How to Tighten Kitchen Sink Faucet

One of the contributors of stress around the house is the sight of leaking water, particularly in the kitchen. Some homeowners may not allow repairs right away because it might not be included in the monthly or daily budget. However, this can eventually cost them a lot more if they wait for another month or so. Hence, leaks should be given priority also because it may lead to larger bills in the end.

Basically, kitchen faucets can get heavily used on a day to day basis. Even on a normal swiveling of the head from one side to the other, it can loosen the tap when not fastened properly. As a result, it will cause the unit to get unstable leading to the shifting around the edge of the sink.

However, this task commonly require two people in order to reach the fasteners and holding the faucet steadily together. Adding adhesives to the threads of the fasteners can also be an option or it can be practical to install lock washers on top of the nut to tighten it.

Take note that a loose faucet can interfere with the movement of turning it on or off in an efficient manner. Since the water lines can rupture over time due to the loose base, it will eventually cause leaks. By tightening the components though, it will enable the reduction of irritation or stress that comes with loosely installed kitchen faucets.

If your kitchen sink faucet is acting similarly, this can be remedied by acting on it promptly. Otherwise, leaks can escalate which could lead to additional expenses. Thus, you need to have a set of tools such as a flashlight, hex head wrench, flathead screwdriver and an adjustable crescent wrench to make the job a success. Here are some steps that you can follow in order to get your kitchen sink faucet up and running in no time.

1. Turn the Water Supply Off

Try to remove the objects inside the sink cabinet that should interfere with your mobility in reaching the supply valves. These valves should be located at the back. Once done, you can now turn the valves clockwise in order to close the water supply off.

2. Check the Sink Faucet Handle

Notice the handle as you can find a decorative cap snapped on top or a setscrew with recessed hex head on the base of it. This will matter because the next step depends on it.

3. Removing the Handle

Use a hex head wrench that should fit exactly into the setscrew. Then, you need to turn the setscrews in a clockwise motion until it will tighten. Try to lift the handle onto the opening position if you can’t access the setscrews on a downward or closing position.

4. Missing Hex Head Setscrew

If you can’t find a hex head setscrew around, you can apply masking tape around the caps of the faucet handles. Just don’t allow the tape to wrap around the edges of the cap.

5. Removing the Cap

Use the flathead screwdriver to slide under the cap’s edge. Try to lift it gently using the screwdriver so that you can remove it from the faucet handle. Once again, tighten the setscrew on a clockwise motion. This is located below the cap. You can now push the decorative cap on the opening once the handle is tightened. If you have two handles to deal with, try to remove the cap and tighten its screw and replace it accordingly. Remember to remove the masking tape from above the handle.

6. Test the Faucet

After performing the previous steps, you can now test the new installation. Simply turn on the valves in order to allow water to flow into the faucet. If leaks still occur, try to re-install the cap or the handle using the steps done previously.

If the problem is no longer on your kitchen sink faucet, you can check for the base if necessary. You can follow these steps to deal with this problem once and for all.

7. Turning the Water Supply Off

Make sure that you have cleared all the objects from the sink cabinet. These objects should obstruct your view and your ability to get near the supply valves that should be located around the cabinet. After this, you can turn off the water supply that should provide water to your faucet. Simply slide your back into the cabinet to do this.

8. Removing the Supply Lines

Check the base of the faucet by aiming a flashlight into it. After determining the base, you can use an adjustable wrench and set it in accordance with the size of the nut of the water supply hose that should be holding the lines going into the inlets of the base. Try to loosen and then remove the supply lines by way of turning the nuts on a counterclockwise direction using your adjusted wrench.

9. Tightening the Nuts

Use a basin wrench and slide it up to the nuts holding the sink’s base. Turn the nuts in a clockwise direction using the basin wrench to tighten. You can now tighten the base nut of the second faucet.

10. Checking for Leaks

If you think that you have done everything right, it is time to check your installation. Simply reconnect the water lines so that you can turn the water supply valves back on. This will determine if you have indeed done it correctly.

Remember that this task can be done if you only have the right tools for the job. If you doubt that you can complete this task, you can always ask for assistance regarding this matter. If possible, try to research first before doing difficult repairs around your house. Otherwise, you will only be doing more harm than good. Likewise, it is important to use components from the same manufacturer if necessary. This will ensure that you will get the exact same sizes that should fit your kitchen sink faucet.

