Replacing faucets on 1940's sink

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by so-sa, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Hi all,

    We have a 1940' sink in our bathroom in which the faucets need replacing (they squeek and we're getting vibration & thumping), and the area around the drain needs to be cleaned up (porca-fix?). Everything else works fine- no leaks or smells. Initially I didn't think it would be too difficult to buy new faucets/spout/drain and replace them, but as I'm learning more I'm realizing it might be a fairly big project, and so wanted to run it by you awesome folks here. We like the look of our current sink and of our bathroom as a whole, and don't want to spend a ton of money, so was hoping to not have to replace it. I'm ok with the overflow cover not exactly matching the finish of the other parts. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks in advance!

    IMG_2001.jpg IMG_1999.jpg IMG_1997.jpg IMG_1876.jpg IMG_1875.jpg
  2. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    Don't touch that drain and overflow. Gonna' be in a world of hurt fast.

    I like the old porcelain or chrome cross handle faucets on something like this.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Thats a price pfister widespread lavatory faucet. Easy to repair and parts are available. Or you can replace the entire faucet. I dont do fixture touch up or refinishing..
  4. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
  5. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
  6. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Saw the Kohler - nice but too many $$$$$s by a long shot!
  7. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    It looks to me like the spout and drain are original, and the faucets have been replaced (or maybe just badly repaired)?
  8. Plumber111

    Plumber111 In the Trades

    Messages:
    76
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I really like the looks and price of that. But there are some things that I have to mention.

    I know nothing about Metropolitan Faucets or their internal workings. In my experience, all faucets leak and need maintenance at some point. All of them.

    Can you get parts for these things?

    They could be something like Pegasus. (HD house brand here) A super pain to find parts for. HD doesn't carry them, and you have to go through phone calls to here, there and wherever else to the point I could have already changed the faucet before you finally track down the part.

    And the chrome finish may or may not be as well made. That can be a gamble as well.

    Kind of depends on what you're willing to try and how long you plan to stay there.
  9. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Yep, I'm concerned about that as well- it's made by Kingston Brass (anyone have any experience with their products?), in the USofA. Here's a link to it on their site- they do sell parts as well- will do some research on that:

    http://www.kingstonbrass.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=KS4461AL#KS4461AL


  10. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    That faucet is a PP Verve widespread, from the '70s or '80s. Drain is orginal, and would be troublesome if you mess with it.
    Many of the questions on the forum here are from folks who buy a faucet on the web, like on the bay or the list, or etc etc. Trouble starts as soon as it arrives at their house, usually!
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The new widespread faucet will come WITH a spout and drain. There is no problem replacing the drain assembly, just to NOT damage the "spacer" between the sink and the drain fitting. Removing the old faucet is usually the most difficult part of the replacement. The bottom nuts are corroded, but the top ones are not. Just remove those two nuts and valve bodies will drop out of the sink. You will need a 3/4" deep socket to loosen the spout. It is either a fancy pressed steel sink or a cheap china one, since they are the only ones that usually do not have an integral overflow component.
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2012
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    The lavatory appears to be cast iron. The lavatory is thin and the overflow adds thickness. Between the overflow and the lavatory,thats a mack washer turned upside down. That lavatory drain uses two mack washers......one under the bottom and one between the lavatory and the overflow. A mack washer is what comes one a pop up to seal the drain. Pop up assemblies only come with one.....you need two.
  13. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    I was looking around for the faucets separately without any luck other than the generic hardware store ones. Any advice or tricks to overcome the challenges of removing them and possibly the spout? I am decently handy and have some tools, would this be something it'd be better to call a plumber in for?


    I'd love to replace the drain as well (mostly in order to get a functioning stopper, and to make the porcelain repair better). It appears getting a second mac washer wouldn't be a problem, so just maybe this is doable, except that I'm a bit confused about how the whole thing goes together. Is it possible to replace the drain without damaging/replacing the spacer/mac washer?

