A Kitchen sink faucet consists of the whole mechanism for controlling the flow of water. Through a faucet, you can turn the flow of water on, or off. Replacing a kitchen faucet comes easy if you know what to do. The issue most people had when they tried was the unforeseen circumstances that came with removing the old faucet. These challenges appear strange to a first-timer, but after your first try, you would find this task easy to tackle. Some of these challenges include rusted pipes, uncomfortable position of nuts and fittings. In the successive lines of this article, the blurry aspects of replacing a kitchen faucet shall be thrashed out.
How to Change a Kitchen Faucet
Changing a kitchen faucet including a pull down faucet, pullout kitchen faucet and other variants would come easy if you have the right tools and follow the steps accordingly. The whole process of changing your faucet runs in two phases, each requiring their tools. These phases are:
1) Preparation for replacement
2) Removing the old faucet
3) Fixing the new faucet
Tools are needed to successfully change your faucet, especially at the phase of removing the old faucet. Fixing the new faucet may not require many tools. A quick run-down on the tools you may need to change your faucet successfully are:
- Work light
- Screwdriver (4 in 1)
- Wrench set
- Hand saw
- Pipe wrench
- Pliers (slip-joint)
- Tube cutters
- Safety goggles
Note: Don’t be threatened by the long list of tools. Some of these tools may not be used at all but should be available for use in case of unforeseen circumstances while working. It would be tiring to stop work to go and search-out or buy these tools because you don’t have them at hand.
Preparation for Replacement
This phase features the arrangements put in place for the task ahead. In this phase, you procure all the necessary tools you do not have, and buy the replacements to be made. Check out the type of faucet to be replaced, the number of holes, and other accessories for the plumbing. The number of holes and the measurement between the holes should be noted because it determines the kind of faucet that would fit-in to your kitchen. Take pictures to ease your shopping at the plumbing shop. Pictures would help your shopping choices and would allow the shop attendant to help you make the best choices.
The number of holes should be measured and noted, so you buy the correct faucet. There are four types of faucet (Disc, Ball, Compression, Cartridge), all except the compression type of faucet are washerless faucets. Compression is double-handed (hot and cold) while Disc and ball are single-handed. The cartridge is either single-handed or double-handed. Generally, the higher the price of the faucet (above a hundred dollar), the better its quality and life span. To get the best, buy brand faucets that are above 200 dollars.
Remove the Old Faucet
Removing the old faucet is probably the most challenging phase of replacing a kitchen faucet. It features the prior-preparation that would determine a successful instalment of a new faucet. Follow these steps to remove your old faucet.
Take a comfortable position to perform this task, preferably a position of lying under the sink with your safety goggles to keep your eyes safe. Look underneath the sink with a flashlight to familiarize yourself with your work area. Have all your tools close-by and position your work light to focus on your work perimeter.
Detach the drain lines and P-traps so; you have smooth access to the faucet freely. Prepare the bowls to take residual water stored in the drain line, P- traps or sink. A rag could also come handy to clean the work perimeter and the underlying ground. A pipe wrench, slip joint, or a tube cutter can be used to perform these step depending on how much the drain line and P-trap obstruct your access to the faucet. The tube cutters help to cut the copper supply lines while the open-ended wrenches can be used to disconnect the water supply lines.
Hint: The drain line is the kitchen accessory that carries waste materials to a sewage tank. The P-trap is the bent pipe that holds fluid to prevent sewer gases from gaining access to the building. Take a good look at the set-up as you work so, you are not confused while replacing or fixing them back.
Detach the garbage disposer; not all kitchen set-up may have a garbage disposer. If you do not have a garbage disposer in your set-up, you can discard these step. Before detaching the garbage disposer ensure you have put off the power source. Depending on your model of garbage disposer, there are two basic approaches to remove this obstruction. The first is to unscrew it from your sink/dishwasher while the other requires the using a screwdriver (flat head) under the ring to detach it. Either of the methods requires that you have support to take the free fall of the garbage disposer or, support with your hand while you work.
Hint: A garbage disposer is an electrical device attached to the waste pipe of a kitchen sink. It actively grinds food waste so they can be easily passed into the sewage tank. If the garbage disposer is absolutely okay leave it untampered after detaching it, so you find it easy to return in its place. Use a hammer if the screwdriver can’t pull the retaining ring, hit the ring in a counterclockwise direction.
Cut off the water supply through the valves below the sink or turn off the main water supply through the direct valve. Afterwards, open the faucet (kitchen faucet and the faucet below) to relieve the pressure. Before taking this step, ensure the water supply is cut off, turn on the faucet to be sure water supply has seized. Failure to heed to this security measure would cost you injuries which may be fatal.
Hint: If you intend replacing your valves use a tube cutter to cut the water lines directly below the fittings.
Fit in the basin wrench jaws to the tailpiece nuts just behind the basin, turn counterclockwise to loosen it. This step would open you up to the faucet, detach the spray nozzle and get your faucet out. Use oil in case of any difficulty with removing nuts.
Fixing the New Faucet
A key factor to a hitch-free replacement process is to follow the manufacturers’ instruction to detail. Haven, heeded to this you can validate and follow the steps below:
Fit in the flange over the faucet opening; the flange is used to connect joints, pipes, valves, and other plumbing accessories.
Confirm how the faucet and handle work prior to mounting it. This is to ensure you don’t tighten the wrong positions. After ascertaining this mount the washers and nuts of the faucet, hand tighten the flange nuts.
Fit the spray nozzle through the faucet. After which you fit the spray hose onto the faucet and tighten the connection with the supply tube. It is best to let the nozzle extend out of the faucet, so the hose works undisturbed.
Note: follow the manufacturer’s instructions for counterweight after these step.
Attach all necessary supply lines that have been detached. Put the garbage disposer, p-traps, and other connecting pipes in place. Refer to the set-up while you were removing the old faucet if you are confused along the line.
Conclusively to ascertain a good job has been done on the water supply and ensure there are no leakages. If any leakage persists, check to ensure connections are tight.
Tips to Remember
Remember to follow manufacturers’ instructions while installing new replacements for the faucets or any kitchen plumbing accessory. As you detach during the removal of the old faucet note the progression and order of your work. This so you find it easy to couple after you are done working. Lastly shopping for the correct tools is essential, take pictures and measurements to be on a safer side and enjoy expert opinions from the seller.
Replacing a kitchen faucet is quite simple if you take your time through the steps. Videos would do you much good after reading this content because the video online may not address your kind of kitchen faucets set-up. If you could take your time through learning this, you would be saving a lot of money on unnecessary plumbing. Perhaps, you could build on it and run plumbing jobs at your leisure.