How to Tighten Kitchen Faucet Nut Under SinkMaintenance & Repair
5 minutes read
(Guest Writer: Sahzadi Sarah)
A faucet is an essential sink fixture secured with a nut. You will find the nut under the sink. Mostly, a kitchen sink in butcher block countertop is busy and effective, meaning that the faucet is frequently in use. As a result, the nut securing the faucet may get loose. When it happens, you will have to tighten the nut.
Most kitchen fixtures come with installation instructions. But you will hardly find one guiding you on how to fix a loose nut. As a homeowner, you must know how to tighten your kitchen's faucet loose screw.
Otherwise, you may end up wasting a lot of water, translating into a high water bill. The inconveniences caused are also unbearable.
This guide is for you if you have no idea how to tighten your faucet's hard-to-reach nut. It is easier to tighten the nut before installing the sink.
This way, you can access the screw easily. After installing the sink, you will have to go under the sink to tighten the loose nut. Some pliers and wrenches can hardly reach the screw. You may also get distracted by the stuff below the sink.
If experiencing a loose faucet nut, don't panic. Crawling under the sink to fix the problem may piss you off, but there's a way out.
You can use a basin wrench, a tool designed to fix the hard-to-get screws. Use the following guide to tighten your faucet's loose screw.
5 Steps to Tighten a Loose Faucet Nut Under the Sink:
It may seem difficult for some homeowners to tighten a loose faucet nut under their sinks, but it's not. The process is a piece of cake. It also takes less of your time.
But if the faucet got installed many years ago, the nut may have rusted or accumulated dirt. As a result, it may not be easy to tighten the nut. It makes the process long and tedious.
But when using the correct tightening tools, the task becomes easy. That's why it's vital you first collect the necessary items for the job.
Step 1: Assemble the Required Tools
The nut tightening process may be daunting and tiring without the right tools. Using the correct items makes the task easier and fast. You also do an incredible job. Before starting the process, look for all the essential tools. You will require;
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable pliers
Step 2: Preparing the Working Space
The nut gets located below the sink. Preparing the working space means clearing the area below your sink. Some people use the space below their sinks as a storage area. Others contain cabinets and shelves. Whatever is under your sink, please remove it.
Other sinks have P-traps that block the location of the nut. If this is the case, you will need to remove the P-trap. Adjustable pliers will do an excellent job at this. Use them to unscrew the bolts holding the P-trap to the sink tailpiece and wall drain.
Step 3: Reposition the Faucet
Because of the loose nut, the faucet could have gone off position. Adjust it to its correct place. It should align appropriately with the wall behind it. After you are confident that the faucet sits at its correct place and is well aligned, start tightening its loose nut.
It is impossible to tighten the screw while holding the faucet. That means you require a helper. Ask someone to hold the faucet in place as you secure the loose screw.
Most spaces under sinks are dark. If you can't see clearly below your sink, use a headlight for better visibility. Start tightening the nut with your hands. Use enough strength to turn it until it can't turn any further.
Step 4: Use a Basin Wrench
You may think that the nut has gotten secured optimally after using your hands because it couldn't move any further. But you're mistaken.
The torque produced by your bare hands is less than that produced by a basin wrench. The nut will tighten when secured using a basin wrench.
First, clamp the nut using the basin wrench's jaws. The wrench comes with a long handle to reach the nut with ease. When sure that you've grabbed the nut securely, turn the basin wrench clockwise. Continue rotating until the nut cannot turn anymore.
What's exciting about the basin wrench is that it tightens automatically each time you turn it. That means it cannot break loose from the nut while tightening.
It is a convenient tool to use in this task. When turned using a basin wrench until it cannot rotate anymore, it means that your faucet's nut has been tightened completely.
Faucet securing nuts come made with different materials. Some are sturdy, while others are weak. You should first investigate the kind of nut you are dealing with.
Plastic nuts break easily when much pressure gets applied to them. Metal screws may rust, making them hard to remove. Whatever the nut you are tightening, be careful. Otherwise, you may damage it.
Sometimes the sink faucets get secured with screws or bolts. In case your faucet is secured with a screw or hexagon bolt, use a long-handled screwdriver to tighten it. Also, a ratcheting socket set does an excellent job in tightening a bolt.
Step 5: Put Back the Under-Sink Space
After tightening your kitchen faucet's nut, return everything below your sink as it was. In case you had removed the P-trap, reinstall it. Then return all the cabinets, shelves, and anything else you had removed from under your sink.
Though a basin wrench is the best tool for this job, you may not have one. What happens in such a case? You need not fret. There are alternatives you can use. More so, they do an incredible job. They include the following;
What To Use In The Absence of a Basin Wrench
Most people regard money as a means of exchange only. It is not associated with any other purpose. To think that coins are ideal alternatives to a basin wrench may, therefore, seem funny. But the truth is, they work out great.
First, look for any two large coins. Pence coins get preferred most. Then place them on the nut's sides. Hold the coins tightly.
Placing them between your index and middle fingers' knuckles will help achieve an extra grip. Then turn the nut clockwise until it cannot rotate anymore. At this point, you will have secured the nut tightly.
Duct tape comes with many uses. Acting as an alternative to the basin wrench is one of them. You might get surprised that it tightens a kitchen faucet nut, but it's the truth.
First, clear the underneath of your sink. Then reach out to the nut and tie it around with the duct tape.
But before tying around your faucet's nut, you will need to make the tape sturdy. Tear its length at the centre, approximately 12 – inches in size.
You will then have two long strips of tape. Then stick one piece of tape on the back of the other one.
Tie the reinforced tape around the nut. Remain 6 – 8 inches untied tape. Ensure that the tape attaches to the nut firmly. Pressing the tape firmly against the nut will help it to stick firmly.
When adequately stuck to the nut, pull the tape tail (the left untied 6 – 8 inches tape) towards the tightening direction. Continue pulling until the nut can go no further. Then remove the tape. You will have secured the faucet's nut firmly.
Nuts and Bolts
Yes, other nuts and bolts can be used as an alternative to a basin wrench. Your toolbox may not fail to have numerous nuts and bolts lying around.
In case you have none, accessing them is easy. Get some from the hardware next door or order online. More so, they are quite affordable!
First, attach the nut and bolt. Then place the attached pair on the top of the faucet's nut. Ensure the bolt's thread is on top of the nut. Secure the nut properly between the bolt head. Connect both bolts by attaching another nut.
Ensure they are tightly connected. Then start rotating the nut clockwise until it can't move further. Detach the bolts. The nut will have tightened firmly.
You may think that zip-ties only tidy up cables and attach hubcaps, but are wrong. You can also use them as an alternative for a basin wrench. Position and tighten it around the nut.
Then while grabbing its tail, twist the nut in the tightening direction until it can't move further. Take out the zip-tie. Your kitchen faucet's nut will become firm again.
Loose faucet nuts result in wasting a lot of water and many inconveniences.
You, therefore, need to tighten your loose faucet's nut as soon as you notice it. Any delay will lead to more damages. As a result, you will have to dig deeper into your pockets to rectify the solution.
As illustrated above, the process is straightforward and quick with the right tools. The basin wrench is the best tool to use, but there are alternatives, as explained above in its absence.
If you have no time for tightening your loose kitchen faucet nut, are confused about the process, or hate working with your hands, engage a professional to do it for you. Otherwise, securing a loose faucet nut under your kitchen's sink is an excellent DIY home project.
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