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How To Install a Sink Faucet

Replacing a sink faucet is fairly easy. Start by turning off the water at the supplies under the sink. Open the hot and cold taps on the faucet to relieve the pressure. Use a cup to collect the water from the supply lines as you disconnect them. If you are replacing the water supply lines too, then disconnect them from the supply valves. Otherwise, disconnect the supply lines from the faucet beneath the sink. If you have enough room to work, you can use slip joint pliers, but a basin wrench may make the job a lot easier.

Caution: Please read our safety information before attempting any testing, maintenance or repairs.

With the basin wrench remove the mounting nuts that secure the faucet body to the sink. If they will not loosen, spray them with penetrating oil and give the oil a chance to work.

If replacing a bathroom sink, disconnect the drain lift rod from the drain pop-up assembly. The two most common styles require loosening a thumbscrew or squeezing a metal tension band to release the lift rod.

You should now be able to remove the faucet body, although the old putty may have a hold on it. If so, carefully run a putty knife around and under the faucet to break the bond. Lift off the old faucet and clean the surface of the sink before mounting the new faucet.

Wrap the male threaded fittings with PTFE tape or pipe dope to improve the seal.

Your new faucet may come with a mounting gasket or the instructions may direct you to create a base using plumbers putty. If directed to use putty, roll out a length of putty between your hands, about 1/8" in diameter and long enough for the entire perimeter of the base of the new faucet. Apply the putty gently to the base and then place the faucet into position on the sink. Gently rock the faucet to create a bond between the faucet and the sink. Make sure the faucet is level and there are no gaps in the putty. Gently scrape away any excess putty.

From beneath the sink, slide the washers (if any) onto the faucet and fasten the lock nuts securely. Do not over tighten the lock nuts.

Now connect the water supply lines. You may be able to use the old supply lines or you may need to install new ones. We like the flexible, braided stainless steel supply lines because they are very easy to work with. Professional plumbers often use rigid tubing because it is cheaper. However, at a plumbers hourly rate, if he spends just five minutes cutting and bending tubing, it already is costing more than flexible tubing.

Screw the supply line connection to the faucet, making sure that you connect cold-to-cold and hot-to-hot. Insert the drain lift rod and connect it to drain pop-up assembly. Test the lift rod to make sure it seals and opens properly.

Remove the aerator so that any debris in the water lines can be flushed out. Turn on the water supply valves and then turn on the faucet for a few seconds. Replace the aerator and then inspect the connections for leaks.

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