Faucets are often one of the most underrated fixtures in a home. And yet, they are crucial pieces of equipment that assist us in all cleaning tasks, from rinsing fruits, washing dishes, sanitizing our hands to maintaining a tidy cooking space. They even contribute to the overall appeal of our home.
But there’s a catch: faucets don’t last forever.
When you notice leaks, annoying dripping sounds, abnormal water pressure, noisy water discharge, squeaky handles, cracks, mineral deposits, and rust around your faucet, those are signs your fixture is on its last legs. Ignore the problem for a while, and you’ll soon be staring at astronomical water bills, rot or mold on the surrounding surfaces, and even structural damage.
So, how do you change a faucet? Keep reading to learn how.
Materials and Tools You’ll Need When Replacing a Faucet
● A new faucet that goes well with your sink and kitchen design
● Penetrating oil
● Plumber's tape
● Sink cleaning product
● Silicone caulk
● Basin wrench
● Adjustable wrench
● Small bucket
Removing the Old Faucet
Step 1: Pull out anything stored in the cabinet under the sink and see whether you can easily access the faucet. If you can't, you’ll have to first remove the obstacles, which in most cases are the P-traps or garbage disposal. Carefully dismantle these parts and consider replacing those that are badly corroded.
Step 2: After you have a clear path to the faucet, check underneath the sink to see how many holes the faucet has. The number of holes will help your pick a faucet that is easily compatible with your sink. Buying a faucet that takes up the same number of holes as the old one means you won’t need to buy extra parts to make the faucet work with your sink.
Step 3: Your next step is to disconnect the water supply lines by turning the hot and cold shut-off valves under the sink. Now turn on the faucet to get rid of any water in the lines and switch off or unplug the garbage disposal. This is the best time to snap a picture of the plumbing configuration under the sink before disassembling it. You’ll use the picture as a reference later.
Step 4: Start dismantling the old faucet by loosening the nuts that connect the flexible supply tubes to the supply valves using an adjustable wrench. If the nuts are corroded, apply some penetrative oil and wait for thirty minutes before trying again.
Step 5: Disconnect the flexible extensions from the faucet and shut off, and use your small bucket to catch any water. Next, remove the nuts and washers that secure the faucet underneath the sink using a basin wrench. Come out of the crawl space and lift the faucet out of the holes and sink. Finally, use your sink cleaning product to thoroughly clean around the faucet holes.
Installing a New Faucet
Faucets can vary greatly among manufacturers, so it’s wise to consult your installation manual. The easiest installation method is to use a faucet that matches the holes in your sink. But if you want to upgrade to a trendy faucet that only requires one hole, you’d need to purchase a separate base plate that matches the finish of the new faucet and covers up the unused holes.
Use the following steps:
Step 1: Place the gasket over the faucet holes. Apply some silicone caulk between the gasket and the top of the sink. Wrap the faucet threads with Teflon tape before tightly attaching the flexible supply tubes. Now, feed the supply lines into the holes on the sink and adjust the faucet in the right position.
Step 2: Have someone hold the faucet in position, crawl under the sink and use the mounting hardware provided in the new faucet kit to secure the faucet. Next, wrap the supply valve threads with some Teflon tape, connect the supply lines to the supply valve, then screwing on the nuts.
Step 4. Remove the faucet aerator, turn on the supply valve, and turn on the faucet for a few minutes. Flushing the faucet will remove debris and help you spot leaks in all connections. If you notice any leaks, re-tighten the connections but don’t overdo it. If there are no leaks, congratulations, you have successfully installed your new faucet.
Step 5: Now reinstall the faucet aerator and restore or power on any other components you had removed under the sink, such as the garbage disposal or P-trap.