Handyman Help: How to Replace a Faucet

running faucetReplacing an old or leaky faucet isn’t as challenging as it sounds. Armed with supplies such as a basin wrench, adjustable wrenches, a putty knife and a bucket, the task can be done within an hour. When purchasing a faucet, be sure that it can fit your sink. Your sink can have one, two, or three holes for the faucet and can either be centerset or widespread. Have this information on hand before making your purchase.

Remove the old faucet by first turning off the water supply. Valves are typically under the sink, but if the valve is not, just turn off the main valve. Next, turn on the faucet to relieve any water pressure left in the lines. Using a basin wrench (or your hands if you can reach), disconnect the supply lines from the faucet. Additionally, disconnect the lift rod and remove the nuts from under the faucet.

The next step is to remove the drain. Start by unscrewing the slip nut on the P-trap. Place a bucket below the pipe to catch water in the trap. Unscrew the drain flange from the tailpiece to disconnect. Clean around the old drain and the faucet holes.

When installing the new faucet, follow the manufacturer’s specific instructions. Generally, you should begin with installing the gasket on the bottom of the faucet. Some may require sealant or plumber’s putty. Next, place the faucet through the mounting holes in the sink and tighten the mounting nuts

Not all faucets come preassembled. If required, make sure to attach the handles. Slip the guide ring onto the bottom of the handle, position the ring on the faucet base, and secure the ring with the setscrew. Next, screw the nut all the way down on the drain body and push the gasket over the top. Some gaskets are threaded and simply screw into place. Apply a little silicone under the flange, position the drain body on the bottom of the sink (making sure the pivot hole is facing the back), and screw the flange on from the top.

Below the sink, tighten the nut and gasket. Then install the drain rod. Unscrew the pivot nut on the drain body, insert the horizontal rod through the hole in the stopper, and replace the nut. Push the rod down and secure the lift rod to the strap with the screw. Test the lift rod.

Reconnect the supply lines to the faucet and flush the faucet by removing the aerator. Turn on the hot and cold water for about one minute each. Double-check all the connections for leaks and tighten as necessary. Screw the aerator back on. The job is complete!