The sink in the RainyDayKitchen has been looking worse and worse these last few months. We have been saying since March “We NEED to replace the sink,” but we did not get around to this project until now. We first thought this was a “drop-in” job, but then realized it would be a LITTLE more complicated than that. So we kept putting it off in favor of easier tasks. Finally, we could not put it off any longer and had to get in there and JUST DO IT.
The interns cleared off the counter and emptied out the cabinet underneath. We thought the project would not take longer than a day (six hours), but blocked out two days just in case we ran into any problems. The project had the following tasks:
- Turn off the water to the sink
- Turn off the electricity to the disposal
- Removal of the old sink (disconnect disposal, disconnect hot/cold pipes, lift out sink): time estimate – 1 hour
- Install new sink (apply caulking, insert sink, install sink clips): time estimate – 1 hour
- Install new PVC pipes (measure, cut, fit): time estimate – 2 hours
- Reconnect disposal: time estimate – 1 hour
- Reconnect hot/cold pipes: time estimate – 1 hour
The first task was to remove the sink. Milo took a look and said, “Disconnecting the disposal, the hot/cold water pipes, and the drainage pipes from the sink all seem pretty straightforward, but Dude, there is no way I’m going to be of any help lifting this giant hunk of iron.” Well, we’ll have to deal with that later.
Getting the disposal disconnected was pretty easy. There were four points (to sink, to dishwasher, to drainage, to electrical) where with things connected. Disconnectingthem took about 20 minutes. The only difficult part was disconnecting the very stiff electrical wire from the body of the disposal. Once that was accomplished, we were able to lift the disposal free and put it aside.
The next step was to disconnect the hot and cold water feeds from the faucet. The ClampLight and the Bionic Wrench were both a big help in getting the task accomplished in less than the allotted time. We were now about 30 minutes ahead of schedule!
With things disconnected, we were only able to get the sink out after expending some serious effort. The problem was not just that the sink was heavy and unwieldy. It was difficult to lift it up and out over the counter with just two people (especially if neither one could bench press 300 lbs). After some thought and some interesting use of leverage, we did manage to free the sink. Any time previously saved was used up (and then some) getting the sink out.
The replacement sink is a stainless steel unit made by Kohler. The faucet/sprayer is made by Moen. We found it on Craigslist, negotiated a great deal for it, and got it back to the office thinking it would be a simple matter to swap the sinks. Unfortunately, two unanticipated snags complicated our project. One of the problems we realized as soon as we got the sink back to the office. The second problem only became evident after we got the old sink out and tried fitting the new sink in its place.
Both bowls of the new sink were 8″ deep. The right bowl in the old sink was just 4″ deep. This meant that the plumbing underneath was 4″ too tall for the new sink. Judging by the look of things, it didn’t look like there was 4″ of pipe we could remove to make everything fit. We would have to put in new pipes if we wanted to accommodate the disposal underneath the 8″ sink. This was the first problem. As for the second problem, we’ll show that to you tomorrow.