Home Repair & Maintenance Ideas and Tips

How to Replace a Faucet

Replacing a faucet isn’t too difficult. You can replace a faucet on your own with the right tools and a couple of hours of work. Learn how.

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Do you have a faucet that won’t stop dripping even after you’ve tried to repair it? Or maybe one that keeps needing to be fixed over and over again? Are you just hoping to quickly and easily update the look of your kitchen or bathroom? Replacing your faucet could be the answer.

Swapping out a faucet isn’t difficult. You can replace a faucet on your own with the right tools and a couple of hours of work. Follow these steps to replace a faucet in your kitchen or bathroom.

Get Your Tools and Materials Together

You’ll probably have to make more than one trip to the hardware store to get everything you need to change your faucet, so plan to do this DIY plumbing job while the store is open. You’ll need:

  • An adjustable wrench or a set of open-end wrenches

  • A pipe wrench

  • Locking pliers

  • A basin wrench

  • A mini tube cutter

  • Supply tubes

  • Shutoff valves, if your sink doesn’t already have them

  • An adjustable screwdriver

  • Safety glasses

  • A headlamp

  • A cushion to lie on under the sink

  • A bucket to catch water that falls out of the drain

  • Cleaning rags to wipe up 

  • A new faucet and, for kitchen sinks, a new sprayer assembly

  • Teflon plumber’s tape

  • For bathrooms, a caulking gun and silicone bathroom sealant

When choosing a new faucet for your home, choose one that works with the configuration of your sink, unless you’re also planning to replace the sink. Bathroom sinks will either have one or three holes — a single-hole faucet can work with a three-hole sink, but not vice versa. Kitchen sinks are the same, though many have a fourth hole where you can install a sprayer, a soap dispenser, or an instant hot water dispenser.

Shut Off the Water to the Fixture

Once you’ve got all your materials together, you can shut off water to the fixture and begin. Make sure you also turn off power to any electrical outlets under the sink. If you have shutoff valves underneath your sink, you can use them to shut off water to the fixture, but make sure you test the sink before you start taking it apart to make sure the valves still work. If they’ve gone bad, you may need to replace them, too, and if your fixture doesn’t yet have shutoff valves, this is a great opportunity to install them.

Remove the Old Faucet

Get under the sink and use an adjustable wrench or an open-ended wrench to detach the supply lines where they attach to the water shutoff valves. If the valves are seeping while turned off, you need to shut off the water to the whole house and replace them. Hold the water pipe steady as you loosen the supply tubes, so you don’t damage the plumbing connections in your walls. Some new faucets will come with new PEX supply tubing, but either way, you should replace the supply lines under your sink with either PEX tubing or braided stainless steel supply tubes.

Next, remove the supply lines from the faucet. You’ll probably need to lie down under the sink and you might need to use your basin wrench to reach the retaining nuts that hold the faucet to the sink. You can also use it to remove the nut that connects the sprayer hose to the diverter, or you can also just cut the hose with your tubing cutter if you’re certain you won’t be using this old fixture again.

Once you’ve removed the connections, remove the hardware that fastens the faucet to the sink. You’ll need your basin wrench again. With those mounting nuts removed, you should be able to lift out the old faucet.

Install the New Faucet

Clean up the sink before putting the new faucet in position, being careful to keep any rubber gaskets in place between the faucet and the sink, and making sure that the faucet and handles are facing forward, and the valves are in the right holes. In bathrooms, seal around the edge of the faucet with bathroom caulk. Tighten the mounting nuts by hand, and then use your open-ended wrenches to tighten them the rest of the way. In a bathroom, be careful you don’t crack the porcelain of the sink.

Attach the new supply lines to the valves in the faucet and then to the shutoff valves. On single-handle faucets, make sure you attach the built-in supply lines to the appropriate hot and cold water pipes. If you’re installing braided stainless steel supply tubes with threaded nuts, make sure you wrap the threads of the male connector with Teflon plumber’s tape before connecting the supply tubes.

Test the Faucet

Once everything is reconnected and tightened down, open the water supply valves and test for leaks. Tighten connections and/or reseal them with plumber’s tape as needed to stop leaks.

Flush the Lines

Before you start putting your new faucet to use, remove the aerator and turn on the water full blast for a minute. This will flush any debris out of the plumbing or faucet. Replace the aerator and congratulate yourself on a job well done.

At American Home Shield®, we understand the convenience of doing your own home repairs. If you have tried the steps above with no success, remember that your American Home Shield home warranty can help. If you don’t have a home warranty, purchase one from American Home Shield and enjoy some peace of mind when dealing with future leaks or plumbing issues.

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DIY tips are for informational purposes only. Learn more.

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