Replacing kitchen sink... what exactly is going on under my sink?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by Jim Brown Bonez C&C, Jan 17, 2020.

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  1. Jan 17, 2020 #1

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

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    Hi all! I'm new to the forum and a first time homeowner. I went to use my hot water in the kitchen yesterday and the handle snapped off the faucet! I've decided to go ahead and replace the whole faucet. My sink has 4 holes all together. The main faucet, separate hot and cold taps at each side and a sprayer at far left(looking down at the sink from above). Standard kitchen faucet I've had in every home I've lived in. I watched a few videos and started feeling confident about the job. But looking under my sink, seems different than all the sinks I've seen online? Am I just confused? It seemed online that all the water connections would screw together, but all mine appear to be clamped in place? Did the former owner just cut off the attachment point and clamp the hoses in place? When I remove and install the new faucet, will I just use similar lengths of 1/2" PEX pipe (what is currently in use) and clamp them into place, as they are now? If that's the case, I'm not too worried. Might even be easier than making sure I have the correct hoses etc. We had the house inspected well, by a professional and he is also a friend. He said the former owners had made lots of "upgrades" but all was well. The home is about 16 years old and it is a manufactured home. If that helps. I believe all the hoses under the sink have been replaced from the originals by one of the previous owners. I appreciate any help, we need our faucet back and I'm headed to lowes today to buy everything (I hope). These pics were snapped looking directly at the water supply lines to the sink, and we also have a dishwasher. I think you guys can see the hoses heading up to the sink, are the hoses and connections in question. What kind of clamps are these, how do I remove them, and what are they called if I need more? Any advice is needed. I asked my father, who is very handy around the house, if I could borrow a basin wrench. He told me he has only changed one faucet, about 15 years ago and used no special tools. Should I buy a basin wrench? Can something be substituted? I have plenty of basic tools and have a basic knowledge of how these things work. But, I've done minimal repair work and this is my first faucet replacement. I know I need to clean everything from under the sink, turn off power to the outlet (I do have one), turn off water to the faucet at both sides... and that is where I get lost. I see no connections to unscrew as I did in all the videos and pages I read etc. I hope my pics can tell the story and somebody has some advice for me. Thanks in advance!
    Jim Brown
    Bonez Customs and Collectables 20200117_140606.jpg 20200117_140627.jpg 20200117_140704.jpg 20200117_140606.jpg 20200117_140627.jpg 20200117_140704.jpg
     
  2. Jan 17, 2020 #2

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    Yours are done the same way I installed mine not long ago. The PEX run all the way to the top where those black/white finger knobs are. Shut off the water and you should be able to reach up and undo the white ones to release the PEX fittings and then the black ones to remove the fixture. If you cant get them by hand you may need to grab them with a tool. They don’t look that old and should come off easy.


    Welcome to the forum.
     
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  3. Jan 17, 2020 #3

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

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    Thanks bud16415! Sounds like something I can do for sure. I will get the water shut off and see if I can undue the nuts by hand. If I need to buy a tool, I can pick it up with the faucet. I appreciate your reply and look forward to any other advice as well. Though it sounds pretty straight forward to me.
     
  4. Jan 17, 2020 #4

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

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    One more question. When I get the pex off the faucet, how do I remove it from the connection point? What are these small clamps called, I'm sure i can find them but I'd like to KNOW if you do. Do I need to keep/replace the pieces that attach the pex to the faucet? Sorry, thought up some new questions. I'm hoping since you recently installed a similar system maybe you will know the terms and what I need to buy etc. I had just planned to find the clamps, and buy the pex and copy what I see here basically. Is that my goal? What to I need to complete that job? I'm just a newbie to all this. I made and cooled pex pipe at work, but other than that I have no experience with it. Thanks again.
     
  5. Jan 17, 2020 #5

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    The fitting at the top you will be removing is a compression fitting that is made to seal against the bottom of the new faucet. Almost but similar to how you attach a hose to your house. When you take it apart you will see how it works. I would remove the old one to take along so what you buy new has the same spacing. Normally you use a special braided hose that has this fitting on the end, but now with PEX people save money and run the PEX all the way up.


    You shouldn’t have to work with the PEX cutting and crimping and such but if you do there are a few ways to connect it. The less expensive way is with the fittings like you have and you then need the crimping tool that puts the bands on. The more expensive fitting is called a Shark-Bite and you just cut the tube and slip it on. There is even a ring you push in on and then you can slip the fitting off. Both ways I recommend buying a PEX cutter it is razor sharp and cuts a perfect edge.


    If worse came to worse you could just cut the lines going up and then attach new to them. you shouldn’t have to do that. The beauty of PEX is it is so simple to do. I did my entire 2 story house from the meter on to everything in the house in a day.
     
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  6. Jan 18, 2020 #6

    pjones

    pjones

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    At work we are no longer allowed to use Sharkbite fittings for installs or repairs. We have seen too many expensive failures from them and don’t want to be liable for those damages. It’s your house, you can use them if you want but I took them out of my house after hearing about the repeated failures that techs were having to repair and keep them at home now only for emergency’s. They do still exceed in that category. You can cap a live pipe if you have to or make a repair in a fire sensitive location until proper safety measures can be organized to fix it in a more permanent way.

    I still use them on unpressurized lines without concern. It’s just the pressurized pipes that are the issue.
     
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  7. Jan 18, 2020 #7

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    In my house I have 3 sharkbite fittings. The reason I used them was because the parts I needed came that way and did not have the crimp option. They are the in and out connections for the hot water tank and the adapter/valve for the water to the fridge kit. All three are not buried and out where any problem would be quickly seen.


