Fixing or Replacing Kitchen Faucets
July 30, 2014 10:30 AM   Subscribe

DH and I moved into our new house to discover the kitchen and bar faucets could use some maintenance, if possible, or to be replaced. We're having a hard time finding a manual and parts for the faucets, and so may need to replace. Either way, can you help?

The faucets are identical to the ones pictured on this page as "Grohe Greens." Link. The faucets don't say Grohe anywhere, and we can't find any other reference to this model, so I have no idea if that link is right. The aerator screens on each faucet are almost falling out, and spray button the kitchen faucet is broken. The lever is also a little funny, like it needs to be tightened (it kinda flops around, but doesn't leak). It seems like these should be cheap and easy fixes if we could find parts. Help?

If we can't find parts, we'd replace them, ideally with a matching pair of kitchen and bar faucets. Both are drilled for a single-hole faucet, and we'd want a pull out or pull down sprayer (maybe not necessary for the bar faucet, but we'd like them to look alike). We like that the lever is on top of what we have now, since that seems easier to use when your hands are dirty and takes up less space than the faucets that have the lever on the side. Side levers seem more common. :| We don't like the fact that neither faucet swivels. Both are fixed in position, except the sprayer. I don't know whether that's bad installation or design, but it makes the sinks harder to use.

We don't know who makes good faucets though, and there are so many makers! We're not looking to be penny wise and pound foolish, but we don't know the difference between a Kohler and a Grohe, or a Hansgrohe, which is apparently a different company. We want to buy quality that will last years and will be easy to find parts for. Is Grohe good? Is Kohler cheap? Can you get parts for a Moen? We really have no idea. Can you tell us?

Thank you!
posted by 5845(f)(1)(D) to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
You can get parts for all of those, in places as mundane as Amazon or even Home Depot. Those are all fairly well-regarded brands. I like Delta myself, because when you crack the thing open and look at the parts, they seem to almost entirely stainless, even on parts their peers are content to make out of plastic. Maybe this is purely psychological, but that makes me feel like they're a better investment.

If you aren't 100% sold on the features of the faucet you have, and you can afford to do so, replacing the thing is probably a better use of your time than DIY repairs.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 10:52 AM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Personally, I'd replace them. I'm pretty handy, but rehabbing old plumbing fixtures can have mixed results and frankly it's just easier to replace them usually.

Having just come off of a full remodel of my house - pretty much any brand in the midrange will do well. Avoid the bottom of the barrel and you'll do fine.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 10:56 AM on July 30, 2014

If you do decide to DIY:

If the aerator is almost coming out, take it out. Take it with you to Lowe's and find one the same size.

For the broken parts that you don't know how to remove, take photos of them on your phone, show the salesperson at Lowe's, and ask them to show you what you need and how to install it.
posted by Bentobox Humperdinck at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2014

Most manufacturers have both cheap and expensive faucets, and a great number of them can be 'upgraded' by changing out internals-switching plastic parts for brass and periodically replacing rubber parts.

Most modern faucets are pretty modular and parts are easy to find at larger hardware stores. I have delta faucets and shower valves in my house (at least the ones I have replaced) and have bought cartridge styles that are designed for periodic replacement.

You can often find faucets in the materials section of your local craigslist and sometimes at habitat restores. I have also been able to find them on sites like in the homes or tools and garden section. They don't always have them for sale but they often do.

I would get the pulldown style myself
posted by bartonlong at 10:59 AM on July 30, 2014

We had our leaky kitchen faucet replaced last week with this one. It's early, but so far I'm quite happy with it. We bought the faucet from, then once it arrived I called our regular plumber to install it.
posted by Anne Neville at 11:13 AM on July 30, 2014

I did find a pic that is similar, but not the same, to yours, and if think you are in fact probably looking at a Grohe (look for high temp faucet rather than bar faucet).

I have been looking at bath and kitchen faucets lately for a romedel we are currently doing. If you don't want a cheap knockoff faucet from China, you would do better to replace it, because that's essentially what they are.

Kohler is the best brand, in my opinion, in terms of quality.

Otherwise, the rest are pretty standard. Delta is kinda the cheap but universal brand, meaning that if you ever have to replace a part for a Delta in the future, you will find one easily, so it is the safest pick.
posted by misha at 11:15 AM on July 30, 2014

Oh, and if you choose a pull-down, I strongly recommend choosing one with a lock-tite or magnet feature.
posted by misha at 11:17 AM on July 30, 2014

FYI, I have replaced and repaired several faucets and the time to replace a faucet has always been shorter than the time to repair a faucet. However, the cost of repairing a faucet is tiny compared to replacement (except for the Delta in my office for which I have replaced the valve units twice in 7 years and at this point, the cost of valve units is nearly the cost of the faucet).

You do your own cost/benefit analysis.
posted by plinth at 12:45 PM on July 30, 2014

As I've answered before, most high-end faucet manufacturers offer a lifetime warranty. Mine's a Pfister Marielle and I love it, not just for the way it looks, but for the fact that when it breaks, Pfister sends me replacement parts for free with a minimum of hassle, and I didn't even bother to register it when I bought it. It only takes a phone call. Obviously I can't speak to how well the other makers honor their warranties.

All things considered, if I were you I'd go with a new one that is a combination of features and style you prefer, from the manufacturer with the best warranty service.
posted by caryatid at 1:34 PM on July 30, 2014

The engineering of faucets has evolved quite a lot since washers and nuts. I think all are ok as long as you keep your water supply free of clogging minerals.
posted by vapidave at 2:52 PM on July 30, 2014

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