How to straighten loose bathroom spread faucet

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m4p

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Hi guys,

We have a spread faucet in our bathroom. I replaced the cartridges in the handles and put new set screws in the handles. I thought everything was hunky dorey but apparently the faucet itself is loose. I don't see any set screw on the part of the faucet that stays on top of the counter.

So underneath is this t-bar that if you move it, the faucet moves so it doesn't sit straight on the sink. It's not a big deal, but I thought if I could tighten it myself without too much effort, I would try it.

I have very little knowledge of plumbing and my husband won't get involved (which really isn't a bad thing since the last time he tried to fix something he broke a pipe).

The nut that looks like it's the one that needs to be tightened has 5 sides. I took a picture and circled that nut. I also uploaded a picture of the top of the sink.

Can anyone tell me if that's the right thing to tighten and what tool I would use, and lastly could a not too skilled person do it? I googled and found something called a basin wrench but have no idea what size to get or if that's what I need. Thanks!


. Faucet underneath.jpg
Faucet top.jpg
 

ckev70

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The nut you circled would have 6 sides. I don't know size is needed for the basin wrenches but you will need to tighten that nut to keep the faucet handle from moving. I would suspect the nut to be at least 1 1/2" to 2"

i've used
https://www.homedepot.com/p/RIDGID-...PIPHorizontal2_rr-_-206184138-_-303528759-_-N

Update: The EZ-Change tool won't work in your case unless the bottom half is disassembled. The basin wrench is probably the best choice.

Also as a side note, from the the picture, the faucet spout may also be loose or missing a gasket/seal since it looks like water has leaked from the top of the counter and below.
 
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Diehard

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Yes typically a basin wrench is required to allow you to reach those tough to get at nuts, etc.
Unless there was sufficient space to use another tool. But If you don't currently have anything that would allow you to turn that nut, I would suggest the basin wrench.
As far as size, they do vary whereas some may only fit up to a 1" nut while another may go to 1-1/4" or more. You wouldn't want to go much bigger than you had to since bigger would generally require more access space. Now although you said 5 sides, I would expect it is hex shaped with 6 sides, but none the less, I would suggest you get a good estimate of just how big that one is across the flats. That would allow you to choose an appropriate size at the store. Even if they had to grab a large nut of the size you determined it was and tried the available wrench for fit.
Hint: While using a basin wrench it sometimes helps to use one hand to guide the jaws on the nut while starting to turn the wrench with the other. It is awkward, for sure. But if need be you may be able to do it with just holding the wrench handle.

You'll get the hang of it.
You'll see when you get the wrench that they are made so you can flip the jaw one way or the other depending on whether you're tightening or loosening.

Skilled person? No! More of a contortionist.

Getting it reasonably tight should suffice.

EDIT: Oops, sorry. Posted my response without seeing the other response.
 
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m4p

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Thank you both so much for the replies. I really appreciate it. Chev70, I think the watermark you're seeing may be the hot water handle because before I replaced the cartridge, it was leaking there. I hope that's it, but if it's the faucet leaking water there, putting on a gasket sounds complicated, like I'd have to remove the faucet? I'll feel under there and see if it feels wet. I saw the same thing you did and felt it, and it felt dry. When I was counting the sides of the nut, I was doing it by feel, so I'm sure you're right and it's 6 sided. I'm going to make a trip to Home Depot and at least get a basin wrench after measuring that nut. We do have a friend who's an auto mechanic and really good at fixing things so maybe he'll help. Anyways, thanks again, and I'll post back after I get the wrench.

I just watched a youtube video of a wrench basin. Boy, do they make it look easy! lol
 

m4p

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Update: Just wanted to thank you guys again. I went to home depot and bought a basin wrench. I did see that Rigid EZ Change tool. It was pretty cool looking, but looked too complicated for me. I'm glad I got the smallest length basin wrench because it was difficult getting the wrench up to the nut without banging into everything else. Since no one was home to hold the faucet straight for me on top, I looped a rope around a towel bar and then tied the other end to the faucet up on top. It worked and the faucet is now tight.

I think the reason the faucet was loose was the last plumber we had replaced the water lines and it's kind of smooshed and doesn't lay right so it was pushing on the tbar. I think the line needs to be taken off and re-situated but I think we're going to ask a friend of ours who's very handy to do that job.

Anyway, just wanted to thank you for the help. Don't think I would have had the courage to try it myself without it.
 
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