Installation: Galley Faucet

By E. Don Smith
September 28, 2016
Filed under Gear, Resources


Replacing a galley fixture is easy, and is a quick way to improve the look of your motorhome’s kitchen


When it comes to plumbing, your motorhome has many of the same fixtures as those in a residential home. At some point, you may want to change out a galley faucet for cosmetic reasons, or you may have to replace it due to failure. Whatever the reason, the installation steps are simple enough that the average person can tackle this job using a few hand tools, and doing so can really save you a lot of money.

Plumbing fixtures installed in a motorhome are exposed to a different set of conditions from those installed in a traditional house because they often sit unused during the off-season (unless you are a full-timer). During the winter, these fixtures may be subjected to freezing temperatures, which is why it is critical to winterize the motorhome if you store it for the winter. Otherwise these waterlines, valves and faucets are prone to freezing with water inside them, which usually results in cracking. And, as you will see during the installation of this new kitchen faucet, many of the parts are plastic, so if they are not completely winterized you can almost be assured they will fail during the first hard freeze.

As you can see, our old faucet included a soap dispenser and a separate sprayer for a total of four holes, so we selected a new faucet that has the same configuration for the easiest install. Before you remove each of these components, make a note of which goes into each hole. Remember that the spout has to access both sides of the sink, so it is usually positioned in the hole that is in the centerline of the two sinks (if your setup has dual sinks).

As you can see, our old faucet included a soap dispenser and a separate sprayer for a total of four holes, so we selected a new faucet that has the same configuration for the easiest install. Before you remove each of these components, make a note of which goes into each hole. Remember that the spout has to access both sides of the sink, so it is usually positioned in the hole that is in the centerline of the two sinks (if your setup has dual sinks).

The old kitchen faucet in our Tiffin motorhome not only had an annoying drip, but the finish of the 9-year-old metal had started looking rough, so we decided it was time to replace the faucet with a completely new unit.

If you make the decision to replace the entire faucet, there are a few things you need to make note of before purchasing a new unit. First, look at the current setup and determine how many holes are occupied by the faucet, valve, sprayer and/or soap dispenser. In our case it was easy to determine because there were four distinct fixtures all occupying their own hole. However, sometimes the fixture uses an escutcheon plate on top of the counter, which makes the number of holes needed more difficult to determine. It may be necessary to look under the sink, or completely remove the faucet, before buying a replacement model.

Once that’s settled, another important aspect of a successful changeover is determining the diameter of the holes in the countertop. Each faucet manufacturer has a different requirement for the diameter of each of the holes. This measurement also dictates where each part of the faucet can be mounted, so if you want to change the position of the handle or the spout it may or may not be possible depending on the configuration of the new faucet and the diameter of the holes in your countertop.


The first thing you will need to do is to locate the water-supply lines from the motorhome and disconnect them from the lines to the faucet. This usually requires a wrench to hold the line to prevent damage to the braided lines of the faucet. Here you can see that our lines were ½-inch pipe-thread style. Your setup may be different, so check these before you buy a new faucet to make sure they are compatible.


All the retention devices below the sink will have to be disconnected so you can pull the old faucet out through the holes in the countertop. It’s easier if you remove the soap-dispenser bottle at this time by unscrewing it.


Remove the tension ring by unscrewing it. This can usually be done by hand; if not, a wrench may help. Remove the handle from the top of the sink. Repeat this same process for the spray handle if yours is so equipped.


Every faucet manufacturer uses its own way of retaining the valve and hoses, but to remove ours we had to use a wrench to loosen this nut and then remove the plate above it.


After disconnecting the hoses, pull the valve body through the countertop, then remove the sprayer assembly as well.


Now the only part of the old faucet left behind is the spout. Usually it will have a nut holding it in place. Simply loosen it with a wrench and then unthread it completely.


With your old faucet removed it is a good idea to measure each hole (every one of ours was different) to make sure the faucet you are buying will fit. We had to return one faucet because it required an increase in the hole size to accommodate the sprayer wand and soap dispenser. Drilling a countertop is not particularly easy (nor is it recommended) if your motorhome has a solid-surface countertop, so it’s far easier to buy a faucet that fits.


Armed with the information such as the number of holes, the supply-line type and the diameter of the holes in the motorhome’s countertop, we purchased a new faucet at a local building-supply store for less than $200. Prices and quality vary widely, so it pays to shop around before making a decision.


Install the backer plate to retain the new spout shank for the new faucet. The faucet you selected may have a one-piece shank/spout, so if it is not exactly like this one, use the instructions supplied with the faucet. This faucet included its own long-reach wrench, which made this step easy.


After installing the supplied gasket, we threaded on the spout and tightened it by hand, making sure the gasket stayed around the base of the spout.


Install the gasket for the handle assembly and thread all the hoses through the countertop. Since the valve handle rotates to the left and right as well as up and down, you need to position it properly before tightening it from the bottom.


Install the plastic nut on the threaded shank for the soap dispenser and the side hose-sprayer assembly.


This particular faucet uses a diverter valve to supply water to the sprayer. On this model it simply presses into place over the spout shank. Please note this valve is directional, and if you install it upside down the sprayer will not work. Install the hoses into the diverter if required.


Since our supply lines from the coach are ½-inch female pipe thread and the supply-line connections are 3⁄8-inch female compression fittings, we had to buy adapters and install them. Notice we used pipe-sealant tape on both male fittings to reduce the chances of a leak.


Attach the supply lines to the faucet hoses, making sure to connect the hot-water line from the hose to the red/hot supply lines from the motorhome.


After restoring the water supply to the main line of the coach, we tested the faucet to make sure the spout as well and the side sprayer worked properly with hot and cold water.


After the water was running, we made one final check under the sink to ensure there weren’t any leaks or drips.

Another important consideration is the diameter and type of the water-supply lines in the motorhome that will be connected to the new faucet. There are two common types of supply-line fittings currently in use: a female 3⁄8-inch compression fitting, or, as in our case, a ½-inch female pipe-thread fitting. When we went shopping for a four-hole faucet, we found that most of them used a 3⁄8-inch compression fitting, so we also had to purchase an adapter to mate the two types of fittings.

This project is actually quite easy and requires just a few hand tools, so if you are flexible enough to crawl under your motorhome’s kitchen sink there is no reason you can’t perform this DIY project in your driveway, or even while parked at a campground.

The only safety precaution here is to make sure you first disconnect the water-supply line to your motorhome and completely drain the pressure off the water system by turning on several faucets until there is no water flow on either the hot or cold lines.

This easy project only takes about an hour and you’ll save money by doing the work yourself.


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