Carpenter's levels: bubble slightly off-center. Ok?

theresseJuly 19, 2010

Hello -

I mentioned this in another thread but I thought maybe posting the particular issue in the plumbing forum might help (?).

My wall-mounted kitchen faucet was installed by a plumber and is ever so slightly uneven (horizontally). My level shows the bubble in the center is slightly to the left, within the center lines (as opposed to exactly in the center of the lines). Is this acceptable? I saw it was off with my own eyes prior to pulling out the level...but admittedly I notice things like this more than others - e.g. when Xmas trees aren't straight and silly things like that.

I can't tell if I'm being too fussy, which is why I ask about how the levels work and to what degree of accuracy is acceptable.

I don't even know if ANYONE on the planet has the answer for this...if anyone even knows whether the bubble needs to be perfectly centered or can be off just a bit. Again, it's mostly within the lines, but the far left side of the bubble is sticking out just beyond the left line of the center lines, but barely.

Thank you!

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Level is level and any deviation is a deviation, but to some people close enough is close enough and to some level is level.

If you're paying for the job then you get to determine the acceptable tolerance but that has to be specifically pointed out to the trades people before the project and they have to observe your spec.

You can't assume that the people you hire will have the same attention to detail as you do or you'll get a faucet that is almost level. You can expect it but don't plan on it.

The first tool many of us bought was because the person we paid to do the job didn't do it as well as we would have so why pay them to do an inferior job? I'll just get the darn tool and do the job better myself.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 1:43AM
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Not an exact science, but maybe there is enough play to use a palm to nudge it level.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 7:56AM
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Two questions. How long was the level? And how much did it cost? Get a level at least the same length as the sink. Hold up one side until level, Measure the gap, and decide.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 1:42AM
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Also take the level you have, set it on a flat surface, look at the bubble, turn it end to end, recheck bubble. Is there any difference in the bubble location? If so, your level may not be good. One more thing. Make sure there is no dirt or other debris causing a problem.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 1:49AM
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As was stated above, but also, a plumber is not necessarily a carpenter. My father-in-law was a plumber and a carpenter, but he was also a fast worker. His expression was: "It looks good from my house".

I think your problem is because of a plumber in a hurry, or maybe because the water lines weren't level and he didn't want to charge you to fix them too.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 6:06AM
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Once you're sure the level reads the same when turned around, lift the lower end until it reads level. That gap is the amount of space the lower end has to be moved upwards to make the thing level. It is possible to move this by hand force because pipes are not structural. Also, the higher end can be moved downwards. A piece of wood (e.g. about 18" long) can be used to both pull up the low side and push down the high side, without much effort. I'm assuming the movement will be a small fraction of an inch based on what you wrote in your first post.

Before doing this, it is good to verify all the above and a few other assumptions I've made about the supply pipes being move-able within a small range. The installer can tell you more about the pipes and how much "give" they have. The installer can tell you what he did to anchor the faucet, or whether he expected the pipes to hold it entirely. If you told us about the pipes in the wall and the anchoring that was done, it might be possible to advise more. Without knowing anything more, it is not possible to say whether moving the faucet into position will loosen it or make it stay once moved, and whether the movement will be bad for the pipes or OK.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 4:58PM
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