How to Replace a Faucet

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Maintaining the plumbing in your home helps prevent water leaks, which can lead to water damage. In addition to damaging your home, water buildup can also lead to the formation of dangerous mold. Here’s how to replace a faucet (whether it’s leaky or you just want a cosmetic change) to avoid water damage.

How to replace a faucet in 12 steps

Materials Needed
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Basin wrench
  • Flashlight or other light source
  • Paint scraper
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Bucket
  • Towel
Step 1: Read the installation instructions. Start by reading the installation instructions for the new faucet. This gives you an idea of what you need to do when removing the old faucet and installing the new one.
Step 2: Prepare the area. Before you begin, clean out the area beneath the sink. Place any items in a safe, out-of-the-way location. Also, place a light source nearby to allow you to see more clearly and easily perform the removal and installation of the faucet.
Step 3: Turn off the water. Next, turn off the water to the sink. You should look for two valves (one for cold and one for hot) in the area beneath the sink. Turn these valves clockwise to shut them off.
Step 4: Loosen the faucet tube. After the water is off, loosen the tube nut where the faucet tubes connect to the valves. Any water in the tubes should start leaking out at this point, so have a bucket and towel ready to catch and dry up any water leakage.
Step 5: Remove the nuts holding the faucet in place. Next, remove the nuts on each side and directly beneath the old faucet using a basin wrench. The long reach of a basin wrench makes it easier to get behind the basin of the sink, an area which is tight to get into.
Step 6: Remove and inspect the old faucet tube. Once the nuts are removed, pull out the old faucet and attached faucet tube. Inspect the old faucet tubes for damage. If damaged, you need to replace the old tubes with new ones. You can find faucet tubes at a hardware store, such as ACE Hardware, Home Depot, or Lowe’s. Make sure to get tubes of the same length as the old ones.
Step 7: Clean the sink. Before installing the new faucet, make sure to clean the sink where the old faucet was mounted. Dirt, grime, and hard water deposits build up over the years. When you replace a faucet, it’s the perfect time to clean this area. You can use vinegar or an acid cleaner to remove any hard water deposits.
Step 8: Attach the new faucet to the faucet tube. Before installing the new facet, make sure to attach it to the faucet tubes. You can do this by attaching the end of the faucet tube to the bottom of the faucet and tightening the bolt found there. In addition, slide the faucet flange, if it has one, along the faucet tube to beneath the faucet. Also, slide the gasket into place. If the faucet does not come with a gasket, apply plumber’s putty along the base of the faucet to help keep water away from the base of the faucet.
Step 9: Insert the faucet into sink. Insert the faucet tube into the hole in the top of the back of the sink and slide it in until the base of the faucet rests against the top of the sink. Tighten the nuts directly beneath the faucet using the basin wrench, making sure to leave them slightly loose.
Step 10: Make sure the faucet is straight. Check the faucet to make sure it is straight and not angled to one side or the other. Once you are sure the faucet is straight, finish tightening the nuts using the basin wrench.
Step 11: Attach faucet tubes. Attach the faucet tubes to the correct valve. Make sure you have the cold water faucet tube attached to the cold water valve and the hot water faucet tube attached to the hot water valve. Tighten the nuts attaching the tubes to the valves.
Step 12: Turn on the water. Turn the valves counterclockwise slowly, checking for leaks. If you notice any leaks, turn the valves clockwise to close them, and then tighten any nuts. Turn the water on again, tightening if needed until you have no more leaks.
Home maintenance projects, such as replacing a kitchen or bathroom faucet, are easy if you follow the correct steps. If you have any questions about what to do, check with an associate at your local hardware store to get more information.

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