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October 2006
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Orphan Tools - Basin Wrench

When you are confronted with the prospect of replacing a faucet, you need a basin wrench.

Basin Wrench
It has a spring loaded jaw, a swivel head and a sliding ‘T’ handle. All which are necessary to get this tool to do it’s job.

In the world of remodeling and home repair there are a lot of tools you need, tools you want, and tools that have a single purpose in life that you hope that you never have to add to your tool set.

The basin wrench is one of these. It has only one purpose. It tightens or loosens the nuts that attach the top of your water supply lines to the bottom of your faucets.
As you can see, the space you have to work with is very small, and no amount of cursing, or any other tool will fit into this space.

basin wrench at work
There is an alternative. In the case of drop in sinks or small vanity tops, you disconnect the supply lines just north of the shutoff valves, and the drain line at both sides of the ‘P’ trap, and remove the sink entirely from the cabinet or countertop. You can turn it over and reach everything to replace your faucets.

This has it’s perils, if you have a cast iron sink, or a one piece counter and sink arrangement. The bathroom sinks are not too bad to do this way. The kitchen sink with a garbage disposal adds another level of complexity to the mix.

You will probably need a basin wrench.

9 comments to Orphan Tools – Basin Wrench

  • Good Morning!
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  • My kitchen sink is leaking underneath and in a search for info came across your post. Do you mind if I link to your post in my blog? Thanks. I have a feeling I may be coming back here for info on other projects.

  • half-assed plumber

    Why is there no published information, anywhere, on what size nuts a particular basin wrench will work on? I am trying to tighten up a nut on a new kitchen sink faucet. I’ve used basin wrenches in the past and actually own one. I can not get the head of the wrench to bite on the nut which is, in my opinion, too large for the wrench. I’ve searched high and low for a larger version of the basin wrench I own (BrassCraft T151) but as far as I can tell, no such wrench exists. Has anybody else run into this problem?

  • Amatuer Plumber

    Is there no alternative to the basin wrench? I have a nut that’s in the smallest space which impossibly tightened. The basin wrench can even move it after it’s been soaked with WD-40 or penetrating oil.

  • TrueRock

    I have run into 2 different sinks recently where even a basin wrench is too big to get to the nut that needs to be tightened. I wonder what the designers of the sinks were thinking. Does anyone have any idea about what tool to use?

  • Uba Gubba

    Some of you will have to bite the
    bullet and yank your sinks!

    Whoo Hoo!

  • The faucet turns a full 360 degrees which makes it easy to maneuver baking pans, stock pots, and any other awkward dish or pot you may have to hand wash or rinse.

  • Bubba the Plumber

    Great stuff… as a licensed plumber in business for over 30 years, I truly enjoyed your blog. Best Regards.