Faucets come in thousand different styles but almost all of them function in a similar way. Some kitchen faucets have built-in sprayers and spouts which can be extended. Most bathroom faucets include a pop-up sink drain. A faucet connects to a supply line. Some of them have flexible copper inlets which are installed at the centre of the unit while in some faucets the inlets are installed underneath the hot and cold handles.
Before you start replacing your faucet, gather first all the materials you are going to need for the job. Lay all the tools and equipment just near your work area for less hassle. In that way you can easily get hold of the material that you are looking for whenever you might need it. Detaching the old faucet may be the hardest part of the job since the locknuts used to keep it in place can get really difficult to remove over time. In some cases you may not be able to loosen the locknut even when you apply penetrating oil to it. You might need to knock them with the use of a hammer together with a screwdriver and if you still can’t take them out, you may have to cut them using a hacksaw. Prepare rags and a bucket and place them under your sink trap to catch any excess water which remains in the lines after turning the water supply off.
1. Disconnect water supply
The first step is to turn off the water supply at the stopcock and disconnect all the supply lines or tubes. To prevent twisting them, use two wrenches in disconnecting them, one to hold the fitting and the other one for loosening the nut.
2. Remove mounting nuts
When removing a two-handle faucet which has separate inlets, you may need to use a basin wrench in doing so. Mounting nuts are used in securing the faucet to the sink. Using the wrench, loosen the nuts first and remove them before detaching the entire faucet. In order to remove a single control faucet which has copper inlets, you will most likely need to screw off two small nuts located on either side of the faucet or a centre nut. You can use a basin wrench or a screwdriver in removing the nuts. If your faucet comes with a sprayer, you have to disconnect it too.
3. Clean sink deck
Once you have completely removed the entire faucet, scrape out any old sealants on your sink deck with the use of a putty knife. We recommend that you use a plastic putty knife to avoid scratching the surface of your sink. Use a cloth dampened with thinner to remove remaining putty. You may also use a mineral deposit cleaner if you wish to.
4. Attach the faucet
Insert the faucet back on top of the sink and check if the supply tubes are properly fit through the holes. Remove the faucet again and reseat it into the sink top. Some faucets have gaskets that seal their base onto the sink deck while others use plumber’s putty or a silicone caulk. If the gaskets are worn, replace them with new ones. If you’re using plumber’s putty, apply the new putty and spread it evenly on the base of the faucet. Once you’re done with it, firmly press the faucet in place. Make sure to place it at the centre of the sink flange.
5. Tighten mounting nuts
Ask somebody to help you with this step. Let the other person hold the faucet in place while you get under the sink to position the connections. Screw a mounting nut onto every supply stem to ensure a tight connection. Tighten them using a basin wrench.
6. Connect to the inlets and stop valves
Wrap your inlets’ threads using a joint plumber’s tape and then twist the nut onto the inlet and hand-tighten it. To firmly seat the nut, you may use a basin wrench in turning it. You can also use another wrench to keep the inlet from being twisted. Connect to the stop valve and twist another nut onto it and then tighten it using a wrench. You may also use two wrenches, one for the tightening the nut while the other one for keeping the stop valve in position. Turn the water supply back on and test for any leak.