BlowingRockVista

Monday, February 23, 2004

basin wrench  

posted by Michael Piwonka 5:39 PM
This past weekend I replaced our broken kitchen faucet with a new faux-chrome one. Installing the new one was very easy, particularly because of the nifty plastic tool that came with the faucet. It was a long plastic cylindrical "socket" that allowed reaching into tight spots to tighten the nut that holds the faucet onto the sink.

Removing the old faucet was an entirely different story. The old Moen faucet was probably installed in the sink before the sink was installed into the counter. Reaching and loosening the nut that held the faucet was practically impossible. Unless you have the right tool.

My dad was a carpenter, and one of his adages that I remember clearly was that any task was easy if you had the right tool. And sometimes impossible if you didn't.

A quick search on the Internet revealed the tool I needed: a basin wrench. It's basically a spring-loaded wrench that fits practically any size nut, and is swivel-mounted on the end of a long, slender rod. It reaches those hard to reach places, and has a hole in the handle end so you can insert a smaller rod (or screwdriver) for leverage.

Even with this plumber's best friend, I still had problems because the retractable hose of the pull-out sprayer was in the way. So I basically had to disassemble the faucet while still attached to the sink. Once I removed the hose, I could easily reach the nut that held the faucet in place. It was all downhill from there.

This basin wrench will become part of my collection of tools that I may never use again. They have limited use, but are lifesavers when you're facing those unique jobs they're created for.

Even if I never use it again, the $10 it cost me at Home Depot were well worth it. Compare that one-time $10 charge against the probable $100 minimum a plumber would have charged me to loosen that single nut.

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random. arbitrary. completely unnecessary. yet refreshingly therapeutic.




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