How to Install A Faucet? – Here’s 10 Easy Steps for You
Hiring professionals for everything may seem like a way of saving time and effort, but do you really think it would be worth it? We believe that you should take that time and learn how to do some basic home maintenance yourself. Engaging in some basic DIY tasks can really make a difference while saving your money. Not only will you discover interesting aspects of your home and important mechanisms, but you will build your self-confidence and learn a lot in the process. One of the tasks that you can learn is how to replace the faucet. Even though it sounds like an easy replacement, it is important to follow some guidelines first.
For every homeowner willing to install a new faucet all by themselves, whether it is a basic kitchen faucet or a luxurious bathroom faucet, there are many ways one can go about doing this. Here are ten faucet installation tips you might find useful. Understanding the process is the key to success.
1. Cut Out the Old Faucet
Corroded nuts often are impossible to break loose. This is because water and minerals build up around them, making them harder to work with. You may try using a basin wrench, though chances are it won’t help. Allowing the water to heat up makes it easier to work with, but this process takes the help of a plumber, as it is a potentially dangerous scenario (burns!). Instead of attempting to get the old one out, cut it off above and below with a hacksaw or cut off tool. You can use any rotary tool with a metal cutting disc for this task. The task can be performed in two parts; first is cutting the accessible side of the nut, and second is using the screwdriver or any appropriate tool to pry the nut away!
2. You May Need a Basin Wrench
A basin wrench will be extremely useful if you are interested in undertaking any plumbing job on your own. It is an indispensable tool capable of reaching into corners and other tight spaces, easily allowing you to turn nuts and fit and fasten other pipes. You can find one minor inexpensive at any hardware store. While you may need a basin wrench in a few places in the process of installing new faucets, it will be especially useful with the very last part when fitting the tube to the sink.
Basin wrench will also prove to be useful if you don’t want to cut off your old faucet. You can use this tool to loosen the nut far enough so that you can use the pliers to remove the rest. It is one of the most common tools used by professional plumbers and always proves its worth.
3. Mount the Faucet with Silicone
After you have successfully conquered your way through cutting out the old faucet, your next job is to install the new one. But there are some intermediary steps that you should follow. It is all too easy to rush through the installation of new faucets. This is fine if you are a plumber but will prove to be a mistake for most of us. Silicone is a perfect sealant that keeps water flowing smoothly around the faucet for many years, and for this reason, it is important to seal properly. If this is not true for any other reason, it is true because silicone never corrodes. This means if you leave once, the silicone will be just as strong as it was when you first applied it.
It is essential to ensure that your plumbing is unblocked before starting this step. Wash pipes thoroughly and wait for a few hours until they are completely dry. If you have a hose or a flexible tube, attach it to the faucet for maximum convenience. Be sure to leave a paper towel under the joint to absorb any excess silicone and prevent it from getting all over the place. Apply silicone slowly and ensure complete coverage. Silicone caulk will act as the adhesive that should prevent your new faucet from moving even when the connection nuts loosen over time.
4. Upgrade Your Supply Lines
Whether it is old or new, never underestimate the importance of supply lines. The interior of every new faucet is likely to be made of plastic; however, unlike the one, it is replacing; it is likely to be even less durable. This means that even if it has been in perfect condition for years, it will eventually need replacing. There are two ways in which plastic supply lines fail – either they develop leaks, or they crack and break. You should replace them before that happens.
You won’t know if there are problems with your water lines inside your faucet unless you examine them thoroughly. If it is easier to replace them than repair them, you will be grateful that you did. Also, you would want to upgrade to modern connectors with braided jackets. They are more reliable than old plastic or brass connectors, as they provide a tighter fit. Further, they are pre-fitted with gaskets on both ends, meaning no special tools or skills are required to ensure a 100% leak-free connection. And though they will cost you a bit more than their older siblings, they are worth the price. A leak-free supply line will help you avoid replacing your faucet, before your mind and your wallet allows, making quality supply line an investment you can’t afford to miss.
5. Measure for the Supply Line
If you want to replace the supply lines of the faucet, you should take care to get replacements with the same degree of flexibility as the existing ones. This is especially the case if you want to avoid the possible problems and keep the longevity of your faucet in mind. If you aren’t sure about what you need, take in the old supply line and check the degrees of flexibility and how far it extends. Maintain a close lookout for flexible joints, brass fittings, and connectors.
You can go one extra mile and try to measure the length from the underside of the sink, mainly from the bottom of the faucet to the shutoff valve. You may also want to add extra inches to the total measurement to provide the necessary flexibility and reach. Further, ensuring the threads of your new supply line matches to shut off valves is critical to ensure that you don’t experience any problems later on. To get around this situation, you should take the old supply line to the store and then make the purchase.
