How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet (DIY)

How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet (DIY)

When You Should Call a Plumber

What should be a 2-hour faucet-replacement job can quickly turn into an entire weekend plumbing project if you are faced with surprises along the way. If you don’t have plumbing experience or encounter a complication, it’s often better to call a plumber than to attempt to remove and reinstall additional plumbing elements.

  • You have a wall-mounted faucet. Faucets that attach directly to the wall behind the sink are among the newest and trendiest faucets around, appealing to those who want Old World appeal as well as those who are looking to create a semi-pro chef’s kitchen by installing a wall-mount faucet with a rotating and extending faucet arm. Unfortunately, this is one of the most involved replacements a homeowner can attempt. Making the switch from a sink-mounted (or countertop-mounted) faucet to a wall-mounted faucet involves opening up the wall behind the sink and running new water-supply lines, which is definitely a job for a plumber. Plus, to get rid of the faucet holes left behind, they will need to replace your sink or countertop.
  • You need to remove additional plumbing to access the old faucet. Sometimes, you simply can’t wedge your body far enough beneath the sink to have a clear path to reach the nuts holding the old faucet in place. When it looks like you’ll have to remove additional plumbing like the sink drain trap or the garbage disposal, it can start to get more complicated in a hurry. A professional plumber can help.
  • You don’t have enough time to complete the project. For those who don’t have a lot of experience with plumbing or do not have the extra hours to spend learning how, it may be a good idea to call a plumber for help.
  • You installed the new faucet, but it’s leaking and you don’t know why. If you’ve successfully installed the new faucet, but testing it uncovered a leak, it’s time to investigate and fix the issue. If you’ve checked all of the connections, and can’t figure it out, it’s probably best to ask for help from a professional plumber. A slow leak can cause a great deal of damage over time.

Assemble the Tools Needed to Replace the Old Faucet With the New Faucet

  • 9. You may want to delay shopping until you have all the necessary tools to replace your kitchen faucet. I’ve listed them here.
  • protective eye wear
  • a basic wrench
  • a Basin wrench (I prefer Ridgid brand)
  • channel locks
  • adjustable end wrench
  • screwdrivers
  • a small cut-off saw
  • set of Allen wrenches
  • needle-nose pliers
  • long-handled Phillips head screw driver
  • plumbers putty
  • pipe dope
  • WD-40
  • bowls
  • towels
  • flashlight
  • masking tape

Inspect Everything Connected to the Kitchen Sink

When you are doing repairs in tight areas it’s helpful to give attention to all the issues in one swoop. So check out everything connected to the sink so you know exactly what your project will entail. This is a good time to remove everything that might need to replace in the near future so that you’ll have more working area inside the kitchen cabinet

Anything Else Need to Be Replaced Under the Kitchen Sink?

Inspect everything underneath your kitchen sink. Your work space is tight. Notice how the garbage disposal is inches from the stop valves? Does it or anything else need replacement in the near future? If so, add them to your shopping list. Removing an old garbage disposal, air vents or soap dispensers will free up more working space. Do it before replacing your kitchen faucet.

Replacing a kitchen faucet requires working in a tight space inside the sink cabinet. If items such as garbage disposal, soap dispenser, or air gap need replacement, now is a good time to pull them out to allow for more space to maneuver when installing a kitchen faucet.

  • 10. Turn on the water and run the garbage disposal. Check if it’s leaking and look to see if it appears to be rusting. If so, add it to your shopping list. Then pull it out before replacing the kitchen faucet. That extra space will make your faucet replacement easier. You might as well get it out of the way so you can do the job with much less frustration.
  • 11. If you are going to replace other items such as a new air gap or soap dispenser, add them to your shopping list. Then remove the old ones before installing the kitchen faucet.

There are two sets of stop valves under this kitchen sink. The lower set runs to the dishwasher. The top set is connected to the kitchen faucet. Inspect all of them to see if they need to be replaced.

If Stop Valves are Old and Need Replacement, Here’s How to Do It

After your shopping trip to the hardware store, find your new stop valves – if you decided you need to replace them. (Of course, if your old ones work great, keep them and skip this step.)

  • 12. Before attempting to remove the old stop valves, turn off the main shut-off valve to your house . When it comes to water, you don’t want to take any chances.

Most of the calls I get to help a distressed homeowner are because of these old angle stops. Most folks just get stuck and can’t get the old angle stops removed. And believe me, they can be a real challenge to remove.

A trick to removing old stop valves

  • 13. Here’s a tip I learned years ago by accident. Most stop valves are attached with a compression fitting which consists of a nut and a feral. The feral resembles a wedding band that slides over the pipe between the nut and the stop valve. The nut on a compression fitting is not really a heavy duty part of the stop valve. When you take a wrench and put pressure on it, the harder you push, the more it squeezes that nut against the valve. It makes it seem like it’s so tight that it will never come off. But here’s the trick. Don’t use the crescent wrench. Instead, use a pair of channel locks and put the teeth of the channel locks on the points of the nut. That way you can turn the nut without squeezing it. Most of the time you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to remove that way. If that doesn’t work, a little bit of heat from a torch should do the trick. Sometimes, though, it will need to be cut off. If so, after cutting it off solder a small piece of copper onto it to extend it out. Be sure to always use pipe dope on the threads. Even though compression fittings don’t require it, the dope makes the nut slide and turn more easily if it’s lubricated. It will also help you to seal the new stuff onto the old feral ring.


