can be removing the old faucet. Before starting the project, make sure you have the essential items to install the new faucet or part easily. Products to keep in your toolbox include: a Phillips and regular screwdriver; adjustable wrench or basin wrench for hard to reach areas; flashlight; pliers; plumber's putty; thread seal tape; and an Allen wrench. Once you've checked your list, it should take about an hour... but that will vary based on your level of previous installation experience. From shutting off the water to tightening the connections -- just follow the directions that come with your new faucet to get the job done. There are also installation videos and online guides to help.
(2) Can I replace a two-handle faucet with a single-handle model?
In many cases, mounting hardware and flexible hookups will let you replace your current two-handle model with a single-handle one. If you're concerned about existing holes in the sink, many times single-handle faucets are available with deck plates to provide an attractive covering. There are advantages to having a single-handle -- many pulldown or pullout faucets are designed with a single-handle, allowing homeowners to easily clean around the kitchen sink. Also, it's easier to turn off one handle when completing tasks in the kitchen. Be sure to check the number of holes you have in your sink or counter when shopping to ensure you're selecting the correct model.
(3) Is there another option for a kitchen faucet other than a standard mechanical faucet? And what are the benefits?
For ultimate convenience in the kitchen, consider a hands-free faucet that senses what you're trying to accomplish. Imagine having raw chicken on your hands as you're making dinner; just place your hands under a MotionSense™ faucet from Moen and the water automatically turns on -- as soon as you move your hands away, the water turns off. The sensor also makes tasks such as filling a pot, easier... it's another set of hands in the kitchen -- all without touching the faucet.
Do you need the water left on for a longer period, like when you're washing dishes? Just wave your hand over the top of the faucet to activate the Wave Sensor. Plus, it's available in a variety of styles like Moen's transitionally styled Arbor® kitchen faucet, or a traditional style like the Brantford™ kitchen faucet to coordinate with your design preference.
"MotionSense was thoughtfully designed based on consumers' behaviors and preferences in the kitchen," said Tom Tylicki, senior wholesale kitchen product manager, Moen. "Moen's technology simply requires a wave of the hand or movement beneath the spout, no need to touch or tap the faucet, to experience the benefits of MotionSense. It intuitively understands exactly what you're trying to do, and responds immediately to your needs."
(4) What can I use to clean my faucet?
Always dry any water from the faucet surface to avoid mineral deposits. To clean, use mild soap and water and dry with a soft cloth. A natural cleaner using 50 percent white vinegar and 50 percent water is great for removing hard water stains but make sure the faucet is rinsed thoroughly. Avoid abrasive cleansers or sponges, such as those used for toilet bowls, to remove tarnish and rust.
Some finishes make cleaning easier. For example, Moen's exclusive Spot Resist™ Stainless finish helps resist fingerprints and water spots, maintaining the brilliance of the faucet. Use extra care when cleaning as harsh chemicals can damage the finish and may void any warranty. It's recommended to clean with a mild soap, then rinse with warm water and dry with a clean, soft cloth.
(5) What causes a faucet to leak or drip?
Having a leaky faucet is annoying but it's something that shouldn't be ignored. There are several reasons for drips but usually it's a simple solution. Leaks are often caused by internal mechanisms that need to be replaced such as a scratched or torn cartridge, O-ring or grommet. Typically, a cartridge replacement -- which is both inexpensive and easy -- will correct this type of leak. Try troubleshooting a few options and if there are still problems, it may be time to call a professional plumber.
These answers should help during your next remodel or repair and provide you with years of attractive and convenient water delivery. Always remember, should you ever need help, a friendly customer service expert is only a phone call away.