How to Install: A Kitchen Faucet
At Emerge2, we believe that installing your own new kitchen sink faucet is one plumbing job you can confidently learn to do. Each faucet will come with instructions, so be sure to read them for details on your specific faucet.
If you are renovating your kitchen, replacing an old faucet, or just want a different type of faucet, the instructions below will give you a good idea of what’s involved.
In most cases, you won’t need the services of a licensed plumber; however, if you run into challenges such as corroded pipes that make it impossible to remove the old faucet, then you may need to call a licensed plumber.
Important to know
Instructions for a single faucet will be slightly different than for a double faucet. Take note of the number of faucet holes your sink has. Be sure you have a basin wrench to help you reach in tight spaces under the sink.
What you’ll need:
- Shallow pan
- Old towel
- Safety glasses
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable wrench
- Plumber’s tape
Step #1. Preparation
Remove everything that is stored under your kitchen sink to give yourself lots of room to work. It is already a tight space.
Caution: Check for electrical outlets under the sink and turn off the power if the outlets are close to where you will be working.
Step #2. Shut off water supply valves
You won’t need to turn off your home’s water supply because you can shut off the supply valves under the sink. You will see separate valves for hot and cold water running from the faucet down to the water supply valves.
How to shut off the water supply valves
Turn the valves clockwise. (Remember… righty tighty, lefty loosey.) If you are still confused about which way to turn the valves, turn the valves right or clockwise to close them and stop water from coming through the pipe. Turn left or counter clockwise to open the valves again.
Note: If there are no stop valves in place, you will need to turn off your home’s complete water supply.
If the valves are difficult to move, you can use pliers to gently turn them.
When you have turned off the water, open the faucet handle to relieve pressure in the lines.
Keep an eye open for any water leaking from the valves. If you do see water dripping, then it would be safer to turn off your home’s water supply. Have a shallow pan in place just in case.
Step #3. Remove the faucet connections and old faucet
Before you can remove your faucet, you’ll have to remove the supply line connections underneath the sink.
For a single handle faucet, there are no separate hot and cold handles. The supply lines for the hot and cold water are both contained inside the spout. This means that the mounting hardware will slide over the lines.
For a two-handle center-set faucet, the hot and cold-water supply lines will be connected directly to the hot and cold valves. Unscrew the supply line connections, and then you’ll be able to remove the mounting nuts that keep the faucet in place.
The space you’ll be working in to remove the connections is quite tight. A basin wrench is definitely your friend for this job as you will need to reach the retaining nuts at the rear of the sink.
First, unscrew the nuts that connect the supply lines to the valves. Using the basin wrench, remove the nut that connects the diverter to the sprayer hose. You will need a helper at this point to hold the faucet while you loosen the nuts.
Cut the line with a pipe cutter if you no longer need the old faucet.
Remove the mounting hardware after you have disconnected the water lines.
Clean the countertop to remove any grime or grit from where you have removed the old faucet.
Step #4. Install the new faucet
You’ll need a rubber or plastic gasket, an escutcheon plate if you need to cover unneeded holes and the faucet.
Most faucets come with a gasket but if yours doesn’t, you can use plumber’s putty shaped into a slim roll instead.
Place the gasket around the base of the faucet or under the escutcheon plate that covers the sink’s open holes.
Note: One-hole installations do not need the escutcheon plate, but you will need the escutcheon plate if your faucet installation has two outside holes.
Step #5. Anchoring the hot and cold valves
For single handle faucets: There will be slight differences in how you anchor the hot and cold valves depending on the faucet manufacturer, the style of faucet, and the thickness of your countertop.
In most cases, you will need to connect the mounting hardware to the shank below the deck.
If using an escutcheon plate: Place the gasket onto the bottom of the escutcheon plate, then slide it over the supply lines and onto the shank of the faucet, until you have it positioned on the mounting surface.
The two extra outside holes should now be covered by the escutcheon.
Now go back under the sink to screw the nut upwards completely until it is about a half inch below the surface.
Next, you will need to tighten the mounting screws while keeping them even. Continue tightening until the faucet assembly is tight against the upper inside surface of the cabinet.
Make sure the faucet is lined up evenly behind the sink before you do the final tightening.
Step #6. Connect the faucet to the water lines
You may have purchased a faucet that includes PEX line, a plastic tubing made from high-density polyethylene. This will make your job easier as you will only need to connect the hoses to the water valve.
If your faucet did not come with PEX piping, you will have to run flexible piping supply lines from the
faucet to your water supply valve.
First, you will need some plumber’s tape to wrap around the threads of the pipe to ensure a tight seal.
Before you use a wrench to attach the nuts to the water supply valve, turn them a few times by hand. Again, the basin wrench will make this step a lot easier in this tight space behind the sink.
Turn the water on.
Step #7. Check for leaks
Test your workmanship by turning on the faucet.
Have a close look at the gasket area, the supply line and valve connections beneath the sink.
Tighten as necessary to stop leaks, taking care not to over tighten.
Now you can go ahead and enjoy your new kitchen faucet!
If you have any questions or need more information, visit Emerge2. Our team is always available to help in any way we can.