How to Install Backerboard in Shower

A concrete backerboard is required for all tile or natural stone showers. It serves as a shower wall substrate that will help protect the wood of the wall studs from moisture. It is not waterproof but it is installed with a moisture barrier. A benefit of using cement backerboards is they remain dimensionally stable even when wet so they do not swell up, which will lessen the occurrence of tile cracking and other bathroom problems.

You have to make sure your concrete backerboard is properly installed to have a solid and durable substrate for your tile installation. Take your time when installing the sheets and ensure that you make it as moisture-resistant as possible.

1. Decide if you will go with vertical or horizontal placement when installing your backerboard in the shower. It really won’t affect the outcome, but it is important to make the process easier. For wide shower areas, it is better to place the boards on their longest edge. But if it will make the installation more difficult, then run the sheets vertically instead.

2. Cover the wall studs in plastic sheeting. This will serve as a moisture barrier for the wall studs behind the backerboard. Use a utility knife to cut the plastic sheeting down to size, staple the sheeting into place, then layer them using a waterfall method (each upper piece drains down onto the next lower sheet, directing the water down towards the shower pan). Make sure that the shower pan flange is covered by the lowest edge of the sheeting.

3. Lay out your boards for the best fit on the walls. Measure and mark your pieces, then make straight cuts using a utility knife and T-square that is held against the sheets.

4. Use a keyhole saw to cut around for pipe stub-outs (such as faucets and shower heads).

5. Starting with the lowest piece, start stacking your boards up the wall. Place a couple of screws slightly into the wall about 1/8 inch above the shower pan. This way, you can rest the first piece on the screws while you are screwing it in place. When the most bottom sheet is screwed in place, you can rest the next board on top of the lower sheet.

6. Mount the boards to the wall studs by drilling the board into the studs. Make sure to place screws every 6 inches or so up the wall studs, within ½ inch from edges. Remember to leave a gap of at least 1/8 inch between sheets to allow movement during expansion and contraction.

7. Fill the gap between boards with silicone caulk. Do this also with the space between the lowest piece and the top of the shower pan.

8. Smear silicone over the heads of the screws using a putty knife.

9. Tape the seams by placing drywall mesh tape over the edges of sheets that connect on an individual wall except the inside corners.

10. Before proceeding to tile installation, fill all the gaps in the seams with thinset.

How to Clean Corian Sink Stains

Corian sinks are known for creating kitchens that have a seamless, modern, stylish look. But no matter how beautiful they may look, they will still end up dirty and stained just like any sink. The good news is there are plenty of tricks on how to easily remove any stains on a Corian sink. Depending on your cleaning preferences and the severity of the stains, here are some quick solutions.

Most Popular Methods

Based on the Dupont website, the best way to clean your Corian sink is by using warm soapy water or an ammonia-based household cleaner. Scrub this over the stain with an abrasive scouring pad, such as Scotch-Brite. However, that might not be enough for some tougher stains, particularly those caused by coffee, tea, vinegar, lemon juice, dyes, ketchup, and wine spills.

If that is the case, then the next most recommended cleaning method is to mix bleach and water (with 50-50 proportions). Pour the mixture on the stained areas and allow to sit for a few hours (16 hours is the maximum time you should leave any cleaning substance on your Corian sink). After soaking in the bleach and water, use a damp abrasive scouring pad to rub the stains. Rinse with warm water, then wipe your sink dry.

Eco-friendly Options

A greener alternative to bleach is to use hydrogen peroxide (3% solution) and baking soda. Mix these two to make a paste, apply the mixture on the stains in the sink, cover it with a dry rag, let it sit for a few hours, then rinse with warm water, and wipe dry.

Another alternative is to use baking soda and dish soap. First, make sure your Corian sink is wiped dry because the baking soda will dissolve on a wet sink. Sprinkle a little of the powder in the sink, pour a couple of drops of dish soap, then scrub with an abrasive scouring pad until the stains are fully removed. After that, give the sink a warm water rinse, and wipe dry. You can also add some salt to the baking soda if the stains are tougher to remove.

