A kitchen faucet is one of the most-used fixtures in your home, so keeping it in good working order is essential. Over time, with regular use, a kitchen faucet can become loose, develop leaks, or just wear out. When this happens, it’s time to replace it or even the whole sink with one of the popular styles.
But before you run out to buy a new faucet, let’s review how to replace a kitchen faucet.
Approximately 2-4 hours
How To Replace A Kitchen Faucet
In this blog post, we’ll walk you through how to replace a kitchen faucet step by step. We’ll cover what tools and materials you’ll need, how to prepare for installation, and how to install the new faucet.
By the end of this post, you’ll be an expert on replacing kitchen faucets!
- Adjustable wrench
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Basin wrench
- Putty knife
- Rags or old towels
- Shallow pan or bucket to catch any water
- Teflon tape
- Plumber’s putty (optional)
- A new kitchen faucet
1. Prepare For Installation
Before we begin the “how to replace a kitchen faucet” process, it’s always a good idea to do a little prep work:
- Clear out the area beneath the sink and clean up any dirt or debris accumulated over time
- Inspect the condition of the pipes and ensure there are no leaks
- Check how many faucet holes you have on your existing sink to ensure you have enough holes if you are installing a two or three-hole faucet. For example, some faucets include an accessory sprayer.
2. Shut Off The Water
Locate the shutoff valves beneath the sink and turn them clockwise to close them. If you don’t have shutoff valves underneath your sink, you’ll need to locate your home’s main water shutoff valve and turn it clockwise to close it.
Then, open your kitchen sink faucet to release any residual water pressure.
3. Disconnect Water Supply Lines
Before you remove the existing faucet, you’ll first need to disconnect the faucet supply lines that connect the faucet to the hot and cold water valves. Use an adjustable wrench to carefully loosen the nuts that connect each water supply line to the water valves. Have a shallow pan or bucket handy to catch any water that may drip from the lines.
How to replace a kitchen faucet pro tip: Hold the pipe behind the water valve while you loosen the nuts so you don’t accidentally loosen any connections behind your drywall.
4. Detach Faucet Connections
With the supply lines disconnected from the cold and hot water valves, it’s time to disconnect the supply lines from the old faucet.
Two-handle faucets: For two-handle faucets, you’ll need to disconnect the hot and cold supply lines from each faucet assembly.
One-handle faucets: For one-handle faucets, the hot and cold supply lines will run into a single mounting assembly. So you’ll need to remove the mounting hardware and lift off the faucet to access the supply lines.
Unscrew the nuts connecting the supply lines to the old faucet. After you disconnect them from the faucet (and sprayer hose if you have one), you are ready to remove the mounting hardware that holds the old faucet in place on the sink.
How to replace a kitchen faucet pro tip: Use a basin wrench to loosen the nuts in hard-to-reach places. A basin wrench is a specialty tool used to tighten fasteners in confined spaces.
5. Remove Old Faucet
Mounting hardware for faucets will vary based on manufacturer and faucet type. As noted above, two-handle faucets will require you to remove two sets of mounting hardware, while a one-handle faucet will have a single set.
Loosen the nuts or other mounting hardware that secure the faucet to the sink. Once the hardware is removed, you can remove the old faucet by lifting it off the top of the sink.
Don’t be surprised if it takes a little bit of strength to pull the faucet off. This is likely due to an old rubber seal or caulking that was put in when it was installed. You can clean any residual gunk off with a putty knife and rags.
How to replace a kitchen faucet pro tip: Some kitchen sinks will have a deck plate to cover extra holes that are not needed for certain faucet types (such as one-handle ball faucets and disc faucets). Simply unscrew the deck plate from the sink with a Phillips head screwdriver, then lift off the deck plate and set it aside. Then place the new rubber seal (or apply the plumber’s putty) and deck plate over the faucet holes before moving on to the next step.
6. Install New Faucet
Many one-handle faucets have hot and cold supply lines already attached to the assembly. For that type of faucet, you will just need to feed the new supply lines through the center hole in the sink and skip to step 7.
Otherwise, there will be threaded nuts for the hot and cold supply lines to attach to the faucet. Attach each supply line and use Teflon tape to ensure a tight seal. Then feed the supply lines through the sink hole (or sink holes if installing a two-handle faucet).
How to replace a kitchen faucet pro tip: Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for the proper method to install your new faucet, as there can be differences for specific faucet models. For example, some faucets also include a diverter for attaching an accessory sprayer.
7. Attach Mounting Hardware Under the Sink
Attach and tighten the mounting hardware underneath the sink. Most faucets use washers and nuts to secure the faucet to the sink, but your faucet mounting hardware may be different based on the model and manufacturer. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your particular faucet.
How to replace a kitchen faucet pro tip: Screw all the mounting hardware a half inch away from the underside of the sink. Then, ensure the faucet assembly and deck plate are straight before fully tightening it down.
8. Connect The Water Supply Lines
Now connect the supply lines from your new faucet to the corresponding hot and cold water valves under the sink. Use Teflon tape on any threaded supply line connections to ensure a tight seal.
Again, don’t forget to stabilize the pipe connecting to the hot and cold water valves when you are tightening your connections so you don’t inadvertently damage your pipes.
9. Test For Leaks And Flush Lines
Turn on the cold and hot water valves beneath the sink by turning them counterclockwise. Or, if you don’t have shutoff valves beneath your sink, turn on your main water supply.
Then turn on your faucet and observe all your connections to see if there are any leaks. If you see a leak, retighten the connection until the leak stops. Just be careful not to overtighten!
After you have tested for leaks, it’s time to flush the lines to remove any debris. Unscrew the aerator from your faucet and turn the water on for a minute or two. This should remove any debris that may have gotten into your water supply lines. Finally, reattach your aerator to the faucet.
Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to replace a kitchen faucet.
More Tips On How To Replace A Kitchen Faucet
Here are some more tips about kitchen faucet installation, as well as some useful information about different types of kitchen faucets:
- Taking a photo of your plumbing configuration before you start installing a new kitchen faucet is an excellent way to remember where everything goes
- If you have an extra hole in your sink, you don’t necessarily need to cover it up. Instead, consider installing a soap dispenser or accessory sprayer
- The number of holes in your sink is a major factor in determining what type of faucet you can install. You can always cover up additional holes, but you can’t install a two-hole faucet in a one-hole sink
- When replacing your kitchen faucet, consider upgrading to one with more features. For example, a pull-down faucet with a sprayer setting is the perfect solution if you don’t want to install a separate hose sprayer
- For more intricate setups, such as touchless water faucets or boiling water faucets, it may be best to enlist professional help for a more secure installation
- Most modern kitchens use a ball faucet. This type of faucet features one handle for both hot and cold water. They operate via a lever ball assembly that moves up and down for water flow, and side to side for hot and cold adjustment
- Disc (also spelled disk) faucets use ceramic discs to regulate water flow. Similar to ball faucets, disc faucets feature only one handle to access both the hot and cold water
- Compression faucets are the oldest style of kitchen faucets. This type of faucet requires two different handles for hot and cold. It uses turnable handles and typically features interior rubber washers to regulate water flow via compression
- Cartridge faucets get their name from a hollow interior cartridge regulating water flow. This type of faucet can feature either one or two handles for hot and cold water
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