    The rest of the house I did with the stainless crimp bands like the OP shows. I ran everything off a manifold as a homerun so there is no connections anywhere hidden.


    My case against sharkbite is not one of reliability based on my experience but one of cost. they are priced way to high IMO and the crimps work way to well and are very simple to do.


    With sharkbite I see several areas that could cause problems freezing is the biggest next is the smoothness of the cut end. If you hacksaw one off and have a bur I see a failure waiting to happen. Lastly a misaligned stressed fitting joint. The PEX in a roll really wants to take a set and I spent a lot of time working it straight or as straight as I could get it and then getting it clamped to structure to hold it straight. They also sell steel / plastic braces for when you have to make a 90 bend that’s somewhat tight. They work great and I would recommend them.


    It used to be you needed rolls or the only straight lengths were 10’ but now I see straights 20’ long. I have bought it both ways but rolls are better. I never bought into the red and blue and I just rap a band of red tape near the end of the hot and do it all in white.
     
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  8. Jan 18, 2020 #8

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Many kitchen faucets nowadays come with short supply lines already attached, usually 8 to 12 inches long.
    Sometimes longer.

    So you will likely need to shorten your existing pex supply risers.

    If you don’t want to buy or rent a pex crimping tool just for that, I have seen pex connecting clamps that tighten with a screw, instead of a cinch or crimp clamp.

    Or just use the sharkbite pex fittings, if you cut the pex evenly and cleanly, no burrs, they are fast and will never leak.
    Make sure to mark the end of the pex riser with a sharpie, for the correct full insertion depth into the sharkbite fitting.
     
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  9. Jan 18, 2020 #9

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Also, I have never seen the sprayer on the left side of the faucet, always on the right.

    Nowadays, the faucet head usually pulls out to use as a sprayer, and that extra hole gets filled with a plug.
     
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  10. Feb 7, 2020 #10

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

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    Thanks for the info everybody! I have more to think about now. I am mostly wondering, and forgive me if this has been answered and I just dont get it, but I still am confused about connecting the pex pipe the to the new faucet directly and or the included hoses. As mentioned, the new faucet will come with hoses to run down and connect to the existing pipes. Most I've seen have screw type connections to attach to standard pipe fittings(screw on type also). I obviously have to cut the new pipes from the faucet and connect them to my existing pex pipe somehow. I worked in a pex factory and have a great cutter so no worries there. I bought a crimping tool and the crimp rings on amazon. I had car trouble and this got put on the back burner until today sadly. Are the shark bite fittings just "connectors" to attach the faucet hoses to my existing pex plumbing? If so, that makes perfect sense. Cut the screw connectors from the new hoses, cut/uncrimp the existing pex, insert a connector into each side of open hose and pex and crimp them down. But will the pex crimper and rings work on the new faucet hoses? Am I eliminating the new faucet hoses completely and attaching the pex straight to the new faucet somehow? Will the new faucet come with pex pipe itself? That makes sense too, I just dont know what exactly I need to buy for that if it's the case? Is there a special fitting to connect pex pipe to the faucet in place of the original hoses included? Do I just cut the new hoses off and crimp the pex STRAIGHT to the faucet and attach the faucet to the sink as usual? I hope I haven't confused anybody, Haha. I plan to remove the faucet, buy the rest of the supplies and do the job today(Friday) so any more quick help is much appreciated. I get the jist of it all and it seems quite straight forward. I am very confident in doing the job, just still a little confused on some specific aspects. I appreciate any further info and I'm looking into shark bite fittings now, though the mixed reviews here have me slightly worried. I dont want to be doing this fix again anytime soon on the same sink obviously. Is there a better/another alternative? Thanks in advance.
    Jim Brown
    Bonez Customs and Collectables
    @bonezcustoms on IG
     
  11. Feb 7, 2020 #11

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

    Jim Brown Bonez C&C

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    Well I think I answered my own question by looking at my own pics closer lol. I can clearly see the pex running up to the compression nuts that hold the sink down and that they are crimped directly on. I imagine I'll be recreating this exactly, just with a new faucet and new sections of pex. If I'm on the right track here, itd be great to know for sure lol. I'm headed to the hardware store in a few hours, besides some new 1/2" pex pipe and the faucet itself, I believe I have all I need already. I'll surely be back if things go sideways for me, lol. I'm sure I got this though. Thanks for the help guys! Your info was very valuable to me and I appreciate all your replies. I hope I'm able to help somebody here at some point myself.
    Jim Brown
    Bonez Customs and Collectables
     
  12. Feb 7, 2020 #12

    pjones

    pjones

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    If the faucet comes with hoses I would use them and simply install a PEX to whatever type thread you need brass adapter to connect to. They should have adapters at the hardware store.

    Unless the faucet was designed to have pex run directly to it then I would adhere to the guidelines in the instructions
     
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  13. Feb 7, 2020 #13

    bud16415

    bud16415

    bud16415

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    I agree, the reason many of the new fixtures come with the long drops is that it makes them that much easier to install having the connections down where you can see them and get at them.


    Do as pjones suggests and get the correct PEX adaptor and cut the PEX and install the new ones in the correct location. The time to buy them is when you buy the fixture and ask for a half inch PEX adaptor.
     
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  14. Feb 8, 2020 #14

    Jeff Handy

    Jeff Handy

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    Do not cut the supply lines that are attached to the faucet.

    It will likely void the warranty.
    If the faucet has a problem, you cannot return or exchange it.

    And as stated above, you want to bring the connections down to where they are easier to get to.

    Remove the drain plumbing if it is in your way, but take some good pics of the layout first.
     

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