More Alternative Solutions

  • You can also try using Dupont’s Stone Care Deep Cleaner for Corian sinks for tougher stains.
  • For hard water scale build ups, use a standard household lime scale remover and a scouring pad. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • You can use cleaning products that have bleach included, such as Comet Cleaner with Bleach and Soft Scrub with Bleach.
  • Tea or coffee stains can also be removed using scrub powders with oxalic acid, such as Bar Keepers Friend or Zud.

Important Reminders

To restore and maintain the overall luster of your Corian sink, make sure to always thoroughly rinse it with warm water after applying any cleaning substance and to wipe it dry. You should then apply a mild cream abrasive cleaner with a damp cloth all over the surface (using circular motions) to retain the beauty and gloss of your sink.

How to Repair Thermostatic Shower Valve

If you are noticing some problems with the amount of hot water in your shower, it might be that your thermostatic shower valve is damaged. This is the component that controls the water flow through the shower head. Aside from an insufficient amount of hot water you are receiving from the shower system, other signs that indicate this part is no longer functioning well and already needs fixing or replacement include are leaks and slow reaction.

If you are experiencing this type of problem, take note that there is no huge difference between a thermostatic shower and a regular shower system, which means that you would not need to call on a professional fix it for you, especially when you are quite good in doing DIY projects. Just follow these simple steps to repair a thermostatic shower.

1. Secure the tools and materials that you will need, including Phillips and flat head screwdrivers, deep socket wrench, a pair of pliers and a new thermostatic shower valve.

2. Using a flat head screwdriver, take off the cap of the shower handle to get access to the screw that you should remove using a Philips screwdriver. Beneath this screw, you will also find another screw that you also have to remove in order to remove the lever handle.

3. After you have completely removed the shower handle, it is time to remove handle faceplate. In doing so, see to it that you set aside the components you remove in a safe area in your bathroom, so you will not have any difficulty reassembling them later on.

4. By this time, you will be able to see a hole on the wall, which is part of the thermostatic valve. If there is a stop check valve, you will need to shut them off, and if there is not any, you need to completely shut off the main water supply to your home.

5. After ensuring the water supply is shut off, remove the valve cartridge. Take note that this component is shaped like a “U” in some units, and can be removed using a pair of pliers. For other units, they have bolts and nuts that you need to remove to take the cartridge off.

6. With the cartridge removed, you will now be able to remove the entire thermostatic system, along with the hose and shower head, from the water supply. Disconnect the hot and cold water supply from the valve to remove the actual valve itself.

7. Place the new valve where it should be. Simply replace the components in a reverse order when you removed them, turning the valve back on and re-installing the faceplate and handle.

8. Test if the problem is solved by turning the water back on and testing the temperature.

More Useful Tips

While thermostatic valves come in the more common manual form, they can also come in a digital electronic form. For the manual type, it uses heat-sensitive material, which expands with heat to restrict the flow of hot water. On the other hand, the digital electronic type have no moving parts to control the amount of hot water released, but instead use semiconductor devices, such as thermistors. Knowing which type you are having is important before you start the repair work.

How to Clear a Blocked Shower Drain

Over time, you would find that your shower is taking a very long time to drain, which is most likely caused by a blockage down the drain. As you can see, soap scum, hair and other debris from months of use and bathing will not only form a clog, but will also produce unpleasant drain odor. But before you call on a plumbing professional, who can charge you a hefty fee, know that there is a variety of ways to solve such a problem yourself. Here, you will learn how to clean a blocked shower drain using the most popular and effective methods.

Using Baking Soda and White Vinegar

This homemade remedy requires baking soda (also known as bicarbonate of soda or sodium bicarbonate), distilled white vinegar, a rag, and boiling water. For maximum effectiveness, do this when the shower won’t be needed for a few hours.

1. Pour half a cup of baking soda down your shower drain and follow it right away with a similar amount distilled white vinegar.

2. The mixture of baking soda and vinegar will create a fizzing action, so plug the drain with the rag. Leave it for at least 20 minutes to allow the mixture to work away at the blockage.

3. Boil water in a kettle and then pour the hot water down the drain quickly. This will be able to flush away the blockage.

4. Repeat the process if needed.

While performing this task, make sure you do not accidentally splash yourself with the baking soda-vinegar mixture and the boiling water. Better yet, should wear goggles and rubber gloves for extra protection.

