Monday, December 1, 2014

How to Replace a RV Kitchen Faucet and Drain…

Ocean Beach CA 022

I have always enjoyed being handy around the home. When we had our sticks and bricks house I tackled just about everything including electrical, plumbing and even remodeled our kitchen by extending it about five feet (a major undertaking). My least favorite task is anything that involves plumbing so when we finally decided it was time to replace our rusting and crumbling RV kitchen faucet I knew it wouldn't be as easy as it should be… It is my hope that by sharing how I did it, it may help someone else planning to do a similar replacement.

I chose to replace our Moen kitchen faucet with a Dura Faucet I found on Amazon. I knew when shopping for a replacement it is important to make sure to get one of the same configuration (mine was a one holer).  I also hoped to spend under $175.00 for the faucet and all the other stuff I would need for replacing it.

My first step was to ensure the water was off and to bleed the water pressure by opening the faucet up. I like to open more than one faucet to make sure there will be no wet surprises. Most RV’s won’t have much space under the sink to get to the plumbing so it may be tricky getting to the connections. The first thing I did was to disconnect the water supply lines from the old faucet. Mine are color coded so I can tell hot (red) from cold (blue) but if yours aren’t, I would label them somehow to make sure you are able to reattach each water line to the correct side. A small bowl will be needed to catch the water that will bleed out from the disconnected water lines.


Next I disconnected our sprayer hose and used a bowl to capture any water spillage from it as well. With all the hoses disconnected the next task was to remove the retaining nut holding the faucet to the countertop. This large nut has protruding tabs that can usually be loosened by hand pressure alone.  This is usually hard to get at and fortunately for me mine was able to be loosened without any special tools. With the nut removed the faucet was free to be lifted away from the counter. Of course the copper lines feeding down from the old faucet had to be bent in such a fashion as to pull them through the hole in the sink. I likre that the new faucet doesn’t have copper lines as they are replaced with more RV forgivable flex hoses.

Installation is supposed to be as simple a doing the same as the disassembly, only in reverse order. 

Some tips I would suggest during installation:

  • A layer of plumbers putty between the faucet fixture and the counter will make sure water doesn’t leak under the countertop. Plumbers putty is like clay or play-do that you can roll into a thin rope to apply to the base of the faucet.
  • Use Teflon on all connections and make sure you wrap the tape in the “tighten thread” direction. This stuff is a plumbers saver and helps ensure non-leaking connections…
  • Our faucet is one hole faucet but yours may be a two or even a three hole faucet set up. Just count the holes in your sink after the faucet is removed and you will know what to look for in its replacement.
  • Make sure your replacement faucet has an adaptor plate which covers the existing holes in the sink where the other water feeds came through. Ours didn’t require any plate but yours may.
  • A special tool you may need is a basin wrench for untightening the large nut on the faucet. I didn’t need this tool but you may. If so make sure there is room under the sink to use the one you buy.
  • Check the connections of your new faucet to ensure you won’t need any adapters to connect up to your existing cold/hot water feeds.
  • If you can’t loosen the large nut from the faucet you may need to remove the sink first which may be an easier option.
  • If needed replace the sink drain at the same time which is what I did.

The biggest pain in the butt for me was removing the old sink drains from our double sided sink. There is a large retaining ring under the sink that holds the drain in place secure to the sink. I bought a sink drain wrench to assist in removing the retaining rings. One was easily removed however one wouldn’t budge no matter how hard I tried. I had to use a metal drill bit and drilled holes all along the retaining ring so I could split it along the side to remove it. It seems there is always a gotcha when dealing with plumbing often requiring some improvising even when you think you have all the right tools. The sink drain wrench is needed though for tightening the new retaining ring up to secure the drain. Before putting the new drain in make sure to clean the sink and make sure it is dry. A thin rope of plumbers putty is needed around the rim of the drain before tightening it down. This putty makes sure your drain doesn’t leak. Jus tighten it enough to make the putty ooze out on all sides. Just scrape away any remaining putty and you have your new drain installed.

All in all the task only took about 2.5 hours to complete. Of course it took an additional 2 hours driving time going back and forth to Lowes to get all the small items I ended up needing. One last note is I should have replaced the caulk around the sink while the faucet was out instead of after it was in as it would have been much easier and neater. The job was not fun but saved us a few bucks and I only bled once during the installation…


  1. I had to laugh when I read that plumbing was your least favorite of home/rv maintenance as I am also not a fan of plumbing and have been known to whine extensively when I've had to do it.

    BUT, THAT is one beautiful faucet and thanks for the tutorial. I've replaced my "drink" thing ... simple compared to the faucet, but still a pain as there is so little room to get in under my rv sink. I think that is my primary issue with plumbing - it is never in an easy spot to get to.

    Also had to laugh at the driving time because I always say any project is at least 3 trips to the hardware.

    Thanks also for the tool suggestions and photos!

  2. Good job on the repairs, we just replaced our 15 Year old Kitchen tap this past summer and shower taps this week. Takes a bit of time but thats something that we do have.

    1. bathroom faucet will probably need it next...

  3. Band-Aids are a regular part of my tool kit and my wife's part of the job is to clean up the blood when I am done!

  4. Good job- If I only bleed once , I call that a win :)