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How To Install or Replace a Kitchen Faucet

install-faucetNow that you’ve selected your ideal kitchen faucet, it’s time to get it installed! Here’s the good news: as long as you’ve got a few tools, you can get this job done in a snap! Even if you’re installing a faucet that has a side sprayer or a drinking water spigot, it’s still really easy to get this new fixture into your kitchen to upgrade its look.

The first thing to do is take note of the instructions that come with your kitchen faucet. Some have very defined steps that must be followed in order to make sure the installation is completed properly. Keep those instructions handy as you proceed through the chore and refer to it often

What Do You Need to Prepare For a Faucet Installation?

Before even opening up your new kitchen faucet, you’ve got a little bit of work to do to prepare the installation site. The first step is to thoroughly clean out the cabinet underneath where the new faucet will go. Any dirt or grime can get into the seals or gaskets that your faucet may need for a stable installation and any debris will degrade that seal over time and make you have to do this chore sooner instead of later.

You’ll also want to do a full inspection of the cabinet where you’ll be working, both above and below. It’s a good chance to check for locations of hidden mold or mildew build-up that could be cleaned. You’ll also want to check for nails or screws that stick out and other potential hazards that could damage either you or the faucet as you’re getting to work.

The Next Step Is To Block the Drain

It’s an uncomfortable situation to have water gush out on your head while you’re working under the sink. Go ahead and just stop up the drain now to prevent any of that from happening. It will also stop a young helper from dropping a wrench down the drain onto your head! Just because you’ve stopped the drain, however, doesn’t mean you won’t have any water coming through on you. Make sure you’ve got a decent bucket on hand to catch any water.

Here’s a pro tip: get something to cushion against the sides of the cabinet as you work. A couple rolled up towels are good. There have been instances when old sweatshirts, hoodies, or tablecloths have been used too. In one creative instance, bubble wrap was even used! Those edges of the cabinet can get sharp as you rub back and forth on them, so this will save you some skin raspberries if you pad the edges now. Turn off the power that might be under the sink right now too.

The final step in the preparation process is to make sure you know what the warranty stipulations of your new kitchen faucet happen to be. Some faucets have a lifetime warranty on their parts, so double-check on this before you get going. Writing down part numbers, serial numbers, and other data that can help you take advantage of this warranty should you need to do so will save you the trouble of calling under the sink later on.

Here’s How You Get Going On Your Project

Once you’ve got the work site prepared, you’ll need your tools. You basically need just three:

  • a set of adjustable wrenches,
  • slip-joint pliers, and
  • a basin wrench for tight spaces behind the sink if necessary.

Turn off the water now that you’re ready to go. Most sinks will have a standard shut-off valve under the sink that you’ve just got to turn to the “off” position to make this happen. It’s going to look like the valves that run water to your toilet or your washing machine and if you haven’t turned it in years, it could be a tough chore. A little WD-40 or other spray lubricant can help make this task a little easier.

Once you’ve got the water turned off, you can disconnect the water supply line from the old faucet. You’ll need the slip-joint pliers or the basin wrench to make this happen. The old faucet will also be sealed into the sink, so you’ll need to work that sealant off and then scrape the area clean so you can put down new sealant. Unscrew the mounting nuts from the old faucet tailpieces or disconnect the old supply line from the water source if you’re installing a new line.

Once you’ve disconnected the old supply lines and removed the old faucet, you’re ready to put in the new faucet. Connect the supply lines to the tailpieces of the new kitchen faucet through where the tailpieces are designed to go in your sink and then tighten the nuts that couple the line to the faucet together with the pliers once again.

Now comes the tricky part: attaching the base of the faucet. You’ll need to put down about a ¼ in. bead of plumbing putty around the entire base of the faucet. Too much putty is better than not enough, but if you’ve never tried to get a bead down before, practice a couple times before trying to install the faucet base.

If your sink is made of a cultured marble, you must use silicone caulk for this step instead of plumber’s putty.

Once you’ve got the bead down on the base of the faucet [don’t put your putty or caulk down on the sink], gently work the tailpieces of the faucet through the holes in the sink. Make sure your faucet base is level with the back of the sink, with parallel lines, and then press the faucet down. Hold it down for a minute or two to make sure the putty or caulk does its job.

Now You’re Ready To Finish the Installation! 

Once you have the kitchen faucet secured on your sink, you’re ready to make sure the water supply lines on the shut-off valves are tightened fully. If you’re installing new lines, then make sure you give your wrenches at least one more ¼ in. turn before calling it good because they’re a lot like the lug nuts on a car wheel – they’ll work loose if not tight enough.

You’re also going to want to apply some sealant to the sprayer base or drinking water faucet if you’re using one with your kitchen faucet. Just like you did with the faucet base, you’ll want to put a good ¼ in. bead of putty or caulk along the bottom edge of the base. Then you can screw in your mounting nuts and screw in the hoses that you need for the sprayer or other add-on items that came with your new fixture.

You’ll likely need to tighten many of these nuts by hand as you finish the installation process because room is going to be at a premium from the feed lines to the fixture tailpieces. This is where having a small set of pliers or wrenches is really going to help you out because you’ll be able to get everything snug and tight. If you have to leave it tightened by hand, the nuts are going to work their way lose a little bit every time the faucet is used. It could be two years… or it could be two weeks before you’re crawling under there again.

If you don’t have the tools now, finish the installation and then get the wrenches. Tighten the nuts once you have the tools.

At this point, if your putty or caulk has dried, then you’re ready to check your work for leaks! It make take up to 24 hours for some putties or caulk to fully dry. Before turning the water on, make sure to get some towels down underneath the sink to prevent water damage and position buckets underneath the water lines to catch water that might escape. If you do have leaks, tighten up the nuts or lines where necessary until the water stops.

If you have any questions about this installation process, be sure to consult with the instructions on your faucet. For further questions or concerns that you may have during the actual installation, you may wish to consult with a local plumber.

Are You Ready To Get a New Look For Your Kitchen?

As easy as it is to install a new kitchen faucet, the new look you’ve been wanting for your kitchen could be just a click away. We’ve comprehensively reviewed some of the best kitchen faucets that are on the market today so that you can easily choose the right one that will work for your kitchen. Covering the best brands of today, you can quickly compare models, features, and advantages to get the perfect item!

Is it time to upgrade your kitchen faucet? Then today is the day to take action! Browse through our reviews, select the model that you prefer, and install your new faucet using this handy guide. Then all you’ve got to do is field the compliments you’ll receive!

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