How to Install a Bathroom Faucet

One of the most irritating things to deal with is a constantly dripping faucet. The never-ending drip can be enough to irritate even the calmest person. In addition to that, it can cause stains on your tub or sink making according to The Spruce. Replacing a damaged or leaking faucet can protect your tub or sink as well as your sanity. A new faucet can also breathe fresh life into a bathroom. Whether you want to replace your faucet because it is damaged or just old, the process is the same.

Identifying Your Faucet

If you have ever entered a home improvement store to purchase just about anything, you probably know the importance of knowing exactly what you need. There are so many options of parts, tools, and materials that shopping without knowing what you need is a mistake that can quickly lead to headaches and feeling overwhelmed.

Before you go shopping for a new faucet, you need to know what kind you currently have. There are three main types: single hole faucets, 4-inch triple hole faucets, and 8-inch triple hole faucets. Single hole faucets are those that have one spout for the water to come out which is also where the hot and cold water mix. Both 4 inch and 8-inch triple hole faucets have knobs or handles on each side of the center spout. The difference is in how wide of a faucet it will accommodate.

If you are planning to replace the countertop as well, you have the option and ability to change which type of faucet you have. If you are trying to choose a new countertop, but are unsure of what material/configuration you want, check out HGTV’s guide on choosing bathroom countertops. If, however, you are only replacing the faucet, it is important to stick to what you already have. Though it may be possible to use a single hole faucet for a 4-inch triple sink, that is as far as you can change current faucets.

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How to Uninstall the Old Faucet

When you begin to uninstall your old faucet, the most important step is to turn off the water supply. This can usually be done directly underneath the sink. If you cannot find the valve, turn off your main water supply. Once the water is off, turn on your faucet knobs or handles so any water that is built up will then drain.

Next, have a bucket handy to place underneath where the flexible extension is connected. Use an adjustable wrench or basin wrench to remove the flexible extension and allow any water in the line to drain into your bucket. From there, you will use your wrench to loosen and remove the nuts holding your old faucet in place. This would be a great time to clean around faucet holes to remove any built-up gunk and possible mildew.

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How to Install a New Bathroom Faucet

Faucets will vary according to what type and brand you get. Generally, your new faucet kit will include new gaskets and o-rings, new nuts and bolts, and the faucet itself. Some may include a drain or other additional parts. The kit will at the very least come with your actual faucet and the hardware needed to attach it. Additional tools and materials that you should gather are an adjustable wrench or basin wrench and sealant or plumber’s putty. As some faucets do not come pre-assembled, you may or may not need a Phillips head screwdriver. Check your instruction manual for the exact list.

Once you have your tools, you can begin to install your new faucet. The process is simple as you are likely doing the same thing you did to uninstall it, only in reverse. However, to be certain you install it correctly, read through your instruction manual before starting and keep it close by. You can always refer back to it if you need to.

The basic installation process will be to place the gasket on the bottom of the faucet. This step may require plumber’s putty. After applying, slip the faucet into place. Slip on and tighten the bolts underneath the sink. You will then reconnect the supply lines and turn your water back on. Check that the cold water and hot water are coming out correctly. If so, you are done.

*Note: If you purchased a kit to replace the drain, flange, or other pieces, be sure you read through the instructions carefully. This is only a basic guide for installing a new faucet.

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Some Common Problems

The process sounds simple enough, but what happens if something does not work right when you are finished? First, take a breath. You are not the first person this has happened to. Second, it is fixable. There are a few common problems that DIYers face when installing a new bathroom faucet, but they have simple fixes.

  • One common problem is that no water is coming out. As silly as this may sound, did you remember to turn the water back on? Did you turn it in the right direction? Remember, even if you connected something incorrectly, water would likely be shooting out under your sink if it is on.
  • Another problem is that some see leaking. Check to make sure that everything was tightened well enough. If so, something may not be fitting correctly or you may just need to use some plumber’s putty for an extra layer of connection.
  • What if cold is coming out of the hot and hot out of the cold? Simple- you got your lines crossed, quite literally. Just turn the water supply off again and trade sides.
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Replacing a leaky, damaged, or just unattractive faucet is a simple project that can actually make a lot of difference in your life. Leaks and damages can increase your water bill tremendously. Looking at something old and worn out can make even the best looking room depressing. Both of these problems can be easily fixed with a few tools, a new faucet kit, some patience, and 30 minutes to an hour of your time. If you’re not sure you can handle replacing a bathroom faucet yourself, consider hiring a professional plumber who can install it for you. According to Reckon Plumbing of Los Angeles, the only ‘downside’ to hiring a professional to help you is that there’s a higher upfront cost than doing it yourself, although the quality of work more than pays for itself over time and we couldn’t agree more!

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