How to Replace a Kitchen or Bathroom Faucet.
A faucet upgrade can greatly enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your kitchen or bathroom. Before we begin, ensure that you have all the necessary tools and materials ready, including the new faucet, and flexible waterlines with the proper connections for your existing waterlines.
1. Adjustable Wrench: This versatile tool will help you tighten and loosen nuts and bolts during the installation.
2. Bucket: Place a bucket under the sink to catch any water that may spill when you disconnect the old faucet or water supply lines.
3. Towels/Rags: Keep some towels or rags handy to wipe up any water and to keep your work area dry.
4. Flashlight: A flashlight can be very helpful in providing adequate lighting under the sink, where you’ll be working.
5. Plumber’s Tape (Teflon Tape): Use plumber’s tape to wrap around the threads of the faucet connections. It helps create a watertight seal and prevents leaks.
6. Caulk Gun and Silicone Caulk: You’ll need these to seal the base of the new faucet to the sink surface after installation. You can also just buy a squeeze tube of caulk.
7. Plumber’s Putty (for some types of faucets): Certain faucets may require plumber’s putty to create a seal between the faucet and the sink.
8. Screwdrivers: Depending on the type of faucet, you might need a screwdriver for tasks such as removing screws or securing handles.
9. Pipe Wrench (optional): In some cases, a pipe wrench may be necessary for stubborn or hard-to-reach connections.
10. Basin Wrench (optional): This specialized wrench can be helpful for reaching tight spaces when removing or installing the faucet.
11. Channel Lock Pliers (optional): These pliers can be handy for gripping and turning pipes or connectors in tight spaces.
12. Pipe Cutter (optional): If your waterlines are solid copper and do not have compression fittings, you will need a copper pipe cutter.
13. Safety Glasses: Protect your eyes from any debris or water splashes that may occur during the installation.
Having these tools ready before you start the faucet replacement project will make the process smoother and ensure that you have everything you need to complete the job efficiently and safely.
Step 1: Gather Your Materials
Before diving into the installation, make sure you have everything you need. This includes the new faucet, as well as any accompanying parts or instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Step 2: Turn Off the Water Supply
Locate the shut-off valves beneath your kitchen sink. These are typically located on the wall or cabinet wall beneath the sink. Turn both valves clockwise (right) to shut off the hot and cold water supply. To be safe, place a bucket under the pipes to catch any residual water. In some cases, if your home and faucet are very old, there may be solid copper lines running to the faucet without cut-offs. If this is the case, you may need to turn the water off to the house.
Step 3: Disconnect Waterlines From the Old Faucet
Use your adjustable wrench to disconnect the water supply lines from the old faucet. There will be one line for hot water and one for cold. Be prepared for some water to spill out, so keep your bucket and towels handy. If you have solid copper waterlines without compression fitting nuts, then you will need to cut the copper line using a copper pipe cutter.
Step 4: Remove the Old Faucet
Now, you’ll need to remove the old faucet. Most faucets are secured with a mounting nut beneath the sink. Use your wrench to loosen and remove this nut. Once it’s off, you can lift the old faucet out of the sink. You may need a basin wrench here if there is not enough room to get a normal wrench on the nut, especially for vanity faucets.
Step 5: Clean the Sink Area
With the old faucet removed, take the opportunity to clean the sink area thoroughly. Remove any old caulk or residue, and ensure the surface is dry and clean before proceeding.
Step 6: Install the New Faucet
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installing your new faucet. Typically, this involves placing a rubber or plastic gasket onto the sink’s surface, followed by the faucet itself. Secure it in place with the mounting nut provided.
Step 7: Connect the Water Supply Lines
Reconnect the hot and cold water supply lines to the corresponding valves. Hand-tighten them initially, and then use your wrench to give them an extra quarter-turn to ensure they’re snug. If you had to cut the copper lines, now is a great time to install shutoff valves. Valves can be soldiered on, which we recommend, or they can be attached with a compression fitting. Then attach the new flexible waterlines to the valves.
Step 8: Apply Plumber’s Tape
Wrap plumber’s tape (also known as Teflon tape) clockwise around the threads of the faucet’s connections. This will help create a watertight seal and prevent leaks. Now connect the waterlines to the faucets being careful to connect the cold water line to the cold intake and the hot water line to the hot intake.
Step 9: Turn On the Water Supply
Slowly turn on both shut-off valves beneath the sink in a counterclockwise (left) direction. Check for any leaks around the connections. If you see any, tighten the connections a bit more.
Step 10: Test the Faucet
Turn on your new faucet and check for any leaks or drips. Make sure both hot and cold water are flowing properly. If you encounter any issues, recheck your connections and make adjustments as needed. Some sinks have further adjustments on the faucet spout in the form of aerators. Your faucet may have one or more screen aerators at the spout that affect the water flow.
Step 11: Caulk Around the Base
Apply a bead of clear silicone caulk around the base of the faucet where it meets the sink. Smooth it with your finger for a neat finish and to prevent water from seeping beneath the faucet. We recommend using a good sink-matching colored caulk for a professional finish.
Step 12: Clean Up
Finally, clean up your work area, dispose of any old materials, and enjoy your newly installed kitchen or bathroom faucet!
Remember, if you ever feel unsure about any step, consult the manufacturer’s instructions that came with your faucet, or consider seeking professional assistance. Replacing a faucet is a doable DIY project, but it’s essential to ensure everything is secure and leak-free for your peace of mind and the longevity of your new fixture.
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