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How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Kitchen faucet

If you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, there are many DIY tasks to save a little time and money. Follow these four simple steps from the plumbing experts at Roto-Rooter to install a new kitchen faucet, usually in about an hour.

Assess the situation

Perhaps the most frustrating part of any DIY project is getting started, making progress, and then having to stop for an unexpected trip to the hardware store to pick up something you forgot (or didn’t know you needed!). So, begin by taking a good look at the existing faucet setup. Are there shutoff valves for both hot and cold water? Do they work properly? If they are missing or allow the faucet to drip, pick up new ones. Are the existing supply tubes in good working order? If not, plan to replace those with new braided stainless flexible lines. Lastly, if you’re removing an old faucet assembly, consider picking up a basin wrench. This tool is designed to help you remove hard-to-reach fasteners holding the faucet assembly to the sink/countertop.

Turn off the water supply

Use the shutoff valves beneath the sink to turn off water to the faucet. Remember to turn off the cold and hot water flow. Next, open the faucet tap and allow all the remaining water to drain out of the lines.

Remove the old faucet

Many DIYers report that removing the old faucet is the most difficult part of installing a new one. Depending on the age of the home and the hardware, years of use can result in mineral buildup, rusted fittings, hard-to-reach nuts and bolts, and clogged pipes, all of which can make your efforts a little more challenging.

To begin, snap a quick photo with your cell phone of the existing setup for reference. If applicable, shut off power to the garbage disposal.

Next, disconnect the water supply lines. Use a small bucket to catch any drips. After disconnecting the lines, use the basin wrench to loosen the nuts holding the faucet in place. It can be helpful to have a partner hold the faucet in place to allow you to loosen and remove the hardware from underneath. After the nuts are removed, the faucet can be lifted off the sink and any residue, grime or sealant can be cleaned off before installing the new faucet.

Install the new faucet

Every faucet manufacturer will have specific instructions to walk you through the installation of that particular model. Always defer to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In general, though, you can expect to go through the following steps.

After removing the old faucet and cleaning the area, place the new trim rings or rubber gaskets in place over the faucet holes. Then, apply the deck plate and feed faucet lines through the holes.

Underneath the sink, install washers and nuts to secure the faucet. Reconnect water supply lines using plumber’s tape if called for in the instructions. Compression fittings don’t require Teflon tape or plumbers putty.

Slowly turn the water back on, checking for leaks above and below. Address any leaks immediately. After supply lines are secure and leak-free, remove the aerator from the faucet and let the water run for 3-5 minutes. Continue examining all connections for leaks. Once you’ve determined that the faucet is leak-free, replace the aerator on the faucet. Pour yourself a tall glass of ice water--you’re all done!

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