6. Stuck Shutoff Valves
Sometimes you will face a situation where valves would be too stuck to move even with a basin wrench. This is a tricky situation, and often you will be anxious about damaging the fixture by continuing to use the wrench.
In such a case, when you try to unscrew the compression nuts under the handle, you will find yourself applying significant force but not succeeding! In order to get around this, you need to apply penetrating oil to the stem under the handle. This will allow the fluid to start working in the nuts, which in turn will make the job of screwing off the nuts considerably easier. Further, this helps release the mounting pressure on the stem, letting the faucet loosen even more. The best part is that it doesn’t take long for the oil to work. In a matter of 3 to 5 minutes, the nuts will loosen up considerably.
7. Remove the Aerator Before You Turn on the water
Aerators are very important parts of sinks. This is because they make sure that water flowing from the tap will always be clean and particles. They often are made of plastic with auxiliary brass pieces. They are pretty easy to remove firstly because they don’t usually have many connections – and secondly, they are often just glued on by silicone caulk.
However, they can become a problem when they are left on for too long and start clogging. Therefore, it is important to replace them right away.
Aerators have been designed for this very purpose – making it as easy as possible to change them; however, when they get stuck due to mineral build-up, the job becomes harder than it should be. To deal with this, use a wrench or a plier to apply the force in an anti-clockwise direction.
If you are planning on installing a pullout faucet, removing the aerator can be quite challenging. For this, you’ll have to first remove the whole spray head and then the aerator. Let the water run for a few seconds and then attach the new spray head using a wrench that will fit the nut provided inside the spray head.
8. Save the Instructions and Parts in a Freezer Bag
Once you take off the faucet or disconnect it from the supply lines, it can get very messy. Even if you are smart enough to correctly re-install the identical part in the correct place, inevitably, you might need to remove the faucet again in the future. If you don’t save the instructions or fail to label the parts, you will have to start from scratch. For this reason, unless you plan to hire a professional, take care to keep all the instructions and parts together in a bag, you can easily find and follow.
Also, modern faucets come included with all necessary tools and guidelines to assist DIYers like you and me with our endeavour. These are essential tools as they normally vary in size to suit your faucet. Without these tools, you might have to make do with some inappropriate replacements, which is not an ideal solution. Thus, storing them is a wise move. It will prove useful not just in times of an emergency but also in the long run.
9. Pre-mount the Faucet on New Sink Installations
Premounting the faucets before you mount them on the sink is the best way to ensure that you have everything you need to complete the faucet installation properly. Pre-mounting is not a very time-consuming process, especially if you have all the tools and parts ready. If you don’t ensure that you have all the tools and parts, it is bound to create an additional workload, and the process may become more complex than it already is. Pre-mounting avoids you the trouble of having to make additional trips to the hardware store because you are missing out on brackets or spout or valve spout washer. You may find it somewhat time-consuming, but you will appreciate that you will save a good hour or two that would have otherwise been spent going from the hardware store to home.
10. Checks for Leaks
After installing your new faucet, it is important to ensure that it is working perfectly. If you aren’t careful, you may end up having a beautiful new faucet but with unusable taps. Check fittings and joints to ensure that they are tight. If there is a single drop of water anywhere, you can be sure that some minor adjustments are required. All you need is to tighten the joints, and the leak should stop.
Choosing the Right Faucet
Replacing a faucet can either be overwhelming or a simple task, that depends on what you want as to replace it with and why. Are you interested in updating your bathroom? Perhaps, you are replacing a faucet on your sink as the others have worn out. Are you assembling a new kitchen? Changing the faucet is the easiest way to add a new statement piece in an economical way, as it usually boils down to the same amount of money you would spend on a decoration item. Sounds too good to be true? Well, that is because good looking faucets are a lot more affordable than people think. When shopping for a new faucet, be sure to study what style and finish you want, but be flexible. It would help to be open to different suggestions.
Today you don’t have to compromise quality for style. You should be able to get both for the same amount of money. Fortunately, there is an excellent range of high end looking faucets that you can afford to fit your budget for renovating. You can choose from an array of materials, from elegant solid brass to beautiful porcelain and much more. You can find stainless steel faucets for a highly polished look, but a durable surface that always comes in platinum or stainless steel. You can get copper or bronze faucets in an antique finish that makes a statement. These are all materials that would be used in high-end products.
Further, you will want to consider other critical factors like adjustable spray settings, smart tech, ergonomic design, easy to clean, and highly rated. Other things to look for are faucets with lead-free materials, durable performance, and that don’t rust or discolour.
Verdict: Is This Worth Your Time?
In short, this is a significant DIY task, specifically if you have never done it before. However, given the potential benefits, it is worth the effort.