Next time your faucet needs a fixin’, reach for these two heaven-sent products. It was the morning after Halloween 2015. My kids had enjoyed a sleepover party with three of our nieces. At the tail end of washing the breakfast dishes in the kitchen sink, the hot-water knob popped off and we had a nice geyser going. Wasting little time, I yanked the garbage can from beneath the sink and shut down the water valves.

“Super, I’m getting a fancy new faucet for our tired-looking kitchen sink,” is what was going through my head. Mr. Fix-It (a.k.a. Mr. Frugal), who came running in from the living room, was also excited, but in a different way. “Oh, dangnabbit,” he yelled, “I’m going to be here the rest of the day fighting with replacing this sucker!” He had a point: There’s only so much room for getting wrenches where they need to be during a faucet swap-out in most kitchens. It’s definitely a tight squeeze.

A short while later, he stormed off to the home-improvement store to pick out a new faucet. “Send me photos of my choices via your smartphone,” I ordered with my most stern smile. “And don’t just pick out the cheapest one.”

By the time he got back, I had the whole area under the sink clear for him to work. On top of that, I knew it looked like it was going to be very difficult on his back to do his thing, so I came up with a little tip you’ll want to keep in mind the next time you have some tight, uneven spots to work on—a beanbag chair. That’s right, I placed one of my kid’s old beanbag chairs on the floor just outside of the sink cabinet. The chair propped up his lower body so that he could lay comfortably flat on his back to remove and replace the faucet’s water lines.

Tip two—and this one’s courtesy of my husband’s Googling efforts—is to invest in a $22 Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer Tool. It totally saved the day. For close-quarters plumbing jobs, this tool can’t be beat. It features an open slot for an easy fit over existing supply lines and is made of lightweight, high-strength plastic with durable aluminum inserts. The handy tool works on 7/8- and 1-inch metal and plastic hex nuts, plus its notched ends will tackle a variety of basin nuts. Ridgid’s installer tool is the perfect length, which allows you to turn mounting nuts on faucets, sprayers and ball valves.

My new faucet was flowing after just 30 minutes of actual work by Mr. Fix-It. The tool he bought saved time, his knuckles and aggravation. And the beanbag chair idea ensured that I didn’t have to hear about how his back ached for the next two weeks.

For more information in the Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer Tool, visit

This article was originally published in The NEW PIONEER™ Spring 2016 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.

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