Using Mechanical Tools

You can also try physically pulling out what is causing the clog in your drain, using a crochet hook or a thin wire coat hanger.

1. Get a wire hanger and then bend its end to make a small hook that can fit to be inserted down the drain.

2. Wear a pair of rubber gloves and have a container ready for whatever debris you might pull out from the hole.

3. Remove the screws holding the drain cover and set the pieces you removed aside.

4. Slowly insert the hook end of the bent hanger down the drain and do it in a slight twisting motion.

5. Slowly tug the hook in a slow and upward motion and see is you are pulling some debris out, which should go straight into the container you prepared.

After these steps, you can try checking if your shower is draining properly. If not, it is most likely that there is still debris left, so you can repeat the steps until the problem is solved.

Tips on Using Commercial Drain Cleaners

Note that there is a variety of commercial drain cleaners, which will help you remove small clogs with little effort. When using these products, remember to follow all the instructions on the label and observe proper safety precautions.

By taking the above-mentioned steps, you will be able to clear your blocked shower drain and make sure it is free of unfavorable odor.

How to Clean a Granite Composite Sink

Granite composite sinks are made from granite stones or slabs and are mixed with resin fillers. These types of sinks are elegant, durable and easy to clean. However, if not properly taken care of, stains from spills and food can lead to discoloration and dullness.

If you have a granite composite sink and would like to know how to keep it clean and shiny, here are some tips to help you out.

Note: Although the most common solution you might think of is the application of acidic cleaners like vinegar, ammonia, citrus and bleach, you might need to think again. These might work for solving drainage problems, these products are not for granite composite sinks.

Tip: After each use, it is important to always rinse your sink and keep it dry. This will keep your granite composite clean and prevent debris build-up and sticky sink.

Step 1:
Mix water with liquid dishwashing soap and place it in a container. Get a pail and add some drops of the mixture for a cleaning mixture.

Step 2:
Get a sponge or a cleaning towel and soak it in the soap and water cleaning solution. Wipe the granite composite sink and ensure to remove the dirt that has accumulated on the surface. Do not use a steel wool or any rough cleaner to avoid scratching the sink.

Step 3:
After you have scrubbed the sink with soapy water, rinse it with water to remove the soap. Next, wipe the granite composite sink with dry cloth until it dries.

How to Remove Stains

Step 1:
Create a solution of whitening powder and hydrogen peroxide to remove rough stains. This will be a paste mixture that will let the tough stain adhere to it so you can remove the dirt from the granite composite sink.

Step 2:
After creating the paste mixture, get an ample amount of paste and apply it on the stained area of your sink. Cover the covered area with a plastic wrap and ensure it is secure by using tape. Let it stay this way for at least 48 hours.

Step 3:
After the paste has dried up, you can now remove the paste using a sponge. This will also remove the stain with it.

Step 4:
Rinse your granite composite sink with water by turning on the faucet and letting the water flow.

Removing the White Haze on Granite Composite Sink

Step 1:
Clean the sink with hot water and get a scrubbing pad with a mild detergent liquid soap mixed with water.

Step 2:
Remove the white haze by scrubbing the area you want to clean.

Step 3:
Remove the soapy mixture on the sink by rinsing it again with hot water. Dry the sink with cloth.

Step 4:
Get another dry cloth and pour 1 to 2 teaspoons of mineral or olive oil to the cloth. Use this to wipe the granite composite sink. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes and wipe it again to bring back its luster and shine.

How to Plumb a Shower Mixer

A shower mixer is a significant fixture in the bathroom, especially for home owners who want to upgrade their bathrooms and have limited space for bulgy and different knobs for hot and cold water. A shower mixer is suitable for both bath and shower enclosures. This can either wall-mounted or hidden behind the tiles, depending on your preference.

Both enclosed and exposed shower mixers can add elegance and functionality to the bathroom. While the mounted type is easier to install, the enclosed type is perfect for minimalistic bathroom designs.

In this particular instructional guide, we will focus on a thermostatic shower mixer.

Step 1:

Turn off the water shut valve if you need to remove an old shower unit and replace it with a new one.

Step 2:

Remove the old unit and check for the proper placement of the water feed, with the hot water on the left and the cold water on the right.

