We have nothing bad to say about about the Price Pfister faucet that we purchased as part of our kitchen remodel back in 2007 (especially since we scored it for a mere $71 on eBay).
But sometimes change is a good thing. Why? Because the kind folks at Delta faucets generously offered to let us take their new Pilar Pull-Down Faucet with Touch 2O Technology for a spin.
Psst- Want one too? Stay tuned for this week’s giveaway since we actually wrangled one for a lucky random winner as well!
The Pilar’s sleek brushed nickel finish is a perfect match for our kitch and the Touch 2O feature sounded right up our alley- especially with all the painting, sanding, caulking and general messiness that comes with the bevy of DIY projects that we’re always taking on. Basically, you can turn the water on and off by simply touching any part of the faucet or handle with your fingers, wrist, elbow or any other piece of skin that’s not covered in soap, paint, dirt, etc. Sounds like a DIYers dream, no?
So once we delicately broke the news to our old faucet, it came time for it to gather its stuff and move out (not to worry, we’re happily giving it a second life by donating it to The Habitat For Humanity ReStore). When it comes to faucet switcheroos, we’ve removed and installed about four or five bathroom faucets, but never a kitchen faucet (our granite and sink installer put in our last one) but I figured it’d be pretty straightforward. I just cleared out the under-sink cabinets, assembled my tools, turned off the water and readied my plumber’s crack (not pictured).
I actually resisted the urge to take pictures of the ol’ removal process, thinking it would be so simple that it didn’t warrant breaking out the camera- but I actually hit a small hurdle pretty much off the bat: I couldn’t figure out how to unscrew a certain piece. The solution? I just hunted down the instructions online (since a lot of manufacturers put PDFs of these things on their websites these days) and realized that I misunderstood the way the pieces connect (specifically I thought 8B and 8C were fused together, so I hadn’t even attempted to simply unscrew 8C from 8B). Problem solved.
From there it was only a few minutes before I had everything removed and boxed up to be donated to the Habitat ReStore (generally speaking, we just unscrewed things under the sink that held the fixtures in place above the sink). Then after some mild scrubbing, I was left with four clean holes in the countertop that begged to be plugged up with a new faucet. Now you might be wondering why we had four holes when that before picture only shows three fixtures. Well, we originally had the soap pump that came with the Price Pfister faucet installed, but we found that it leaked on the granite a lot (and got jammed up quite a bit) so it soon got the boot in favor of our beloved Cucina soap/lotion caddy (that never leaks AND easily covers the unused hole).
So with the sink just begging for a new faucet, the installation of our sparkly and high tech Delta model proved to be surprisingly easy (I assumed this would be harder than the former faucet removal but it was seamless and simple- especially since I already had the included-in-the-box instructions on hand to refer to). First came screwing on the gooseneck spout, which was just simply tightening a collection of washers and nuts on the underside of the granite while Sherry held the spout in place on the other side.
Then came doing something similar to the handle (i.e. valve). This required a special long tool (included) to tighten the nut over a super long bolt (similar to parts 8B and 8C that had proven confusing to remove on the old faucet). You can see how the nut fits into the top of a long plastic tube that then slides right over the long bolt.
Here you can see the tool in action after having tightened the nut into place. Pretty straightforward if you ask me, especially since so far all the tubes and wiring were already hooked up for me (yes, our fancy schmancy faucet actually came with wiring).
The next step was feeding the extension hose through the faucet. All that took was popping in a simple white nub to help the tube slide through with ease, and then just leaving enough still sticking out so it didn’t get lost inside the gooseneck. This is where we would later screw on the nozzle end, which makes it functions as both a standard faucet and a pull-down sprayer. Gotta love a multitasker like that.
Here’s where it starts to get high tech. After all, the Jetson’s-esque touch feature doesn’t just happen by magic. Enter the Solenoid. I don’t know how it does what it does, but I do know that it came it one of those static-eliminating bags that I’m used to getting computer parts in. Like woah.
The Solenoid connects to the valve on the top side by snapping it into a plastic tube that already extends from the valve and using a metal clamp (the goldish thing below) to hold it in place. Then I snapped the spray hose (after removing the white plastic guide) into the bottom of the Solenoid and used a black plastic clamp to hold that in place. Our faucet was now one step closer to becoming a bona fide robot.
After that it was just up to me to connect a series of wires from the Solenoid to other parts of the fixture. For example I attached a metal clip to the bottom of the spout (sorry for the blurry pic – it’s dark under there!)…
…and these two corresponding wires from the spout and the Solenoid (not exactly sure about the science behind all of this, so I was just dutifully following directions at this point).
