We know the scenario all too well. You find a really great deal on a new kitchen faucet to replace that old leaking clunker you have. As soon as you get home you excitedly start to tear out the old one and realize that you have no way to loosen the large nuts on the bottom of the faucet. Neither your adjustable wrench nor any other wrench for that matter seems to fit the space. Fear not. We’ll show you how to remove and tighten under sink kitchen faucet nuts.
Step 1: Clear Out the Space Under the Sink
First thing’s first—clear out the area underneath the sink. You need to be able to see up into the area where the sink faucet nuts. You really can’t do that unless you can get under there and work. Remove the towels, cleaners, etc. Consider also getting a nice towel to lay down for your head and shoulders so you can look up at the sink.
Step 2: Get Some Lighting
In addition to some safety eyewear, grab a headlamp or other light so you can see what you’re doing. You can have the best tool in the world, but if you can’t see—you can’t use it! We like something similar to the line of Milwaukee LED headlamps but, really, anything will do.
You need a tool called a basin wrench. These special plumbing tools have a long handle with a tee on one end so you can get leverage. The other end has a spring-loaded adjustable wrench head that grips onto the nut. The long handle lets you reach up behind the sink basin and get at those hard-to-reach nuts. You can purchase a simple basin wrench for around $15 dollars or so at most hardware stores or online.
A great example is the Ridgid telescoping basin wrench. There are more fancy and expensive versions around but for that once in a great while kind of job, a less expensive wrench will serve you just fine.
Step 4: Use Your Wrist!
Once you have the tool in place, a simple rotation of your wrist should provide enough force to loosen most nuts. The two types of nuts you encounter are the retaining nuts for water supply lines and the plastic nuts that hold the faucet in place. Any Basin wrench should work well on either or both.
If you notice, some basin wrenches wrap around the supply lines while others provide that T-handle approach. You’ll have to decide on which method works best for you.