Fitting a kitchen tap, re-fitting it, and fitting another one...

OK, bear with me...

At Lidl, I impulse buy 'Ernesto' - a new, fancy kitchen tap with pull-out spray - for other half's birthday. Want to install before OH back from work. Clear under sink, remove shelves, turn off mains water. Remove old tap. 

Realise wall fittings don't match: plastic push-fit connectors (old) against 1/2 inch metal screw (new). 

Whizz down to Screwfix. Work out correct compression fittings for pipes with help of Google while in shop. Take home and try to fit as per YouTube.

Don't have correct size spanner. Borrow spanner set from neighbour. Still don't have all tools, so make do with wrench, etc. Fit tap. Lovely.

Two weeks later, OH discovers leak on floor.

Remove tap. Check all joints. No obvious fault. Could it be surface water on worktop going through hole in worktop? Tighten tap on worktop. No improvement. Remove tap, squirt silicone sealant under it. Wait 24 hours. No improvement. Leak gets worse. Bucket under tap.

Call Lidl Customer Services Helpline. They give me number in Austria. Call Austria. English customer support person on leave. Technical support away until Monday. They give me customer support number in Germany. Call Germany. Helpful guy in Kassel establishes it must be a faulty ceramic cartridge in tap: "Happens, it's a mass product". Offers to send new cartridge for free. Will take 10 days. Thinking about it.

Decide don't want to leave it that long for fear of kitchen flooding in meantime.

OH buys new tap from B&Q. Cheapest 'Grohe', but quality product. Also buy set of huge size spanners (22 and 24).

Go home. Start tap swap. Wrong size wall fittings on tap (and yes, did check before buying, but obviously not thoroughly enough). 1/2 inch UK to 3/8 inch EU. Back down to Screwfix. Forgot to take wallet. Go home get wallet. Go back. Try to work out correct compression fittings reducer piece with help of shop staff. Get options brought out from stock room. Shop assistant tries them out with new tap ends. Seem to fit, after initial doubt. Thinking while looking at her that I must try myself. Forget to.

At home, clear under sink, remove shelf. Turn off water. Remove old compression fittings and fit new ones. Remove Lidl tap. Slot Grohe tap through worktop. Try to hook up. Doesn't fit. Connections wrong size, 2mm out. Try again. And again. Beating myself up for not having checked properly myself when in shop.

Call around everywhere to find correct reducer piece. Screwfix has one in stock. Need two, though. Gibbs & Dandy have plenty, but they cost an arm and a leg. Go to B&Q on a hunch. Find correct piece and buy. Good price. Return wrong ones.

Back home. Remove old compression fittings and fit new ones. Finish off installation of new tap. Much easier with correct size spanners. Works and looks nice. Less fancy than old one. No leak (yet). Return faulty tap to Lidl. Get refund.


Anyone for a cup of tea?

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