And of course you have to attached it all to a power source. In this case that source was a battery case that fits four C-sized batteries, which- much to our pleasant surprise- are actually included! When does that ever happen? Oh and there is an adhesive on the back of the battery pack if you wanted to stick it to the cabinet wall, but we opted not to commit ourselves to one spot yet and just rested it on the base of the cabinet (this should make pulling it out to change batteries extra easy).
With the electrical done, it was time to put my plumber’s hat back on, take off my belt, and reconnect the water. The hot water was pretty basic – I just attached the black plastic tube from the valve to our hot water connection. The cold water was a bit different due to the water filter that we installed last summer. Fortunately, the new tubing was the same size as the blue plastic tubes used by our Filtrete filter- so I was able to just cut the new tube at an appropriate length with a small hack saw, insert it into the filter and I was done.
Then I just turned the water back on the traditional way (by turning on the pipes under the sink and using the faucet handle to get water a flowin’) and tested for leaks by using a paper towel (it’s our patent-pending technique… just place a dry paper towel under the pipes, turn on the water, and pray that the towel stays dry). Once we established that there were no leaks or snafus when it came to our installation, I readied myself to attempt to turn on my kitchen faucet in a whole new way: just by tapping it (we love that the faucet can function just like a normal one and that the touch-activated feature can be turned on and off). But first take a look at our new faucet in place:
Once again we opted not to install the included soap pump so we just used the Mrs. Meyers bottle to cover up the second pre-drilled hole in our counter. Some people might not think that two covered countertop holes are ideal, but we realized that we’d much rather have the room to grow (in case we ever decide to install another four-hole faucet down the road- since we plan to be here til we’re old and gray) rather than having to get someone in to cut new holes if that time comes. Basically we think of our sink as having a ton of flexibility- and we’ve never had an issue with water finding its way around the soap or lotion and dripping into the cabinet base below so it’s a pretty foolproof system. Plus there are also lots of sites like this that sell “hole covers” to make things even more secure and water-safe if we ever want that extra protection for the long haul- so that’s always a nice option.
Plus, we love having the pull-down sprayer built right into the spout rather than coming from a separate source. And it toggles between a solid stream and a multi-stream spray with a switch on the back of the nozzle. Nice.
We also love the heft of our new faucet. We never realized how light and semi-chintzy our other one felt by comparison (since we’re constantly swinging our faucet from side to side between each basin of our double sink, the new one really feels solid and substantial- always a plus).
And the whole touch thing? Works like a charm. Though at first I didn’t realize that you have to have the handle in the on position for it to kick in, so there was some momentary alarm during my first few attempts to touch activate things without success. But as soon as we flipped the handle back towards the window- into the on position- then all we had to do was tap any metal part of the faucet (spout, neck, underside- anywhere) and it would click on or off instantly. Plus there’s a little blue light at the base of the spout that lights up when it’s being touch activated.
The other cool thing is that since we’re constantly pushing the spout from one side of our double sink to the other, it’s actually smart enough to know when you’re tapping it (which will turn it on and off) and when you’re grabbing the neck to move it (thereby wrapping your fingers around it). So it actually won’t activate and turn on/off if you grab it to move it- just when you tap it. Yeah it’s pretty much an Einstein-caliber faucet.
And since we know people are probably wondering about fingerprints (since this faucet begs to be touched) the instruction manual actually encourages people to touch the underside of the faucet to minimize fingerprints but we’ve been tapping it pretty much all over and we haven’t noticed one fingerprint to speak of. The brushed nickel finish really does a great job of obscuring them (or keeping them from popping up in the first place). Whew.
My only wish? I’m kinda disappointed that it doesn’t talk to me in some Knight Rider-ish voice: “Welcome John, what can I wash for you today?” Oh well, Delta’s probably still working on that feature. We also love that the batteries are only activated when the faucet is actually being touched on or off, so it’s not like they run all the time when we might only touch it for 40 seconds a day. Smart.
So that’s how we painlessly switched out our kitchen faucet and lived to tell the tale (and wash our hands after a job well done). We hope our little step by step photo sesh comes in handy if you find yourself under your sink with a wrench in the near future. And of course if your new faucet doesn’t come with wires and batteries it’s sure to be an even simpler installation process. You can totally do it, probably in less than twenty minutes.
Oh and don’t forget to swing by later today for a chance to win your very own Delta Pilar with Touch 2O Technology (which retails for somewhere around $300). And until we come back with our big weekly freebie this afternoon, we’d love to know if anyone else has tried out this wave of the hand-washing future device? Or do you have any other special technology in your home that makes life a bit easier? Motion-sensored lights? Heated towel bars? A coffee maker on a timer? If not do you dream of some special high-tech device or invention that would make your house hum like a well oiled machine robot? Spill the sci-fi beans.
