How to Replace a Faucet

repairing a leaky faucet
What You'll Need
Replacement faucet
Socket wrench
Basin wrench
Pipe wrench
Portable lamp
Old towel
Putty knife
Damp cloth
White vinegar
Plumbers putty

Perhaps you have considered upgrading your faucet and are wondering whether it is a job you can complete yourself. It is not as difficult as you may have imagined. In fact, a couple of hours and some basic tools are all it takes. When properly replaced, a new faucet eliminates leaks or drips that you may have had with the old faucet. It also enhances the appearance of your sinks and improves water flow efficiency. This step-by-step guide walks you through how to get the job done right.

Step 1 – Turn off Water Supply

Turn off the water supply to the sink. Shutoff valves are usually located beneath the sink. Older homes are unlikely to have shutoff valves. Should this be the case, you will need to shut down the main shutoff valve at the point of entry into the house. The valve may be located outside. Trace the cold water pipe until you get to a socket marked with “W”. Use a socket wrench to turn off the water.

Step 2 – Clear Underneath the Sink

You are likely to have items in storage in the area underneath the sink. It is a good idea to put these items elsewhere temporarily. This will allow you to work more efficiently

Step 3 – Light the Space

Place a portable lamp or drop light in the area underneath the sink. You will need plenty of light in order to work efficiently.

Step 4 – Disconnect the Faucet

You should find two big tubular nuts behind the sink that secure the faucet against the sink. The water supply tubes run through these nuts. Use a basin wrench to loosen the nuts on the faucet. If your faucet has a spray head and hose, disconnect the nut that secures the hose. As you disengage the water supply tubes from the faucet, water will drain back from the faucet. Soak up the water with an old towel. Stand at the sink and lift the detached faucet out of the sink. Set it aside.

Step 5 – Clean the Area

Dirt is likely to have accumulated where the faucet was mounted to the sink. Remove the dirt with a putty knife. Wipe the area clean with a damp cloth. For stubborn dirt, use some white vinegar to clear the stains.

Step 6 – Install the New Faucet

Apply some plumber’s putty around the faucet base if it was not supplied with gaskets. If the new faucet has a spray head, run the hose through the allowance on the faucet, then through the sink. Next, attach the hose to the supply stub. Mount the faucet onto the sink and attach nuts, tightening partially by hand. Inspect the faucet to ascertain whether it is well aligned. If gaskets are used, ensure they’re also properly aligned. You can then proceed to tighten the nuts completely with the basin wrench.

Step 7 – Inspect

Turn on the water supply. If you observe any leaks, you’ll need to tighten the fittings more securely. Otherwise, everything should be okay.

TIP: It is best to replace your water supply lines when you replace the faucet. Take one along with you to the hardware store so that you get two tubes of the same length. Remove the old tubes and insert the new ones securely. However, if the tubes are in good condition, replacement won’t be necessary.