Step 3:

Get the “S” union connectors and screw them in the fittings on the wall up until it is extended at approximately 42 millimeters. Next, get the escutcheons and screw them to the wall, leaving at least 150-millimeter spacing between the centers of the escutcheons and ensuring the level is correct.

Step 4:

Get the mixer and install it, ensuring that it is firmly done. Be careful to screw the nuts too tight that they touch the escutcheons. Make the necessary adjustments if needed, both with the firmness of the nut and the horizontal position of these fittings.

Step 5:

Take note of how deep are the “S” union connectors to the wall and after you remove the escutcheons and the mixer.

Step 6:

Get the “S” union connector and seal its thread using Teflon tape. Ensure that you wrap it in the tightening direction. Next, with the use of an open-end wrench, tighten the connector and ensure that there is the 150-mm spacing from center to center as well as the depth that was previously measured. Check the leveling with the use of a spirit level. If the level is correct, seal the wall and the connectors using a silicon sealant.

Step 7:

Get the escutcheons and screw them to the wall. Get the shower mixer and remove the indicator caps, the blue and red ones. Ensure that the filters are properly placed and that the side facing inwards is the rounded one.

Step 8:

Fit the shower mixer into the “S” union connectors and tighten the nuts with an open-end wrench. Check for the level of the mixer by using a spirit level. Make the necessary adjustments.

Step 9:

Check for leaks by turning on the water supply.

Step 10:

Check if the thermostatic shower mixer is working properly by using a thermometer. If the temperature is correct, your task is done. However, if there are some adjustments needed, proceed to the next step.

Step 11:

Turn off the water evacuation outlet and with a flathead screwdriver, remove the cover of the mixer handle, followed by the handle itself.

Step 12:

Let the water run so you can make adjustments to the thermostatic cartridge. Do this by turning the notched black element and do so until the temperature reaches the correct level. Replace the handle and see to it that the handle guide points to the correct temperature which is 38 Degrees Celsius.

How to Build a Shower Pan Curb

The existence of shower pan curbs is very useful as lots of people would consider this in order to avoid nasty leaks in the shower area. Basically, shower curbs will keep water inside the shower area in which sometimes being used as a base for mounting brackets intended for the shower doors. These are common elements in custom-fitted showers that should tie to the shower pan itself.

For this reason, it can provide a completely waterproof area as well as standing up to repeated exposure to moisture and repeated use. Perhaps it will help to follow some important pointers to be reminded of the essential goals to achieve when doing this type of project.

1. Determine the Form

Working on a concrete slab should require a solid base. So you need to create blocks and mortar made of concrete. There are also other forms that rely on wooden bases in forming the curb. Take note that curbs can be as large as you want, so wood of any size can be used to create a basic form.

2. The Pan Liners

Take note that block curbs are painted over with latex waterproofing, but wooden curbs are covered with equal flexible pan liners that should conceal the wooden subfloor and the initial pre-sloped concrete. Thus, in measuring the pan liner to be installed on the shower pan floor, you need to wrap 6-8 inches up the walls so that the wall or board panels will be able to wrap it.

3. The Wire Mesh

Upon placing the liner, it is essential to wrap the curb using a wire mesh. This will create a base to which the mortar of the tile or natural stone installation can stick to. This is so because it can’t be made possible using a plastic liner. For this reason, you need to cut down the wire mesh to a size that should result to metal shears or tin snips.

Such will be folded over the curb to make it slide on top of the liner. You can staple the mesh only to the curb’s face and down along the bottom near the floor. The rest of the wire should then be bent or folded in order to fit snuggly over the curb.

4. The Concrete Deck Mud

Before installing any type of finish over the curb, it is essential to create first a base that should enable adhesives to stick to. Basically, you can just utilize the same deck mud that you have used for the shower pan’s floor. Just make sure that the deck mud has been bonded and packed with the mesh.

Optionally, natural concrete can be used in this case, but it requires a certain amount of thickness. This is intended for concrete mud so that it will bond together with the wire mesh. When it hardens, it will provide a certain base that should be used for installation of the finish material on the top of the curb.

