Replacing Faucet Fixtures
For complex plumbing projects, you need a professional plumber. For other smaller jobs, if you are reasonably handy, you can DIY. One such project you may be able to handle is replacing faucet fixtures. Doing it yourself can save you some money, and should only take you an hour or two. Here are some simple instructions.
The first thing you need to do is buy the fixture. Basic chrome faucets can cost as little as $100. Faucets with more high-end finishes or with additional features can cost $400 or more. Tip: when you go shopping, bring your old faucet assembly along to make sure you purchase the right faucet. You don’t want to keep running back and forth to the hardware store because you bought the wrong one. You could take a picture, but that is still not as good as actually walking in with the assembly.
You’ll also need the right tools. In addition to the faucet assembly, you’ll need plumber’s putty or silicone, a basin wrench, a hex wrench (which may be included in the assembly), and mineral spirits.
Your faucet should come with assembly instructions. However, sometimes they are not very detailed and sometimes they just show pictures without words.
If you need the words, here they are.
- Shut off the valves under the sink. If there are no valves under the sink, you’ll have to shut off the main water supply.
- Open the hot and cold taps to drain any excess water.
- Unscrew the water lines with the basin wrench.
- Disconnect the piece that opens and closes the drain (lift rod).
- Remove the nuts at the base of the faucet.
- Unscrew the slip nut on the P-trap (the bend in the drain line) and disconnect the drain flange.
- Clean around the drain and sink mounting holes using the mineral spirits.
- Install a gasket at the base of the new faucet.
- Insert the faucet into the mounting holes and tighten the mounting nuts.
- Install the faucet handles and tighten them with the hex wrench and/or the basin wrench.
- Screw in the drain nut.
- Apply the plumber’s putty or silicone to the drain flange and screw it on over the drain body. The flange’s pivot hole should face backward.
- Tighten the nuts and gasket.
- Install and test the drain rod assembly.
- Connect the faucet supply lines.
- Turn the water back on and run the faucet, checking for leaks.
- If there are leaks, retighten.
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