With the right selection, replacing a kitchen faucet can seem like a mini-revamp.
Having this single fixture replaced can quickly change a kitchen’s feel, look and productivity – even though the cabinets still have a faux-wood surface.
When the time comes to upgrade your faucet, you should consider saving a bit by doing the installation yourself.
Plumbing tasks may look intimidating, but in reality many of them are not.
Installation of faucets just happens to be one of those tasks which any would-be DIYer can complete.
Removing the Existing Faucet
The first phase of this task – taking out the existing faucet – is likely to be the most challenging. Dealing with rusted mounting hardware of the faucet can be annoying.
In most cases, you may only realize when you’re down there that there is no room to make use of your regular wrench (whereas you need a basin wrench).
Don’t feel too bad!
Before you begin, position rags or a container in the kitchen cabinet so as to collect any water from the supply line which you remove, and also the stop valves.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 1
Turn of the cold and hot water supply from the stop valves beneath the sink, and open the faucet so that water is emptied from the lines.
Inspect the stop valves for leaks. If dripping is noticed, replace them at once.
Assess the water supply lines to ensure they are suitable for the replacement faucet; if there’s any indication of severe wear, replace them.
If the existing faucet is powered by electricity, remember to unplug it or take out the batteries.
Check your owner’s guide for any further instructions on disconnection.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 2
Using a wrench, loosen the nuts holding the water supply lines to the faucet to disconnect it from the faucet shanks (threaded pipes running down from the body of the faucet).
If you want to reuse the lines, then keep them safely aside. If new lines are to be installed, then take the existing ones out of the stop valve.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 3
Take out the mounting nuts underneath the rear of the sink (a basin wrench may be needed here).
There may be extra mounting hardware, such as a bracket, on the old faucet which will need to be removed.
If the nuts are stuck from rust, apply penetrating oil and wait a while before retrying (especially bad instances may need you to wait overnight).
Be sure to have any sprayer hoses as well as other attachments disconnected, if you have them. Check your owner’s guide if you cannot detect the removal method.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 4
Having disconnected everything underneath, you can now remove the body of the faucet from the sink top.
You may have to pull with a bit of effort, as things can get stuck over a long time.
If silicone was used to seal the existing faucet to the sink, then you may have to use a glass scrapper or utility knife (and some smearing alcohol) in order to remove it.
Have the whole surface thoroughly cleaned for the replacement faucet.
Installing the New Faucet
Removing the old faucet makes it much easier to install the new one, being that you are familiar with the parts and their positioning. It shouldn’t be long before you begin enjoying your new faucet.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 5
Most of the new faucets come with a rubber or plastic gasket to be able to seal the escutcheon (deck plate) to the sink.
Position the gasket properly or take a length of plumber’s putty around the base of the escutcheon/deck plate, and position it over the sink faucet holes.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 6
Using two wrenches (one to hold firm the faucet shank and the other to turn the nut of the supply line), connect the shanks of the new faucet to the water supply lines.
For dual-handle faucets with new supply lines, have the supplies connected to the shanks and send them into the cabinet through the holes at the sink top.
For single-handle faucets using new supplies, check the sink/deck plate to see if the hole is wide enough to permit all the supply lines to be fed from the top.
If it can accommodate everything, then connect it and let the lines be fed from the holes above, with the faucet placed over the hole.
Otherwise, the faucet should be positioned over the hole and the connection underneath the sink.
Have the new supply lines connected to the stop valves within the cabinet (if the old ones are being reused, then they are already connected).
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 7
While the faucet is positioned above (it helps to have someone else hold down everything so that there is no shift), use your hands to tighten the mounting nuts underneath the sink and then use a wrench to do the final tightening.
If you sealed the base of the faucet to the sink using plumber’s putty, then tear away or cut any which may be protruding around the escutcheon or deck plate.
Kitchen Faucet Replacement: Step 8
After the faucet has been connected, take out the aerator from the spout of the faucet.
Turn open the stop valves to release the water supply and then turn on the faucet.
Flush for a minute or two to clear out the lines. Place the aerator back, and that’s it!
Please read our article on water heater failure next.