Now install the new faucet

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Photo 5: Place the flange over the faucet opening

Follow any manufacturer’s preassembly instructions and place the optional flange (see Photo 8) over the faucet opening. Finger-tighten the flange nuts underneath the sink and check the alignment of the flange, faucet and sink hole from above.

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Photo 6: Tighten the faucet mounting nut

Check the operation of the faucet and handle to confirm you’re not putting it in backward, and thread the feeder lines through the flange and sink holes. Then slip on the faucet washer, and thread on and tighten the faucet-mounting nut from below, gently spreading the faucet supply tubes if necessary to gain tool clearance (sometimes manufacturers provide a special tool for this).

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Photo 7: Tighten the flange nut

Hand-tighten, then snug up the flange nuts with an open-end wrench. You can only turn the wrench about a one-sixth revolution at a time.

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet suppl

Photo 8: Attach the spray hose to the faucet supply tube

Thread the spray nozzle line through the faucet body, then thread the spray hose fitting onto the faucet supply tube and tighten it. Pull the nozzle out of the faucet to make sure the hose under the sink operates freely, then attach the counterweight following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to c

Photo 9: Mark the supply lines where you want to cut them

Tighten the new valves onto the supply tubes and mark the feeder lines just above the compression nuts on the valves for cut-off.

Photo 10: Connect the supply tube to the supply lines Clean the copper tubing with fine sandpaper, then slip the nut, compression ring and valve body over the pipe and tighten. Close the valve, turn on the main water valve and check for leaks. Place a bucket under the faucet and turn the faucet on to check for leaks. Reassemble the garbage disposer, P-traps and drain lines.

Follow the manufacturer’s directions to mount the new faucet, then remount the sink (with the new faucet) and hook up the water lines as we show in this how to replace a kitchen faucet project.

TIP With most faucets, only three of the four holes are covered, so you’ll either need to get a blank insert or use the extra hole for a liquid soap or instant hot water dispenser. Plan to do the installation while you’re under the sink with everything torn apart. If you have a leaking faucet, consult this article on how to fix a leaky faucet.

Selecting a faucet When you’re buying a faucet (as with most other things), you get what you pay for. Faucets that cost less than $100 may be made of chrome-plated plastic arts with seals and valves that wear. They’re OK for light-duty use but won’t stand up long in a frequently used kitchen sink. Faucets that cost more than $100 generally have solid brass bodies with durable plating and washerless controls that’ll give leak-free service for many, many years. Some even come with a lifetime warranty. Quality continues to improve up to about $200. Spend more than $200 and you’re mostly paying for style and finish. Stick with brand name projects so replacement parts will be easier to find—in the unlikely event you’ll ever need them.

Critical Steps Before Replacing a Kitchen Faucet

  • 1. Know where your main water shut off valve is located and how to shut it off in an emergency. Make sure everyone in your home knows too. (read more on how to find and turn off your home’s main water valve). If your faucet’s stop valves were to break off or not function, you will need to quickly shut off the water at this main water shut off valve.
  • 2. Inspect your faucet’s dedicated stop valves (also known as shut-off valves). They’re usually either straight or angled knobs made of metal that protrude a few inches inside the cabinet. 
  • 3. These stop valves are critical because they’re used to shut off the water to only that faucet (or other water fixture) without needing to turn off the main water to the entire building. So if the stop valves are old, you’ll need to replace them before removing the old faucet. If they need to be replaced, add them to your shopping list.

Seal the deal with strong connections

Now, it’s time to connect the faucet’s water supply lines to the shut-off valve beneath the sink. With mine, the water lines were attached to the new faucet, but this isn’t always the case. If you need to supply the water lines, it’s recommended to change out hoses even if the ones you already have are compatible. If these hoses wear out and leak, you could have some trouble on your hands. 

You’ll want to apply a thin wrap of Teflon thread tape in a clockwise direction (the same direction you will turn the nut to tighten) around the threaded male connections to lubricate the threads, which allows for a better seal. Finger-tighten the threaded nut valve connections — then, while holding the valve assembly with a pair of slotted pliers, finish tightening the connection with an adjustable wrench. 

Slowly turn your water supply back on while checking for leaks. If the water flows normally and everything down below stays dry, then you’re all set. 

Once the new faucet is in, remove the aerator fr

Once the new faucet is in, remove the aerator from the spray nozzle and run the water for a minute or so to clear your plumbing of any debris.

Chance Lane/CNET

How to Install New Kitchen Faucet

Every new faucet comes with an instruction manual.

Every new faucet comes with an instruction manual.

Be sure to follow the directions for your particular faucet installation.

Faucets are super easy to install once you have all the supply lines connected.

Most faucets come with a standard design mount for

Most faucets come with a standard design mount for a sink or countertop.

They also come with a deck plate if you are replacing a three-hole faucet with a one-hole faucet.

Our new faucet was a countertop single hole mount with a pull-down spout.

And since we were replacing another single hole faucet we didn’t need to use the deck plate.

I’m so happy with this new faucet. Just clic

I’m so happy with this new faucet. Just click that link if you are interested in the same one!

The pull down spray style faucet has been so easy to use.

And the best part…the new kitchen faucet is spot resistant!



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