How to Change a kitchen Faucet, is an article that will walk the average homeowner through the whole operation one step at a time.
Every homeowner will eventually find that the kitchen faucet is in need of updating. whether this is due to leaking, or just the fact that our existing unit is out of style or antiquated compared with the rest of the kitchen.
There are many faucet types available today and what you choose to install will differ in the installation procedures. There are basically two distinct types. One type will have an individual stem for hot and cold and a separate spout unit.
These are usually called widespread faucets. They can be used on sinks with three holes or four. Each stem goes in a separate hole in the sink or counter top and the hardware below stabilizes each piece.
Then we have an entire body type that comes in one piece. This valve is secured to the underside of the sink with two retainer nuts. Much simpler to install and a lot cheaper to purchase, this type is the more commonly installed kitchen faucet. Design limits will usually be the reason this unit loses favor with higher end consumers.
Modern kitchens with expensive granite and marble counters will need a little something special from a faucet that isn't really available in a full base unit.
Some will need a high rise spout to fill larger pots if a lot of cooking is done in the home. Some like two handle faucets for more control over temperature and pressure. Some appreciate the ease of operation and the styles available from single handle units.
Either way the installation process is pretty much the same and nothing about a kitchen faucet switch is too complicated. If you are capable of getting under the sink cabinet, then you can do this job.
Either faucet will require some of the same steps to install. Prior to installing a new faucet, the old unit must be removed. First we have to crawl up under the sink and remove the retaining nuts from the underside. This can be accomplished easier if a basin wrench is on hand. This tool is available at any plumbing supply store or hardware stores. It can also be purchased on line.
Shutting off the water to the faucet is the first thing we must accomplish if a giant mess is to be avoided. This can usually be done under the sink after locating the valves for hot and cold water beneath the sink.
If valves are not under there, then you may have to shut down the house water main at the meter or well pump to drain the lines.
After the water is off and the kitchen sink faucet we're working on has been opened to verify the pressure is gone, we can go under the cabinet with our basin wrench and remove first the top nuts on the hot and cold supply tubes and then the nuts holding the faucet to the sink or counter.
If a spray hose is in use, this will have to be removed to get the faucet out. Newer model faucets with spray hoses, will have a retainer connection of some kind, possibly a C-clip and some just pull back and the hose is released. Older units will have a threaded connection. The spray head can be removed on either type and pulled out with the faucet. A new faucet with a spray hose should be purchased if you had one of these to start with.
Chances are you have a four hole sink and the hole will need to be plugged if you purchase a new one without a spray hose option. Blank plugs in various finishes are available to blank out the fourth hole.
Once we have the old unit out, the sink or counter should be cleaned and dried. Now we're ready to install our new unit. Although most faucets come with gaskets to prevent spills from leaking around the base, plumbers putty is still recommended when any seal to the sink or counter is required. A small bead 1/4 to 1/2 inch round, installed under the base is good.
After puttying the base of the new parts, they are placed in their respective holes and the new nuts are installed underneath to tighten the unit. Make sure it's nice and straight when tightening as the putty will make a good seal the first time it's squeezed down. Scrape the extra putty that oozes out with a screwdriver and our faucet is installed.
Now we must re hook the water supply tubes to the new faucet. These are usually flexible lines and the nut size is universal for all faucets. Tighten the lines onto the stems protruding down under the sink and snug them with your basin wrench.
If your using a spray hose, feed the new one down through it's hole and then hook it to the center connection on the new faucet. Instructions for your individual unit will come into play here as all connections are different and yours will be specifically addressed in your faucet installation manual that comes with the unit.
Now it's time to make sure the handles are in the off position and slowly turn the water back on. Check under the sink for leaks. If all looks well, then you've accomplished your mission.
One more step to completing the job would be to remove the aerator at the end of your spout. This can be accomplished with a pair of channel lock pliers and a rag to avoid hurting the finish on your faucet.
The aerator will unscrew and screens and restrictors inside should be treated with care to avoid them falling out. Set the unit aside and slowly turn on the water to remove any air that has accumulated due to the shut down. After the air is gone the aerator should be reinstalled and your all set.
This job can save the average homeowner a several hundred dollar labor charge and also gives them the satisfaction of accomplishing something on their own homes. You get savings and bragging rights, as well as a new faucet.
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