I do love the new faucet but I think you guys should have kept the previous one hidden away in the closest for future use (when you tire of this new one). The previous one looked perfect in your kitchen! One day you might be pining for it. ;)
I have to say I’m so jealous! I ‘ve wanted one of these ever since I saw the commerical a couple months ago!
Sugared Harpy says
I don’t know if we have something already that makes life so much more awesome…hmmm, maybe our Dyson vacuum cleaner because I can empty is without having dust blow back up in my face. And if this faucet and a heated towel bar made its way into my house, I may never leave it.
Very cool! I, too, was thinking about how the new faucet’ll come in handy once the Bean arrives… for everything from bathing her to washing her bottles, etc.
Quick (just out of curiosity) question – and my apologies if this has already been addressed – how do you turn the water from hot to cold and vice versa?
Good question! The water automatically comes on at the temp that the handle is facing, so if you left it in the cold position it’ll come on cold each time. Of course you can easily grip and move the handle to a different temp which isn’t the same as tapping the water on and off so it’s pretty seamless to use once you get the hang of it. Hope it helps!
This is great, I love hi tech stuff for the house.
I installed a door lock with a fingerprint reader on our garage door.
It so happens, that one day both my wife and I forgot our keys inside the house and locked ourselves out. I ended up using a ladder and climbing on the roof to get access to a window we just happened to leave open. Well that very same day I looked into “keyless” entry for that door, and it’s been working great ever since, we don’t need to carry our keys when we leave the house. I also installed a wireless keypad for our garage door opener, so we don’t even need a garage door remote to get back in the house.
Thanks for this contest!
Amy E. says
i’m glad someone linked the “how it works” behind this fancy faucet so i didn’t have to! i think it’s the hair/fur on pets that prevents them from turning it on. to test: touch it with your head (a hairy part) and see if it turns on. since long-haired pets have more hair than some guys do, i figure that’ll be a good test to see if it’s really the hair/fur that prevents the electric current from passing!
lana @ make a house a home says
i hope you love it! we have been thinking about getting one too when we start our kitchen remodel.
I think both faucets look nice! It’s nice to have something new and it is streamlined and modern and fits well in your kitchen!
I like your new faucet, but I like the old one too. I think the touch feature on your new faucet is very handy or elbowy or wristy for that matter!
Haha, how could we have missed that joke? Well done.
Cool! Man, you guys have been getting a lot of good loot lately for free! But you always share with us :)
Yup, we always beg for a second product to give away to you guys too. It’s just too much fun to share the love- and this baby is so worth it!
Kelly P says
Love the new faucet!
We’ve been accumulating materials for a new kitchen and a new bathroom for 2 years now and we’re just about to start demolition. It’s so exciting! I think my 2 favorite things in our news spaces will be the potfiller and underfloor heat. I can’t wait!!!
We have surround sound in our living room. It’s the BEST. If anyone is thinking of getting it, do so because movies or your favorite shows (mine is Lost), is SOOO much cooler with surround sound. However, we did buy surround with wires, if I were to go back in time, I’d of spent a little more mula on the wireless, makes it much easier and you don’t have to go through the haselle of hiding the wires
Oh yeah! The new faucet is really nice!!
[email protected] Paradise says
When I was researching for faucets a year ago, I found this very same one, but couldn’t afford the price…booo. So I settled on a a different Delta Faucet. I will say I do like the look of your old faucet better, but it would be interesting to see if this faucet is more functional for you guys!
Meredith K A says
Re: your comment above speculating about the batteries, the hilarious video on Delta’s website for this faucet did tell me that (a) the LED indicator turns red when you need to replace the batteries, and (b) if you leave the faucet on, it actually turns itself off after 4 minutes! It also claims that the batteries will only need to be replaced about once a year, which I guess I can believe.
Thanks for the tip Meredith! That’s so cool. We heart our new faucet!
I need a new faucet and I love this one alot. We had lighting hit our house years ago and it went through the plumbing(the old metal kind). It is years later and my faucet is rusty on the inside, no presure and sticks on, a new faucet is on my to-get list along with a millon other things. Oh and I like the new faucet better than the old at your house.
That is the coolest thing since, well, the last cool thing you shared.
Touch Me….perfect when cleaning raw meat, etc. I never know quite how not to contaminate the handle of the faucet when washing off the ick of prepping meat and other germy things! Thanksgiving would be a WHOLE lot easier!
