Friday, May 17, 2024

$2500 Drippy Faucet

Last fall, our kitchen faucet developed a slow, nagging drip. At first, if you tightened the handles really hard, it would stop. But over time, the drips grew more frequent and more pronounced. So, when we decided to move some plumbing lines in the basement this February, I saw the perfect opportunity to have the plumber fix the faucet too. I provided her with the make and model, and she ordered the replacement cartridges in advance—$40 for parts plus her hourly rate for both projects.

When she arrived and dismantled the faucet, we hit our first snag: the cartridges wouldn’t fit. It turned out the schematics on the manufacturer's website didn’t match our model. After more digging, we discovered that Newport Brass had updated the internal components. We found what we thought were the old schematics and ordered another set of cartridges for $80, and we scheduled a second plumber visit. Unfortunately, these didn’t fix it either.

Frustrated, I reached out to Newport Brass but received no response. Further research revealed I'd need about $500 worth of parts from several different suppliers, as no single repair kit was available for this model. Reluctantly, I decided to replace the entire faucet instead and ordered a Fairfield Bridge Faucet from Perigold for $1,489 in March.

Another appointment with the plumber was set, but delivery delays led to rescheduling—twice. The faucet finally arrived last Sunday, and thanks to a cancellation, the plumber was available Tuesday.

But the saga wasn’t over. We discovered the new faucet wouldn’t fit the existing holes in our soapstone counter, they'd changed the size of the posts.

After the plumber left, I scrambled to find someone to redrill the holes, eventually getting help from the original installers, Portland MarbleWorks, who charged $180.

With no functioning kitchen faucet, we seized the opportunity to dine out for a couple of days. By Thursday morning, the plumber squeezed us in early, and at last, we have a functioning, drip-free faucet. The final cost for this visit and the previous quick visits totaled $360. (The plumber nicely added all the time together in one bill, rather than charging her minimum each visit.)

So, was it worth nearly $2,500 to fix a drippy faucet? It pained me to see gallons of water wasted every day, but $2,500 could have paid for quite a few water bills. But, I'm fully expecting it will be worth it in the long run.

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