Friday, January 12, 2018

Bathroom Sink Remodel

I replaced the original bathroom faucet with this model:

DE-002 Kitchen Faucet Valve
Note: the faucet may not be in stock at the DudaDiesel website on the link above.  It can also be purchased directly from China through Aliexpress: Thermostat Bathroom Faucets Kitchen Faucet Bath Tub Hot Cold Mixer Tap Faucet Brass 360 Swivel Basin with several different options (Option "D" is the same as what I installed).  Be sure to select one with a diverter and the spout of your choice.
It's thermostatic, which means that you set the temperature you want, and it automatically adjusts the hot vs cold input levels to achieve that temp (if possible).  This is great for when you have a small hot water tank (4 gallons) and the temperature slowly cools as you're showering.  Until the hot water isn't hot enough as it reaches the faucet, you get a fairly consistent temperature shower.  It also makes getting the shower started easier -- leave the faucet at the temp you want and run it until the hot water gets to you.

There was also some difficulty with the sink basin rising up from the plastic molded counter, allowing water to leak through.  I glued it back down with some adhesive caulk, which has held up for many months but has started to crack again.  I think the drain pipe may be contributing to the problem, so when I redo the drain plumbing to gain space under the kitchen counter I will fix the sink again.

Here's the video:

UPDATE: In the video you will notice me cumbersomely using a piece of wood to align a drill bit to make the hole larger for the faucet to fit.  As others have discovered, and I've also done since (when installing this faucet for others), the hole can be widened much easier using a step drill bit, such as the larger one in this set from Harbor Freight: 2-piece-titanium-nitride-coated-high-speed-steel-step-drills.  Drill down from the top until the copper threaded section fits through the plastic top layer, then drill up from the bottom to widen the remaining plywood so that it fits all the way through.

The correct assembly sequence (if you want to avoid watching me make every mistake possible int he video) is as follows:
  1. Remove 10 screws from front (facing the sliding door) cubby door that are hiding behind black seal, score through caulk, remove door and cubby.  
  2. Remove existing faucet hose connection and faucet, clean top of sink
  3. Drill out the hole to fit threaded section for new faucet
  4. Remove the extra pressure reducers from the end of the two supplied hoses
  5. Starting from below, place two supplied hoses skinny end first through big copper nut, then up through hole.
  6. Now working above, put two hoses through the large flat washer, then through threaded section, then firmly screw threads into base of faucet.
  7. Screw the threaded section firmly into the base of the faucet, then place threads through washer and into place in the hole.
  8. From below, thread the large nut over the threaded section and tighten well.  The faucet can be rotated back and forth to allow hand tightening the nut easier, as a wrench will likely not fit in the space well.
  9. Attach the hoses to the supply lines.  The faucet hose coming down on the side of the temperature adjustment knob should be connected to the cold supply.  The original cold supply line extends past the bathroom sink to go to the toilet and rear sprayer, while the hot line terminates at bathroom sink.  Later Travato models will also use red and blue pex tubing.
Also, many people have chosen to install the faucet to the rear hole instead, leaving the front hole available for a soap dispenser.  Using a soap dispenser that includes a long hose to a bottle that can be set under the kitchen sink will avoid needing to access the space under the bathroom sink to refill.

Finally, on later Travato models, the 1/2" fittings from the hot and cold pex water supply lines are closer to the bathroom faucet, and the hoses that come with this faucet can be used in place of the original extension hoses, thus eliminating the need for 1/2" nipples.

Replacing the toilet seal

As many have experienced, or rather smelled, the toilet seal on the Thetford toilet can sometimes not work as well as it should, and leak fl...