How to replace a bathroom faucet

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Are you tired of that leaking or old outdated bathroom faucet and don’t know what to do about it?  Well, maybe its time to update your faucet and stop the dripping or the eyesore.  Well with the proper tools and some patience, you can complete this task in under 2 hours.

Before you begin you will need to determine your current faucet setup or the hole positions in your current sink.  Bathroom faucets can be a single hole, 4” triple hole, and 8” triple hole and the holes will be either center set or widespread. You should be able to look underneath to determine what you have without removing the old faucet.

The single hole is just what it suggests, it’s a single hole in the sink and the faucet only has one single handle and hole.  A center set faucet is designed for sinks that have three holes, four inches apart.  A widespread faucet is designed for sinks that have holes six inches apart.

When you are ready to install the new faucet, the first step is to turn off the hot and cold water.  It’s best to remove everything under the sink for better access before beginning.  The water valve turnoffs are typically under the sink.  You turn clockwise to shut off the water supply to the sink.  If you are unable to turn off the water or the values do not completely turn off the water, then you will have to off the main water supply value for your home.  It’s a good idea to have a small bucket and some towels ready for the water that will be left in the supply and the drain line.

After the water is turned off, you can now disconnect the connected hot and cold water supply lines from the old faucet.  Most of the time the supply line nuts are not easy to access and you might need a variety of wrenches to complete the task.  Then you will have to unscrew the mounting nuts under the sink that secure the faucet to the cabinet.  Most of the time these nuts are not easy to access and reach also.

Once you get the supply lines and the nuts off, you will need to remove the faucet’s drain rod extension from the drain.  Usually, you can unscrew it but it will be located behind the main drain.  Once you remove that, you can now pull up the old faucet assembly from the top.  If the faucet does not lift up easily, then most likely there is some sealant attached to the base and faucet.  You may have to cut around the faucet base to break the seal.

The new faucet might be a different size, so clean around the faucet holes and remove any sealant before installing your new one to avoid seeing your old dirty faucet ring on the sink.

Since faucets can vary among manufacturers and sizes, consult your installation manual before beginning installing your new one.

Depending on the faucet kit you purchased, it may also come with a new drain pipe and drain stopper.  If so, install this also to give your drain a new look that matches your new faucet.  To install the new drain line and stopper, put a bucket or towel underneath it to catch water in the trap.  Most of the time the P-trap will contain some nasty smelling water and debris.  Save yourself some cleanup, place a bucket under the trap before removing it.

Unscrew the slip nut on the P-trap and you probably have already disconnected the faucet’s drain rod extension.  If not, disconnect the faucet’s drain rod extension from the drain.  Usually, you can unscrew it but it will be located behind the main drain.  Use a wrench to unscrew the slip nuts on the bending P-trap pipe under the sink.  Have your bucket handy for the smelly water.  Then unscrew the sink drain flange from the tailpiece below the sink.  If it’s an old drain line, the nut might be very hard to unscrew.  Once unscrewed, you can now remove the old drain line and install the new one.

When installing the new drain line, make sure you do not overtighten the new parts since most of them are now plastic.  You can crack them and have to go get new replacements.  Its best just to hand tighten them and then use a wrench for the final adjustments.  Commonly plumber’s putty is applied around the tailpiece to make it more leak-resistant but Consult your installation manual first before doing so.

Put the new faucet in position and tighten the nuts under the sink.  It’s a good idea to hand tighten the nuts and then recheck your faucets position from above before tightening them fully in case the faucet has moved.  It’s a good idea to seal the edge of the faucet with a thin layer of bathroom caulk.

Attach the lift rod to the drain tailpiece and reconnect the hot and cold water supply lines.

Turn both of the water supply lines back on while you under the sink.  Check for any leaks from the lines.  If you find a leak, tighten the leaky supply line as needed until the leak stops.  You may need to apply plumber’s tape to the supply line if you are unable to stop leaking by tightening it.

Turn back on the hot and cold water and check underneath for any leaks around the drain line and the faucet’s drain rod extension.

After you determine that there are no leaks, then you have successfully installed your new faucet.

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