If your old kitchen or bathroom faucet is chronically leaky, or you just want to update its look, you can install a new model with a bit of effort and know-how. Read on for some tips on how to get your sink looking like new.

Keep in mind that specific steps may vary depending on the type of fixture you are replacing, as well as that of the new model. Read the manufacturer instructions for more exact directions tailored to your specific faucet. If you feel uncertain, consult a professional plumber.

First Things First

Unless you want to recreate Old Faithful in your bathroom, the first step before you even touch your faucet is to turn off the water. Most sinks have a shutoff valve on the pipe directly below them. If you can’t find one, the alternative is to shut off the water to the whole house. Once you’ve shut down your water supply, open the faucet to drain out any water left inside.

Next, you will need to remove the water lines from the faucet itself. This can be done by hand, or with a basin wrench, depending on your setup. Disconnect any other parts that attach the faucet to the sink, such as the lift rod, and unscrew the nuts that anchor the fixture down. Now you can safely remove the old fixture and discard it.

Installation Time

Set your new faucet in place, complete with the gasket, putty and/or sealant to guard against leaks. Tighten the nuts to anchor it in place and screw on the handles if they aren’t already installed. Screw the lift rod back into the drain and you’re almost done. All that’s left is to screw the water lines back into the faucet from below.

To test your work, turn the water back on and run both the hot and cold settings for at least a minute. Check both above and below the sink and make sure there aren’t any leaks — if there are, retrace your steps, tighten the nuts, and make sure any gaskets and sealant are properly in place.

Note that some faucets might require you to install a new drain as well, and this makes the job somewhat more complicated. Other obstacles like kitchen garbage disposals can further muddy the waters.

Remember, there’s no shame in having a professional do the job for you. You never know when problems like corroded pipes or inaccessible fittings will foil your DIY plans. If you find yourself in over your head, call in an expert before you accidentally cause a bigger problem than the one you were trying to solve.

You can rely on local Benjamin Franklin® to help with problems big or small. We can install your new faucet, drain or garbage disposal and have you up and running in no time.