How to Change a Kitchen Sink Faucet
By Andrew Hsu
Changing a kitchen sink is one of the easiest things to do in the kitchen as it requires a minimum of tools and time.
things you'll need:
- basin-wrench (maybe)
Faucets come in several different variations which sometimes depend on the shape and type of sink you wish to modify or install the faucet on but generally speaking, there are two types of faucets that are generally used:
Top mounted and bottom mounted.
With top mounted faucets, all the installation hardware is on the bottom of the faucet under the sink.
Bottom mounted faucets have their mounting hardware on the surface of the sink and under the handles.
Also keep in mind whether or not your faucet has a hose attachment as many modern kitchen faucets do.
Yet, even with all the measuring and note taking, I find that the easiest way to make sure you have the right faucet for your particular sink is to take the existing faucet with you.
You will need to shut off the water to the sink before you attempt to remove your faucet. The water supply is generally enabled through one or two pipe switches located under the sink.
If you are unsure as to which pipes go to your faucet, you can follow the lines down from the faucet above and trace them to their sources below. Tighten the valves to ensure that the water is completely shut off and turn on both the hot and cold on the faucet to let the remaining water in the pipes drain out into the sink.
Once the water seems to have completely drained from the pipes in the faucet, you may begin the removal process.
Start by loosening up and detaching the pipes connecting to your faucet handles under the sink. This may be difficult if the area under your sink is cluttered or cramped. In some cases, you may need a specialized tool such as a basin-wrench to make your life easier.
*A basin-wrench is a tool used to get to cramped areas and odd angles under the sink or in other plumbing applications.
Once you have disconnected the water supply lines from your faucet, you can choose to disconnect them completely if it is your intention to replace them. In most cases, you may as well as it would just be another job down the road and takes little time.
Now it's time to remove the faucet.
For top mounted faucets, the faucet is generally held in place with wing nuts screwed into the bottom side of the faucet to the sink surface. You can remove these with your basin-wrench if you need to or with your fingers if they happen to be loose enough.
For bottom mounted faucets, you will have to remove the handles before you can get to the nuts holding the faucet in place.
Once the nuts are removed, your faucet should come out of its place. In some cases, it may be a little stuck due to plumbers putty. You can do some light prying to remove it as long as you don't damage your sink.
Now it's time to put in the new faucet.
If you weren't sure as to what faucet you needed, you can now take the removed faucet to the hardware store with you to verify the size and make of the faucet.
In the case of your faucet being a TOP MOUNTED FAUCET:
If you already have it, then you can place it down where the last faucet was.
Use plumbers putty to seal the area under the faucet to the sink, being sure to wipe away any excess that squeezes out during the process.
From there you would make your way under the sink to affix the washers and nuts that will hold your new faucet in place.
For BOTTOM MOUNTED FAUCETS:
you would hold the bottom part of the faucet in place while applying the nuts to the part protruding from the top of the sink.
Be sure to apply some plumbers putty to the areas under the around the openings to keep moisture out.
Once you have attached the faucet parts securely, you may attach the faucet handles as directed by the instructions.
The last step is to attach the water lines.
If you have opted not to replace the feed lines to your faucet, it is simply a matter of reattaching them to the tubes where you have found them prior to your faucet replacement.
If you have decided to replace them, then simply attach your replacement lines to the pipes where they were removed from before attaching the other end to the faucet.
It is always a good practice to use Teflon tape on the threads to avoid leaking.
Turn on the valves to the feed lines and wait to see if there are any leaks in your attachments. Then turn on the faucet to check for functionality.
By now, your faucet should be fully functional. It's time to pat yourself on the back or do a dance or something because you're done.
Tips & Warnings
- If you don't turn the feed lines off before you remove the feed lines, you will be sad and wet.