A basin wrench is a plumbing tool that nearly all professional plumbers possess, and it’s one that every do-it-yourselfer should have. Although the device is intended to do just one thing—install or remove a faucet—it does so better than any other instrument on the market. It will become an essential component of your plumbing tool kit once you learn how to use it .
The majority of kitchen and bathroom sink faucets are fastened with low-profile mounting nuts that can only be accessed on the underside of the sink, behind the basin. In this case, standard wrenches and pliers are almost useless.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know how to use a basin wrench. This is because they are not a common tool. However, if you ever have to fix a leaky faucet or something else that requires tightening a bolt below the sink, you’ll need to know how to use this tool. In this blog post, experts will teach you how to properly use a basin wrench!
What Is A Basin Wrench?
Basin wrenches come in different sizes, but most have a maximum jaw capacity of about an inch. The size of the wrench you need will depend on the size of the nuts and bolts you’re working with .
Most basin wrenches have a T-handle design that gives you more advantages than a traditional wrench. This makes it easier to break loose stubborn nuts and bolts.
Basin Wrench vs. Channel-Lock Pliers
When tightening or loosening faucet tailpiece mounting screws with long-handled channel-lock pliers (channel-type pliers or slip-joint pliers), many do-it-yourselfers are inclined to do so. However, this is not the ideal way to use channel-lock pliers for this purpose.
For one thing, it’s difficult to grip and turn the smooth, rounded faucet tailpiece with channel-lock pliers without marring its finish. In addition, if you grip the faucet too tightly with channel-lock pliers while turning it, you risk breaking off the tailpiece .
A basin wrench is a much better tool for loosening or tightening faucet mounting screws because its jaws fit snugly around the shank of the tailpiece. And because the basin wrench handle is offset from the jaws (unlike channel-lock pliers), you can apply more torque to loosen a stuck screw or nut without fear of breaking the tailpiece.
Channel-lock pliers might be used in a pinch, but it’s much more difficult to grip faucet mounting nuts with them. A basin wrench, as well as channel-lock pliers, are required by most intermediate to advanced DIYers who occasionally do plumbing tasks.
Parts Of A Basin Wrench:
1) The Head
The head of the basin wrench is usually made of metal and has two jaws – one fixed jaw and one adjustable jaw. The adjustable jaw is opened and closed by turning a knob or lever on the side of the head .
The head is also where you’ll find the jaws – the part of the wrench that actually grabs onto the nut or bolt. Most basin wrenches have two jaws: a fixed jaw and an adjustable jaw.
The fixed jaw is just that – it doesn’t move. The adjustable jaw, however, can be opened and closed by turning a knob or lever on the side of the head. This is what allows you to adjust the size of the wrench to fit different sizes of nuts and bolts.
2) The Shaft
The shaft is the long, thin part of the wrench that connects the head to the handle. It’s typically made of metal, and it’s what you use to apply torque to the nut or bolt you’re trying to loosen or tighten.
3) The T-Bar/Handle
The last part of the basin wrench is the handle. The handle is usually made of metal or plastic and is attached to the head of the wrench via a pivot point. This pivot point allows you to apply pressure to the jaws, which in turn tightens or loosens the nut or bolt.
Some basin wrenches also have a T-bar handle. The T-bar is simply an extension of the handle that gives you more leverage when you’re trying to loosen or tighten a particularly stubborn nut or bolt.
Rent Or Buy a Basin Wrench?
Basin wrenches come in two different styles: T-shaped and L-shaped. The T-shaped basin wrench is more common and easier to use, while the L-shaped basin wrench provides better leverage .
If you’re not planning on doing a lot of plumbing work, then it might make more sense to just rent a basin wrench the next time you need one. However, if you think you’ll be using it frequently or for larger projects, then it might be worth purchasing your own. You can find basin wrenches at most hardware stores.
How to Use A Basin Wrench:
1) Set Up The Basin Wrench
The first thing you need to do is set up the basin wrench.
To do this, you will need to find a flat surface on which to place the wrench.
Next, you will need to open up the jaws of the wrench so that they are wide enough to fit around the base of the sink .
2) Apply Lubricant To Mounting Nut
Once you have the basin wrench set up, you will need to apply some lubricant to the mounting nut. This will help to prevent the wrench from slipping when you are trying to loosen it.
Applying lubricant to the mounting nut is a simple process. First, find the spot on the sink where the mounting nut is located. Next, put a small amount of lubricant onto your finger and then rub it onto the surface of the mounting nut.
Be sure to use a light-duty lubricant such as WD-40 or something similar. You do not want to use a heavy-duty lubricant because it could damage the finish on your sink.
3) Fit The Wrench On The Mounting Nut
Once you have applied the lubricant to the mounting nut, you will need to fit the wrench onto it. To do this, simply place the jaws of the wrench around the base of the nut and then tighten them until they are snug.
If you find that the jaws of the wrench are slipping, you can try tightening them a bit more or reapplying lubricant to the mounting nut.
4) Check The Position Of The Mounting Nut
Before you begin to loosen the mounting nut, you will need to check its position. The reason for this is that some mounting nuts are reverse-threaded. This means that you will need to turn them in the opposite direction of what you would normally do in order to loosen them.
If the mounting nut is not reverse-threaded, then you can skip this step.
