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photograph by Steven Cukrov | Dreamstime

Replacing a faucet:

First, turn off the water supply.
 Usually there’s a valve on the main line leading into your home. If you don’t do this, you’ll be sitting in water. Place a bucket below the connections to catch any water that’s still left in the pipes. Then turn the faucet on so  all the water drains out of the line.

Unscrew the water supply at the turn-off using two wrenches: one to hold the connector and the other to turn the fitting. Once you’ve used your two wrenches and disconnected your water line, you can use this nifty little tool that saves you from having to completely become a pretzel underneath the sink; it’s called a basin wrench. It’s about 12 inches long and fits easily in place, so that you can unscrew the nuts that hold the faucet onto the sink from the underside. Without a basin wrench, many people have cussed and screamed at their sinks because it’s just hard to do. Thank goodness for the basin wrench.

Once the nuts have been removed with the basin wrench, the faucet, lines and all, should come right out. Before you install your new faucet, take some teflon tape and put it around the male threads of your connectors to ensure you don’t have any leaks.

You can now place your new faucet by fitting it on top, running the lines down, and connecting them. Then go back to your basin wrench and tighten the nuts on your new faucet. Be mindful if your sink is porcelain; you don’t want to over-tighten the nuts because you can crack the porcelain sink, and then you have a whole new project.

Many times the faucet will come with a rubber gasket that fits between the faucet base and the sink to prevent dirt or splashed water from seeping underneath. You can attach the gasket with a little bead of silicone, and it will then adhere to the faucet.

As long as you’ve tightened everything correctly, you shouldn’t have any leaks, and you can reconnect your water lines. Now you’re ready to show off your new, shiny faucet.


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