How to Plumb a Shower Tray

Plumbing a shower tray can be confusing if you don’t have prior knowledge about this project. In fact, there are different types of shower tray that you may encounter. But you should be able to determine which one is more suitable for a particular setting.

This type of task should be done with care and skill to avoid leaks that could come from the edges. So prior to buying a shower tray, make sure to measure out the dimensions of your shower area. This will enable you to figure out the size of the product you are going to buy.

Take note that standard trays are built with stone resin which are very strong. So this one doesn’t need legs to stand, but it should have a base that will be able to lift it off the floor. This will ensure ease of access to the pipework and the waste trap.

Here are essential tips that you need to follow when you decide to plumb a shower tray.

1. Using a Shower Tray

If you have decided to use a shower tray for your tub, ensure that the tray has been installed first prior to the tiling of the walls. This will enable the installation of a much better water-tight joint.

2. Leveling the Tray

Upon learning about the type of tray to be used in your area, see to it that the tray has been leveled on the floor. Simply create a slightly slanting direction so that waste water can move out of the drain so easily.

3. Inserting the Waste to the Pipework

Try to insert the waste and try to connect this to the pipework that you have run into the location. This tray should be situated on a concrete floor, a bed of sealant, and sand or cement so as to get it leveled on the floor and ensure that it will move.

Take note that the shower tray must be seated on legs or base in which the waste should be in a position that should be accessed easily. The front, however, can be concealed by just fitting some skirting boards across the installation.

Another important reminder is that a shower base should be the basis of the shower tray that you are willing to buy. Therefore, you need to purchase one from a plumbing supply store and choose one that must suit your needs. However, it is not that simple as you need have a custom-fitted structure that must correspond to your available space at home. In fact, you also need to purchase a separate shower drain kit if possible. The directions of the manufacturer can sometimes help you select the right one.

Otherwise, you can choose a much easier option without going through all that plumbing stuff. This is possible by selecting a base having a drain located at one end, left or right that should match that of your tub drain. By doing this, you will be able to eliminate the need to add filler walls. Likewise, as the drain already roughly matches that of the tub drain, adding a separate vent should not is no longer necessary.

How to Make a Fiberglass Shower Pan

Making your own shower pan can be very challenging for some people. That is why most of them desire to purchase fiberglass units that they can use right away without spending a great deal of money. However, making your own fiberglass shower pan can be a great option when you are installing a custom-built tile shower. After all, you should be able to build one that may complement what you have installed.

Nevertheless, despite the amount of time that you need to make a fiberglass shower pan, which can last to about a couple of days, you can always have a more customized design. However, you have to take note that a base that has been poorly installed will cause some leaks. But remember, leaks can result if you install the unit in a substandard fashion. So in times when you need to fix this issue, you should rip out the shower walls and the base when necessary.

A fiberglass shower pan can be made with ease if you are equipped with the materials needed for the job. All you need is a piece of wood or foam in order to create a base for the fiberglass resin and strips to be poured into. If you are very creative, you can do this by using decorative elements.

Here are handy things that you can do for yourself.

1. Creating a Specific Form for the Fiberglass

  • You can utilize foam or lumber pieces or wood so that you can form a box in accordance with the dimensions of your shower area.
  • Simply try to connect both ends of the boards with the use of fasteners like screws or nails. If you can do this, you will be able to create a fiberglass pan.

2. Pouring in the Fiberglass

  • Upon the creation of your fiberglass pan, you need to layer the strips of the fiberglass in the form so as to create a crisscross pattern.
  • You can now pour the fiberglass resin on top of this pattern that you’ve prepared in which you can allow it to settle and eventually harden.
  • After allowing it to harden, you can now separate the ends of the form so that you can reveal the fiberglass pan that you have been aiming to achieve. You can now place this in the shower.

If you have the shower area of your house on the second floor, you need to determine if that location is strong enough to hold the whole set up. Otherwise, you need to beef it up with the use of some floor joists and some beams. On the other hand, you can always consult a building inspector for that matter so that you can get the best results. Some old houses have been built in the 1970s, so you definitely require reinforcement, especially the shower area.

Take note that you can always consult a professional if you aren’t sure about what you are doing. People with extensive knowledge about fixing or installing a shower pan can also help you produce the best results. Just don’t hesitate to call for help regarding this matter as this isn’t a laughing matter.