Assuming that the mounting nut is not reverse-threaded, the next thing you need to do is begin loosening it. To do this, simply turn the basin wrench in a counterclockwise direction. If you find the wrench is slipping, try tightening the jaws a bit more or reapplying lubricant to the mounting nut.
5) Loosen Or Tighten The Kitchen Faucet
Once the mounting nut has been loosened, you will be able to remove the kitchen faucet. To do this, simply pull it away from the sink and then unscrew it from the mounting nut.
If you need to tighten the kitchen faucet, simply reverse these steps:
- First, screw the faucet back onto the mounting nut and then push it back into place against the sink. Once it is in position, begin tightening the mounting nut using the basin wrench;
- As you are tightening the mounting nut, be sure to keep an eye on the position of the faucet. You want to make sure that it is flush against the sink so that there are no gaps between them;
- Finally, once the mounting nut is tight, you can go ahead and turn on the water to test the faucet. If everything is working properly, then you are all done;
Tips For Using A Basin Wrench:
- Make sure that the jaws of the wrench are wide enough to fit around the base of the sink;
- Be sure to set it up on a flat surface so that it does not slip;
- Apply a small amount of lubricant to the mounting nut before attempting to loosen or tighten it;
- Be careful not to over-tighten the mounting nut, as this could damage the sink;
To use a basin wrench, first, make sure that the jaws of the wrench are tightened around the nuts that you need to remove. Then, turn the wrench handle clockwise to loosen the nut. Once the nut is loose, you can remove it by hand. Finally, reverse the process to tighten the new nut in place.
Using a basin wrench is a simple process, but it can be tricky to get started if you’ve never used one before.
How To Maintain Your Basin Wrench?
Basin wrenches are one of the most important tools in any home improvement enthusiast’s toolbox. Often used to install or remove faucets and other fixtures, these versatile tools can make any job easier. But like all tools, they need to be properly maintained in order to function their best.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your basin wrench in top condition:
- Always store your basin wrench in a dry place. Moisture can cause the metal to rust and corrode, which will shorten the life of the tool;
- Be sure to clean the wrench after each use. A simple wipe-down with a clean cloth will do the trick;
- Periodically lubricate the moving parts of the wrench with light oil. This will keep it functioning smoothly;
How do you use a basin wrench for the first time?
Assuming you have never used a basin wrench before, here are some quick and easy steps to get started:
- First, find the screw that needs to be tightened or loosened. This is usually located under a sink or behind a toilet. Once you have found the screw, insert the jaws of the wrench around it;
- Next, twist the handle of the wrench until the jaws grip the screw tightly. Then, simply turn the wrench in the direction you need to go ( clockwise to tighten, counterclockwise to loosen).
- If you’re having trouble getting a grip on the screw, try repositioning the wrench so that it’s at a different angle. With a little practice, using a basin wrench will become second nature;
What can I use if I don’t have a basin wrench?
If you don’t have a basin wrench at home, use a socket wrench. A ratchet spanner is required, as well as screwdrivers, channel lock pliers, a clean cloth, and water pump pliers.
If you have one, you can also utilize a sink drain wrench:
- First, you need to identify the size of the sink’s drain. The average size is usually between ¾ inches and 1 inch. However, it is best to check before proceeding;
- After that, locate the setscrew on top of the P-trap, which connects the trap arm to your sink’s drain stub-out. The setscrew is most likely situated behind or beneath a decorative dome cap;
- Use your screwdriver to remove this cap carefully so you don’t damage it. Once the cap is off, you should be able to see a hexagonal-shaped nut – this is what you’ll need to loosen with your basin wrench;
- Now, fit your wrench around the nut and turn it counterclockwise to loosen. Once the nut is loose, you can remove it by hand. Be careful not to drop it down the drain! With the nut removed, you should now be able to take off the P-trap and empty it into a bucket;
After that, simply put everything back together in reverse order and your sink will be good as new!
How do you tighten a sink tap?
If your sink tap is loose, you can use a basin wrench to tighten it:
- First, make sure that the jaws of the wrench are lined up with the notches on the back of the tap;
- Next, turn the wrench handle clockwise until the tap is tight;
- Finally, test the tap by turning it on and off to make sure it is secure;
Basin wrenches are also useful for removing stuck taps. To do this, line up the jaws of the wrench with the notches on the back of the tap and turn the wrench handle counterclockwise. If the tap is still stuck, you may need to use pliers or another tool to help loosen it.
What size is the nut on a basin tap?
Back nuts are most commonly 28mm or 32mm across flats, although they may be described as 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch in diameter .
Are there different size basin wrenches?
Yes, there are different size basin wrenches. The most common sizes are 12-inch and 18-inch basin wrenches.
Are all basin tap holes the same size?
The most popular tap hole size is 35mm, however, this varies depending on the sort of tap and manufacturer. Single (or monobloc) taps will almost certainly need a 35mm tap hole, although some may just require a 32mm hole .
What tools do you need to change a tap?
In order to change a tap, you will need a few tools. The most important tool is the basin wrench. You will also need an adjustable spanner and a screwdriver.
Basin wrenches are L-shaped wrenches that are designed to fit into tight spaces. They have long handles and jaws that can be adjusted to grip various sizes of nuts and bolts.
Adjustable spanners are used to loosen or tighten nuts and bolts. They come in various sizes, so make sure you get one that is the right size for the job.
Screwdrivers are used to remove screws. You will need a Phillips head screwdriver for this job.
Useful Video: How to Use a Basin Wrench