    Sooo...I'm heartened to not be hearing "run away from it" like the fellow that used the bendy straw on his 1940's sink was advised earlier, and that I did my research before my purchasing anything! I do need to figure out the reputation of Kingston Brass, they do have a ten year *limited* warranty, and am finding them on other sites.
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Your drain looks like a PP, installed with the faucet. It looks like the nut is not froze up too bad, but we sometimes just hacksaw above the nut. The problem is the overflow fitting....if it gets damaged you are in trouble. But it doesn't look too bad, at least from the underside. If you are reasonably handy, just have a go at it. That fat "mack" gasket is readily available, but not necessarily in a box store.
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,689
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    DO NOT touch the overflow fitting or the "spacer" between the drain and the sink. Those a parts specific to that sink, not part of the drain assembly which will come with the new faucet. There are literally HUNDREDS of faucets which will work on the sink, adn they will ALL have a new drain assembly and pop-up unit..
  16. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Yessir! Thanks for the warning. My guess would be that I'd loosen that big nut on the bottom of the overflow, and that would allow me to remove and replace the drain and lower piping? How does the overflow feed into the drain pipe?
  17. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    The "spacer" is a mack washer turned upside down. Its nothing special about the "spacer" itself. Whats different is the exposed overflow and the mack gasket...what HJ is calling the spacer between the lavatory and the overflow assembly. Thats not typical. Usually the overflow is integral to the bowl and no extra mack gasket is needed in that space. It would be factory made into one assembly.

    I'm not saying go wild and tear it all out. By all means if it stays in tact and in in good shape you cna leave that "spacer" alone.

    Loosen the large nut until it stops at the bottom of the threads. if it will not turn the use a saw and carefully saw it on two sides and pry it off. It will fall into two pieces.

    Now cut the lower mack gasket into with a razor knife and carefully remove it. The entire drain will now lift up and there will be a gap between the lavatory and the chromed brass flange that you see when looking down into the lavatory.

    While holding the bottom "half" of the pop up assembly...grab the rim of the flange inside the lavatory with some channelocks and turn the flange counter-clockwise to unscrew it. It will come apart and the rest of the pop up assembly will drop out of the bottom. The p-trap should also be removed by now.

    If the upper mack gasket is rotten you can get another at any good plumbing repair specialty store or a good hardware store thats local owned.

    I like Delta or wolverine brass all chromed brass pop up assemblies. There is also an American standard brass pop up I like. Kohler makes a fine one. Dont buy a plastic one and do not buy a cheap knock off thats chromed brass made in china......they are garbage and the stoppers do not have enough travel. Grohe also makes a nice pop up.
  18. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Or you could leave the pop up alone other than getting a pop up stopper for it (readily available) and a new horizontal ball rod (readily available). Not much to be gained by replacing it if its not leaking. You being a DIY I'm not sure what your skill level is or how much time your willing to spend.....no offense intended.
  19. so-sa

    so-sa New Member

    Messages:
    8
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    no offense taken- I'll start on the faucets and see how that goes before I touch anything else. Thank you all so much for all the help! I'll probably be back once I get the parts- still am tempted by that Kingston Brass set, but with no positive long term reviews am not sure I'll end up going with it.
  20. californialife

    californialife New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    1940's faucet replacement

    I realize this is an old thread but this is very closely related to a problem I have. My sink is a late 40s (1949, I think) and it had the same style of 70s faucet installed by a prior owner, only with lovely clear plastic (crystal) handles. The valves are shot and resist any attempts at repair. My sink is slightly different in that it has a backsplash with a significant radius just behind the faucet. I ordered this very faucet set and found that it protrudes too far to the rear and won't seat flat due to the radius on the backsplash. Upon closer examination, it appears the existing faucet was ground down to fit...nice workmanship (not). Love the cross type handles and look of this model but just doesn't fit.

    Is anyone aware of a similar looking faucet with a smaller (or more forward set) footprint? Or any 40s style with an undercut in the back? I'd even be happy with no stopper pull as we never use the stopper anyway. Any ideas would be most appreciated!
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