Clark Howard

How I saved $200+ with this simple plumbing fix

Shortly before the long Thanksgiving weekend, the handle on my kitchen faucet broke. I should have seen the day coming — it is, after all, the original faucet fixture and the home was built in 2000.

Almost 19 years of service is pretty good out of a builder’s grade kitchen hardware, I’d say!

But a broken faucet right before Thanksgiving is nobody’s idea of a fun time in the kitchen.

RELATED: Too much standing water in your bathtub? Do this!

How a $5 Moen Handle Adapter Kit saved me big money

Angie's List reports that the average cost to put a new faucet in your kitchen can range from $114 to $189, though the home services site says the price could top out around $275. Meanwhile, HomeAdvisor reports you'll pay a professional plumber in the range of $156 to $334 for the job, with the average cost being around $245.

That was way too much for me to pay, so I went to my local Home Depot and found this:

It’s a Moen Handle Adapter Kit and I knew it would work to fix my particular faucet folly because I have a Moen faucet.

Now get this: The kit was priced regularly at $15.48. But because Home Depot will price match select competitors, I used my phone to search both Ace Hardware and Lowe’s for the same product. (Walmart was showing the exact same price and they wouldn’t match Amazon.)

While I didn’t find the kit on Lowe’s, Google did show me what appeared to be the same product on for just $5 and change.

So I found an associate at self-checkout and asked them two questions: Was this, in fact, the exact same product for $10 less? And if so, would they would honor their own lower online price?

The answer to the first question was inconclusive and the answer to the second question was straight-up no.

But the associate was nice and gave me a write-down on the price by $10, which made the final price $5.48 before tax. She didn’t have to do that, but she did anyway!

So now that I had my $5 replacement part, I set to work disassembling the old faucet fixture and putting in the new piece that would attach to the faucet handle.

The crux of my problem was that the handle adapter and connector assembly had just broken clean in half after almost two decades of use. So that’s the situation I had to remedy with a new handle adapter and connector assembly.

Here are some photos I took during the process to give you a sense of what this surprisingly simple job entailed:

The only tools I needed were an Allen wrench, which came with the assembly kit and a Philips head screwdriver, which I already had.

And viola —  just like that, I had a savings of a couple hundred bucks and a faucet that worked during the long Thanksgiving weekend!

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