Many homeowners prefer to do small plumbing jobs on their own. However, one project that often gives our customers trouble is removing or installing a faucet. This seems like it should be simple but can quickly become frustrating if you don’t have the right tool.
In this article, we’re going to cover why you should add a basin wrench to your toolbox, and how to use it when working on a faucet.
What is a basin wrench used for?
A basin wrench is a specialized tool for installing or removing kitchen and bathroom sink faucets. With its long shaft, it’s designed to reach up into the tight space underneath the sink and loosen or tighten the mounting nuts that are very hard to get to with other tools like standard wrenches or pliers.
The key to the basin wrench is a claw head that can grab on to the mounting nuts. The head can be adjusted to rotate in both clockwise or counterclockwise directions, depending on whether you want to loosen or tighten the nuts.
- Set up the wrench
Before using the wrench, you need to make sure it’s positioned for the correct operation (loosening or tightening). You’ll want to do this before you get under the sink. To start, hold the wrench upright so that the head is on top.
If you’re trying to remove a faucet, the opening of the claw should be facing the right. When you attach it to the nut (next step), you’ll be turning the wrench counterclockwise.
On the other hand, if you are installing a new faucet or tightening up an existing one, the basin wrench claw head will be facing the left and you’ll be turning the wrench clockwise.
- Fit the wrench on the mounting nut
This is the point you get underneath the sink, which can be a cramped and uncomfortable position. Reach the basin wrench up to the bottom of the sink and position around the mounting nut. The claw head should be gripping the notches of the nut. You can reposition the claw at any time to put yourself in a more comfortable position with the best leverage.
- Turn the wrench
Using the T-bar (the small bar at the bottom of the wrench that’s perpendicular to the shaft), use both hands to turn the wrench. This will give you more leverage than trying to turn the shaft. You can slide the T-bar to the other side of the shaft to position it where you have more room.
Removing the nut can be tricky, especially if it’s old and corroded. If it’s really stuck, you can try spraying penetration oil to loosen it up a bit.
A basin wrench can take some practice to successfully loosen or tight a faucet’s mounting nut. But once you get the hang of it, it can be a very useful tool when it comes to your home plumbing projects.
Even simple DIY plumbing projects can turn into a bigger headache than you expect. If you need help with your kitchen or bathroom faucet, don’t hesitate to call the friendly team at Liberty Plumbing. We will make sure that all your fixtures and pipes are in proper working order. Call us today at (951) 760-4215.