My wife and I have looked at this and it looks awesome! Some day we’ll have one for no other reason than to make our friends jealous.
great pictures, by the way, very helpful for someone who wanted to install one themselves.
Thank you for the tip about the Habitat ReStore. They are one of my fav. charities to support, but I didn’t know they accepted building materials, too! I have a few light fixtures that I will definitely donate to them!
Oh yeah we love the ReStore! And they’ll take a ton of stuff. We’ve even given them sinks, light fixtures, and even unused drywall and hardibacker! It’s great because we don’t have to store things we don’t need and we can pass them along to those who can definitely use them!
I really liked the style of your old faucet, but I do like the added features of the new one. Tell me: Does Delta make more than one design?
You can follow the link we included in the post to check out the different Delta options. This model with the touch technology comes in two finishes but we’re not sure if they have other designs… yet. We’re sure they’re in the pipeline though!
What a great idea. I love convenience. Next someone needs to think of a warmer, easier way to refuel cars in the dead of winter.
just wondering if you had to screw into the underside of your granite counters during the replacement process…. i have dishwasher brackets to secure to the countertop and drilling into the granite makes me nervous. i’ve heard of epoxying wood to the underside of the counter or alternatively, using side mounts screwed to the cabinets. any thoughts or advice?
(ps: i frequently refer to you as “my blog people” at work, i.e. “my blog people are having a baby!” and my co-workers are quite confused as to why i know so much about your lives but do not actually know you? i think they think you are my fictional friends….)
No way! You’re totally right about that sounding majorly scary. No screwing into the granite is necessary at all- everything is basically slipped through the pre-drilled standard faucet holes and sandwiched on either side of the granite with nuts and bolts.
your blog people
Margie K says
TOUCH ME with a new stainless faucet! We are huge Restore fans and have practically furnished our entire house from the Restore. Unfortunately, they don’t have uber-cool faucets like this available so hopefully we’ll win this one! As far as general hygeine goes, we like clean teeth…major turn on! The faucet can help us accomplish this goal! ;)
Jen H. says
Nice! I think you’ll find the new faucet even more convenient when the Beanette gets to the messy baby/toddler food stage.
Genevieve West says
Touch Me – What a great recommendation, thanks! We are in the middle of DIY also and the ikea faucet just isn’t cutting it….
We totally splurged on some heated tile floor in our master bathroom. It’s the world’s smallest bathroom and we may not get our money out of the deal, but for $200 it sure has kept my toesies nice and warm these last few months. :) I also love our scheduled thermostat… it’s super efficient, was easy to install, and I know we’re saving money too!
P.S. Love the faucet! You will love the pull-down aspect of it, and the touch technology makes it doubly cool!
My “high tech” upgrade was a motion sensor light for the back of my garage door. I walk across my backyard going from the garage to my back door, and at night, I can’t really see. I hate to leave my light on all the time, especially if I’m gone all day at work, because the light bothers my neighbor if she’s outside. So my dad installed a motion sensor light that turns on when I walk out of the garage, and turns off a few minutes later. Of course, it’s apparently not all that high tech because I tried to fix an outlet inside the house and managed to cut off the electric to the garage light… oops. The garage door works, but the light doesn’t. Weird.
Kim @ Forever Daisies says
Very Awesome! Plus it LOOKs great! :)
Great tutorial! Just wondering about that third hole where the sprayer was, is it now filled? Will you be getting a new sprayer?
Cavan- If you read the post we fully explain how we addressed the extra hole and also detail how the spout of our new faucet is also a pull out sprayer. Hope it helps!
Molly- It’s fron Anthropologie. Happy hunting…
Where is the saop/lotion holder from? Love it.
I love this — we’re planning our kitchen remodel and I think this would be a great feature. Something else I’m super interested in is an undersick composter I saw in a Costco flyer. Apparently, it turns your compost into soil more quickly than doing it outside – and doesn’t smell.
I dunno, I’d be nervous about having a sink that was robotic…there’s a Futurama episode where Mom calls all the robots to rebel to get back at the Professor – let’s just say the garbage disposal had a mean streak. Hopefully the robotic takeover won’t happen TOO soon!
I always thought they should make sinks with a foot pedal like my parents have in their work labs. However, if I were to win the contest I think I could shelve my footpedal-sink-dreams for this lovely (non-rebellious) robotic one.
By the way, do you use your kitchen sink as a utility sink too? Or do you have a sink in the laundry area? I can’t tell from the pictures.
We’ve only got three sinks in the house: kitchen and the two bathrooms. So the kitchen sink is usually where we do our hand cleaning after messy projects, though sometimes it’s in the half bath because it’s closest to the outside. But an official utility sink would be great – if only we had the room!
