Making plumbing connections underneath today's kitchen sinks can be a real challenge. With multiple basins, monstrous disposers, pullout sprayers and their dangling hoses, soap dispensers, instant hot-water heaters, water filters, dishwasher and ice maker connections, pullout trash-can slides, and who knows what else, it can get really crowded in that 36-inch sink base.
The Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer, model 2006, is a handy, multipurpose, under-sink plumbing tool. It's a large, tubular, plastic wrench with two aluminum attachments that fit into its socket ends and is designed to easily reach and tighten faucet and drain connections. Notches on either end of the tool body fit 2-, 3-, 4-, and 6-tab faucet and sprayer mounting nuts. One metal insert fits 7/8- and 1-inch hex nuts to tighten water supply lines, and also fits oval shut-off handles for stuck or hard-to-reach valves. The other insert is for holding sink basket strainers and tub drains in place while their locking rings are tightened.
On many installation jobs, we found that this Ridgid tool gave us some real advantages over a basin wrench or a standard basket tool. Our favorite use was for installing kitchen sink basket strainers, and it fit every strainer we tried except one. The tool's large, easily gripped handle rarely needed extra leverage to hold the baskets while they were tightened in place, but the attachment can be removed from the handle and used with a cheater bar or wrench in those instances. We also found the Ridgid tool to be ideal for installing faucet mounting nuts to the underside of sinks. It fit nicely over a wide array of these plastic-tabbed nuts and tightened them securely one-handed. A standard basin wrench would require two hands for this task: one to position the jaws, and the other to turn the wrench.
We discovered, however, that it's awkward to use this tool for tightening the faucet supply connections. The tool's hollow handle is designed to fit over a supply tube, but unless the tube is perfectly straight, it will catch and twist. We found that a standard basin wrench was able to work at varying angles and that working around the supply tube was much easier and faster.
One feature we aren't likely to use much is the attachment for turning shut-off valve handles. In the past, I have used water-pump pliers to close a stubborn supply valve, but it is rare not to be able to turn one by hand. I tried out this function and liked the fact that the smooth contact surfaces won't mar or crack the thin cast handles like pliers will.
When you find a tool that can do a job better, it makes your work a little easier, and the less time I have to spend crammed inside a kitchen cabinet, the better. As my new tool of choice for easy installations of faucets and drains, the Ridgid Faucet and Sink Installer has earned its place in my tool box.
–John Myrtle owns JM Plumbing and Heating in Hotchkiss, Colo.
Ridge Tool Co.
Ridgid #2006 Faucet and Sink Installer