We replaced the kitchen sink in the in-law suite!
The original sink was rusty, dirty, leaking, and in desperate need of replacement. At first, Neil wanted to pay someone to do it. I kept telling him we could do it ourselves, but plumbing makes him a little nervous, so he kept saying he was gonna call “so and so” or “what’s his face” to come and give him a quote. After throwing a mini hissy-fit about how ‘we bought this house to work on it ourselves’ and ‘we shouldn’t be constantly hiring people for everything’, he finally came around to reason and we began our sink makeover.
The first task was to remove all the old parts and plumbing. There was an old garbage disposal, so Neil had to snip out and remove the old wiring hooked up to it before it could be removed. Luckily the wire was already dead (which he double checked with a wire tester tool he bought for about $10).
Once the wires were cut out, we removed the sink and plumbing (the water was already turned off at this point). Then, it was time to clean everything and prep the replacement parts.
The “new” sink ($20) and faucet ($20) we purchased at Restore, which is a Habitat for Humanity run shop that sells new and used building materials…and has become our favorite place in the world.
We picked up new drains ($10 each) from Home Depot. We used the easy install model, so we wouldn’t need to buy a special plumbing wrench just to tighten the pieces. I actually installed the drains myself and put everything together, with no leaks, on the first try.
Next, we installed the faucet and sprayer ($20 from Home Depot). We hooked up the hot/cold water hoses, which took us 2 Home Depot trips to get the right lengths, and turned on the water to test our progress…
Drip…drip…drip…The cold water valve was dripping, not from the hose connection, but from the valve itself. So back to Home Depot we went to pick up new valves (about $15/valve). Neil found easy connect versions that did not require the use of soldering, which in turn should have made for an easier install. He cut off the old valve and installed the new parts. The first attempt dripped between the valve and easy connect copper piece. He unscrewed everything and added plumbers tape. The second attempt still dripped, but a lot less. He unscrewed everything again and added oodles of plumbers tape…No drip! He then successfully replaced the hot water valve on the first try (which dripped when bring turned off/on, and we figured it were going to replace the cold, we should replace the hot too).
Now, with no more valve drips we were able to install the pipes. We had to cut down 2 pipe lengths to fit and I assembled everything under the sink. Then we tested the drain…everything seemed to finally be working properly!
I came back later and noticed that water was leaking from the pipe connections…grrrrrrrr…So, I unscrewed all the pipes, wrapped all the treads with the plumbers tape and put everything back together.
- used sink: $20
- used faucet: $20
- drains: $20
- sprayer: $20
- new valves: $30
- plumbers putty: $2
- plumbers tape: $0, we already had a few rolls
- plastic pipes: $20
- hot/cold hoses: $11
- TOTAL: $143
I estimate that we saved about $300 by using some used parts and doing everything ourselves. A new sink could have set us back $150 alone, plus all the other new parts we bought, plus hiring a plumber for at least another $150. So, I think we did well.
Our “little” project turned into a big to-do that took us 4 days to finish, but we did it ourselves and are very proud of our achievement!
The used faucet handles leak a little bit if you turn the water on too high and we still can’t figure out why the sprayer isn’t working. They are probably just little faucet parts that we can replace at a later date or just replace the entire faucet when we have some extra cash…since we now know how to do it. At least we have a functional sink and are 1 step closer to finally moving in.