Tonight’s Suburban Adventure – Kitchen Faucet Repair!

I should be clear in saying that it didn’t start tonight, but it certainly finally ended tonight!

We’ve had a problem since we moved into our new house back in August that the pressure in the kitchen faucet wasn’t what it should be. It was even noted on our inspection before we bought the house, and all the while we’ve kept our fingers crossed that it was just something busted in the faucet itself and not a bigger problem that would require a plumber with big bills and an even bigger butt crack to resolve. Well, over the weekend while we were out and about we finally found a new faucet that both looked nice and also didn’t cost $200, so we broke down and bought it, and frankly have been having problems ever since…

The faucet we bought is basically this one by Glacier Bay, except ours is white, and honestly everything works great except for the pull down sprayer. You see, our last faucet had the sprayer separate off to the side, whereas this one has it built right into the neck, and the (first) problem that presented was that instead of having one hose for each of the four holes in our sink, this faucet has all four hoses going down the exact same hole. And the problem that this presented was that upon installation, the sprayer wouldn’t entirely retract back up into the neck of the faucet, presumably because its hose was snagging on all of the other hoses crammed into one tiny, little hole!

So I went to Lowe’s and spent more time than I had ever planned to talking to people about sinks, and how apparently I couldn’t just buy a Dremel tool to sand away part of the hole and make it bigger out of fear that I might end up cracking the sink … which admittedly sounded even worse than my whole faucet problem! Another part of the problem was, I just bought the place, so I really have no idea what material the sink is even made of to begin with – this made it very difficult to answer their questions to avoid giving me a solution that in fact would end up shattering my kitchen sink into a million pieces…

After two days of research, we were finally able to nail down the type of sink – it’s just a “composite” sink, nothing fancy or anything – and I was told that a simple file would do the trick as long as I was careful about what I was doing. And so that’s what part 1 of my re-installation evening looked like – pulling the brand new faucet back out of the sink, keeping my wife awake past her bedtime by filing the hole with a tool I bought at Lowe’s for about five bucks, and then re-installing the whole mess yet again, only to find … the sprayer STILL wouldn’t retract all of the way!!!

The instructions said to take note of where the counterweight was attached to the sprayer hose, and I actually went so far as to measure the distance to make sure that I had it perfect, but still no dice – it would retract most of the way, but still stick out of the faucet by about an inch, which just looked kinda tacky to me. Taking to the Internet, I finally found that apparently lots of these types of faucets have the same problem and one of the main differences between the model we bought and the $200 models is that the more expensive ones usually have a magnet in the head of the sprayer to help guide it up to its resting place.


I also read that I could try adding more weight to the counterweight, though at 11:30pm my options were getting quite limited. After some brainstorming, I went out to the garage and dug one of my old SCUBA diving weights out of my all but abandoned dive bag. The weight was about 5 pounds and even had a convenient handle, and that ended up being more than enough … but not by much! I tried emptying some out because it just seemed like way too much weight to be hanging on the thing, but had to play around with it until I settled on I’m guessing about 3.5 pounds plus the weight of the original counterweight.

It’s not an elegant solution and you need to use a little more elbow grease to use the sprayer than you probably should, but at least the weight is hidden under the sink so it’s fine for the time being. I’ll probably stop into the store later on this week to see what my other options are – one problem with using the dive weight is that it’s basically just a sack of lead shot hanging off the hose and if there’s anything underneath for it to rest on, it won’t really do its job, so maybe I can just buy a second counterweight that at least actually wraps around the hose or something. I read online somebody talking about buying washers to add above the hose, but for the amount of weight that this thing seems to demand, I think the entire hose would be nothing but washers to get the thing to work!

So there you have it – how my 1/2 hour job tonight turned into a 3 hour job, on top of another 2 hours from the weekend that should’ve been enough to begin with. Being a homeowner is fun.




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