My favorite use for an additional hole in the countertop is an air switch for the garbage disposal. Like the switches on jetted tubs, it uses air pressure to turn the disposal on or off, so there’s absolutely NO chance of electrical shock. (They’re also flat and easy to clean, so you don’t have gurky stuff building up around a switch on the wall.)
Love the faucet!
- Sarah :-) says
Ooohh!! So now you guys should get the motion-sensored soap dispensor that they sell at Bed Bath & Beyond to finish off your Jetsons-esque kitchen. AND it’s stainless looking, so it’ll match (and perhaps cover one of those granite holes?) perfectly.
I’m totally green with faucet envy, right now.
micaela @ hishouse;herhelp. says
hey sorry if someone already asked this question but… i’m wondering, if you are washing something, the water is on, and you touch the faucet for some reason like to move it, the water turns off? seems like that would be annoying!
We actually mentioned it briefly in the post, but if you grip the faucet to move it, the faucet is smart enough to know this isn’t a tap so it doesn’t react. Only small taps activate it, so grabbing the neck doesn’t effect it. Isn’t that cool?!
My husband and I bought this faucet several months ago and absolutely love it! However, we aren’t as handy as y’all are, so we hried a professional to hook it up for us. After reading this post, I realized that our little light never lights up at the bottom with blue or red! Oh well, I guess juast as long as it works, i’m okay with that; however, do y’all have any suggestions on what I should try to make it work? Thanks!
I would check to see if you still have the installation directions on hand and double check all the wire connections under the sink against the diagrams in the manual. Of course you can always download it online if you can’t find it. And as a last ditch effort we’d actually suggest following John’s tutorial above! After all, he tried to detail as many steps as possible and it might just help you figure out how to get that light on. Good luck!
Harmony McCullough says
That sink sounds amazingly helpful! Nice job with the installation–I’m always so impressed at what you guys are able to do without hiring professionals!
Did you guys do a post about your water filter? I really want to install one and I’m trying to figure out what will give me the most bang for my buck, so if you guys have already done the leg-work on that I’d love to be lazy and just do what you did ;-)
There’s actually a link to our filter post in the post above when we mention it, so feel free to follow that over and get more info. Hope it helps!
Turn-off definitely is farting! I can’t stand it! I swear women don’t pass gas like men do :)
“TOUCH ME” My BIG turnoff is definitely arrogance. Actually, it’s a big turnoff for me in both sexes. So unappealing!
My big turn-off is lack of consideration for others. I believe that this is selfish and find it really bothers me when others only care for themselves. Have a great day.
We’ve been looking for the right faucet to replace our old one in the kitchen. This looks to be the perfect option. Thanks!
“Touch me” biggest turn off is leaving his hat on and dog leash on the kitchen table…GROSS! oh and cant forget parking in the middle of a 2 car driveway.
My husband recently finished building our house and I was the lucky one that got to pick out all of the fun stuff. One of my top picks that I love is my Delta Pilar. It is so convenient and we haven’t had any problems with it unless you count all of our relatives touching it 100 times to make it go off and on. Finger prints have not been a problem to my surprise so I recommend it to anyone in the market for a new faucet!
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My Business Note says
I love to read this blog, you have good skill to do something like that.
Hi John and Sherry,
It’s been awhile since I read about your installing this Delta faucet, but I just had to tell you that we just finished most of our little kitchen remodel and when it came time to choose a faucet, I went for it and got this one. My husband had a little trouble installing it because there were a couple of important parts missing in the box. But now that it’s all together, we LOVE it! Our 6 yr old daughter likes it because she can still use the sink even though she isn’t tall enough to reach the handles. It’s very cool!
Thanks for this great “how to” demonstration. My wife and I are now very motivated to start our kitchen project and will be choosing this great new touch control faucet. We both agree that your granite is absolutely gorgeous and want to find this exact type and color for our remodel. What is the name of the granite in your kitchen? What is the name of the color? Where do we find this? Your help would be so appreciated. All the best.
It goes by different names through different distributors. We got ours from Home Depot and it was called Pashmina but any stoneyard will call it something else so you might want to ask for granite that looks like marble with gray veins and flecks of garnet (which looks mostly white and light grey). Hope it helps!
Wow, I didn’t know we had a Habitat for Humanity Restore here in Richmond! I’ve heard great things about their stores (and it’s all for a great cause too!). Thanks for putting that out there!
Also, are there any thrift stores you recommend for Richmond? Thanks again! Love your blog!!!
Girdle Girl says
Now that is what I call an impressive faucet! Would love one of those but need to sort out the rest of my kitchen first.