I’m Betting on the Old

Old sink, new taps

Old sink, new taps

Today I finally had a chance to replace the faucets on the bathroom sink. The old faucets came attached to the basin; I paid about $25 for the well-used ensemble. When both faucets developed leaks, I fixed the cold one by taking the whole thing apart and replacing a rubber washer. But I couldn’t fix the hot tap, since one of its parts had been too badly mangled by someone who got to it before I did.

I bought a new set made under the comforting brand name “Kingston Brass” (tagline: The Tradition of Fine Brass). The instruction leaflet, with such gems as

“PROBLEM: Faucet is dirty. CAUSE: Caused by stubborn water spot” 

and

“PROBLEM: Handles works backward. CAUSE: Handle install backward,” 

did not inspire confidence.

New and old

New and old

Still, I had removed the hot water faucet some time ago and needed to make the sink usable again, so I proceeded with the installation. Everything went smoothly until I tightened the new plastic nut under the first faucet, replaced the water supply line, and turned it on. The nut would not hold the faucet in place on the irregularly shaped surface of the vintage sink. I took it apart again and installed the new faucet using the old nut and its conical, serrated washer. That did the trick.

The old washer and nut versus the new plastic nut

The old washer, left (I have never seen a washer quite this grand) and its nut, center, versus the new plastic nut, right.

I repeated the steps on the cold faucet and completed the installation.

I will be amazed if this set lasts ten years. The old set lasted more than fifty. I’m keeping the old parts; maybe I can find someone who has the expertise and equipment necessary to drill out the mangled screw and retap the threads inside the valve.

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2 responses to “I’m Betting on the Old

  1. Thanks for sharing your faucet installation. As a person who is mechanically inclined NOT, I recently experienced the challenge of replacing a broken door lock. After purchasing a lock at Bear Hardware in Nashville, where they assured me that “all locks are the same,” and finding it to be the wrong size, I went to J&S Locksmiths on West 17th. They not only found the same brand as the old one, but sat me down and led me through the step-by-step process of installation — a small step for a carpenter, but a HUGE LEAP for an ignorant young-senior woman with no confidence. I realize this is not comparable to repairing a vintage sink, but kudos to J&S, who’ve been in business in Bloomington since 1956.

  2. Well done, Rachel!

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