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Welcome again to Saturday Morning Home Repair blogging, where we talk about fixing houses, the things in them that are supposed to work for us,  and fixing them up.  An ad hoc cadre of building professionals and gifted amateurs attempt to answer questions that arise from readers, and offer encouragement and advice for those inclined to do things for themselves, if they can.  We all do a lot of things, collectively, and can probably help out with insights from our vast experience.
Or sometimes, we just gab.
Greetings and salutations from the world of diapers and sleep deprivation! I apologize in advance if I can't respond to much this morning; getting a 3-month old on some type of daily schedule is not the easiest thing. Since I knew that both project and computer time would be nil once she was born, I went crazy before the event to get as much of the house in order (aka, on autopilot) as possible.

Yeah, like that was going to work.

While doing the daily onslaught of dishes, I noticed there was a puddle of water under the dish strainer. No big deal, thought I; it was probably bumped out of place by the non-sleeping adults, and was just draining on the counter instead of the sink. Next day, same thing, same reasoning. Day 3, same thing....and I knew the water puddle was the result of more than bumping a dish strainer. After pulling the strainer off the counter, I ran the faucet to find a river flowing from it's base from both the hot and cold. So off to Moen's website we go...

"Buy it for looks, buy it for life" is a great slogan, and implies a lifetime warranty, but comes with a distinct caveat: it only applies to the original purchaser, and only if they have registered the product with Moen. Since I bought the house as a foreclosure, the warranty was null and void on several levels. Repair kits are available for about $55, but with faucets transitioning from washer guts to ceramic inserts, I had no way of knowing what was inside the unit until I opened it. Then I would be without a working kitchen faucet until the kit arrived, a big no-no with a baby. For $25 more, I got a new unit altogether from L---'s...and registered it, mind you. To play it safe, I also decided to replace the supply lines for $7 each; no telling how old those might be.

First up, shut off the water at the sink and remove the old faucet. I occasionally play guitar, so I have a relatively strong grip and was able to loosen the plastic nuts with nothing more than pliers. This resulted in an unexpected shower of rust (very tasty, by the way). A few more minutes grunting, and I got the old unit off...and was very happy I didn't just go with a repair kit.

Rust source
Shower de rust
Not only was there corrosion on the inlet pipes, all the internal pipes and parts were completely rusted out. Additionally, there was no gasket between the faucet and sink itself, which left this gorgeous mess...
Break out the Barkeeper's Friend
No repair kit was going to help this out. After cleaning as much rust as possible from the sink and cabinet underneath, physically installing the new faucet on the sink was  as simple as two plastic nuts. Not so simple was getting the whole thing straight; Plastic-Man would make a great plumber in this situation. New supply lines (the old ones were nearly as bad as the faucet itself) with teflon tape for any metal-to-metal contact, and that just left the sprayer.

Of course Moen had to make that easier for the average joe as well.

Moen's sprayer connect
Not sure how much I actually trust the longevity of this connection, but it certainly was easy. Push the black connecter on as far as it will go, then push the white clamp down tight with your fingers until it clicks. Repeat for the end of the sprayer hose, and you're done. No pliers, no teflon tape...but I'll reserve judgement for a few years (or until it doesn't leak long enough for me to forget about it).

One trick I've learned with new sprayer hoses was how to get them to stay uncoiled. Once everything is together (and nothing leaking, mind you), run the hottest water you can through the hose for about 5 minutes. This will make the hose very pliable, and you can uncoil it to full extension under the sink, making it far easier to use. Lastly, use a loop of double sided velcro (like the type you often get on romaine lettuce at the grocery store) to loosely secure the hose mostly where you want it to be. That helps prevent the still-relaxing hose from knocking over bottles of cleaner and such often stored under the kitchen sink.

That's it for the faucet. Now I'm just trying to ready the yard for the older one's 4th birthday on June 1, where all the in-laws come over and tell me everything they would do in the yard if it were theirs. Which would be fine if any of them offered to help with the work, or baby sit, or change the weather on my wife's days off. 5 o'clock comes very early on June 1, believe me....

BONUS ROUND!!!
Not something I did myself, but it did add to the stress level. The second floor gets its heat and hot water from a tankless system that was only four years old when I bought the house, and nine years old last week. While showing the next likely tenant where the washer and dryer are in the basement, we found a spewing river from this baby...

It's a big sucker....
...with a huge crack!
Solid cast iron an inch thick. The manufacturer covered the unit itself at no charge....but not the cost of the plumbers for two days. It was a long, expensive week....
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