Uncle Bobs Tips

Installing Faucet 101

Installing Faucet 101

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Replacing faucet projects are as simple as 1-2-3. How easy will primarily depend on accessibility. New renovations make installing faucet units a snap because there is plenty of room to work. Once you are talking about a diy faucet replacement, well, that's a different story. Even replacing faucet jobs aren't killers, though, especially bottom-mounted faucets. These screws are above the sink and easy to access. Top-mounted sinks make you get down into small spaces that can be harder to maneuver, but still, quite workable. All in all diy faucet jobs are not something worth worrying about. You can be done in less than an hour, usually, and happy with the savings and a job well done. So let's start on this installing faucet tutorial.

What you'll need:

New faucet

Locking pliers, adjustable wrench

Slip joint or water pump pliers

Basin wrench

Utility knife

Plumber's putty or silicon caulk (if no gasket is provided)

Flashlight (to see under the sink)

  1. Start by turning off water supply to the house or the valves to the faucet. Turn on faucet to release excess water and pressure.
  2. If the new faucet requires assembly, do this before you start your installation. For example, pull out spray faucets need to be threaded through the body and nozzle before use. Weights can be applied later.
  3. At the base of the faucet, disconnect hot and cold water supply lines. If this is a larger job replacing the lines as well, disconnect from the shut off valve.
  4. Next you have to remove any residual caulk or gunk that may have built up with time. Once clear, there are a few ways to remove the old faucet:

    1. Bottom mounted- Remove handles and small decorative pieces inserted to cover up the screws. Unscrew and the faucet should be able to be lifted easily
    2. Top mounted- You will have to go from the underside to remove the mounting nuts (basin pliers may be your best or only option).
  5. Installing faucet:

    1. Bottom-mounted faucet- Position the faucet into the holes, put on the washers and loosely tighten the nuts. Check that your faucet is lined up properly with the back of the sink and then tighten the nuts with a wrench. Use silicon caulk or putty to secure the eschtcheon and handles.
    2. Top-mounted- Lay down your caulk or putty and carefully place the faucet making sure it is positioned properly. Some sinks will come with a rubber insert (gasket) that does the job of caulk. Center the faucet shafts neatly before you get under the sink to tighten the mounting nuts. Make sure the faucet is firmly set into the putty and the nuts are securely tightened.
  6. Clean up any excess putty or caulk quickly so it doesn't dry and set, causing a giant headache. You can now reconnect or install the new feed lines.
  7. Turn on your water and check for leaks. For best results, you can remove the aerator and let the water run for a few minutes. This will flush out any leftover residue from the manufacturing (highly recommended).
  8. If installing or replacing a pop-up mechanism, you will need to attach the tailpiece to the pop-up port making sure the port faces the spout. Attach the mechanism through the pivot rod and the opening at the bottom of the drain stopper. Finally, insert the lift rod into the hold in the spout, attach it to the pivot rod using an extension rod and adjust so the drain stopper opens and closes nicely when using the lift rod.

Additional notes:

- Flexible supply lines are more convenient to work with. Covered in braided stainless steel casing, they can be cut to size and bent or twisted to conform to your space.

- If you are installing new drain pipes as well, do this after you've made all your replacements and reconnections BUT don't turn on the faucet until you've installed the drain pipes or you'll have a puddle in your cabinet. If you want to test the water flow, place a bucket in the sink to catch the water.

- Make sure that the replacing faucet is the same as your new one in that it requires the same amount of holes for the shafts. If you are using a unit with more or less pieces (single unit versus split piece unit), make sure your counter top has been rendered to accept the right number of shafts.

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