Adapters for olds sinks with hot and cold faucets?

old habitat restore sinksNicole emails:

I have a very specific question that I hope you can post for your readers. I am renting an apartment that has a period sink with separate hot and cold water faucets. Although it is nice to have the antique sink and it fits with the feel of the 19th century building, warm water to wash my face would be nicer. Does anyone (maybe those who own/have renovated old brownstones) know if there is a temporary solution to this problem? I'm hoping to find a place that sells an adapter piece to bridge between the two faucets? (I've seen such a thing online, but have been unable to find any place that sells it, online or otherwise).
I'd even be interested in reaching out to a local business that would be willing to craft an adapter. Any suggestions for that? As I am renting, replacing the sink or faucets unfortunately is not an option.

This area has a bunch of older houses and apartments -- many that include old fixtures -- so Nicole can't be the first person to want to do something like this.

Got a suggestion? Please share!

Comments

Am I missing something here? What is wrong with turning the hot water faucet on, and then slowly turning on the cold water faucet until it is at the desired temperature? Or vice versa depending on your preference....

It's what I do.... then again, I can be totally clueless.

The Habitat for Humanity ReStore has tons of home goods, including tools, fixtures, plumbing supplies, sinks, etc. You might want to give them a try - they are located at 70 Fuller Road in Albany.

@lilly - there are probably separate faucets for hot and cold. Sounds like you need a mixing valve installed or get a fixture with just one faucet head.

@ Lilly--the two faucets don't merge. All cold or all hot. No way to mix.

Hi Lily, to clarify there are two faucets on the one sink -- one solely for hot water and another, separate faucet solely for cold water. These two faucets are spread apart from one another by 10-12 inches. The problem is that there is no way to have warm water come from the spouts, one must choose either hot or cold (unless I plug and fill the basin of the sink like a wash bin or attempt to cup water from each individual spout and then awkwardly splash my face...neither of these choices work well).

Aaahhhhh.... now I see... said the blind man.

Difficult. There used to be mixers you could buy, but the spigot itself had to be threaded, and these likely aren't, or you need to fit them really well. I'd check with a real plumbing supply house like Farrell Bros. You won't find a solution at the Home Depot. But it'll look like a cob-job in the end, as shown in this link:
http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/look-combine-hot-cold-faucets-55475
Kinda ruins the elegance of the two-spigot sink.

We had one of those mixers in the bathroom of our previous house in Albany. Everyone who came to visit was envious because they had the same problem you have. It came with the house when we bought it, so I have no idea where it came from, sorry.

I know exactly what Nicole is talking about. Back in the 1970s, I bought one of those chrome hot and cold bridge fixtures from Farrell Brothers in Albany for the pedestal sink in my apartment. Their service company still exists but not their plumbing supply store. You may want to call them anyway, to see if anyone may remember the item.

The separate hot & cold faucets are still pretty common in England, apparently:
http://www.wbur.org/npr/130569743/brysons-short-history-of-household-objects
You're meant to mix the water in the sink.

It wouldn't be pretty, but an easy hack would be to cut two lengths of the appropriate sized flexible vinyl or silicone tubing, and attach a three way coupler (T-joint) in the middle. If necessary, hose clamps to keep it secure to the faucets.

they're called faucet bridges--naturally you're not the only one who has faced this modern challenge with vintage plumbing. try this thread:
http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13298
also might want to check out the Albany Historic Parts store on Lexington..they have a ton of old (old, not 1970s old) sinks and parts and you just might find it there.

You might want to try calling Charles Burch Plumbing Supply on State Street in Schenectady. Our previous house had a set of extremely old faucets for the shower that would occasionally malfunction (leak, seize, etc), and I found Burch to be an excellent resource for rebuilding antiquated plumbing bits. Worth a shot.

You need a bridge faucet, not a hack. Like one of these : http://www.signaturehardware.com/bathroom/bathroom-sink-faucets/bridge-bathroom-faucets.html

Ask the landlord to have one installed and offer to split the cost - it's an upgrade that makes the property more valuable.

I say this as a landlord.

@beth those are a beautiful solution!

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