How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

12:34 PM

She leaks!  :(

Readers of the blog know that I’m been fighting with my kitchen sink for months now.  The entire history is listed here

Here’s the cliff notes version:

·          I replaced my leaky kitchen faucet.  It was fine for a year and began to leak again. 
·         I replace both the hot and cold cartridges.  That was fine for 3 months
·         and then the cold water began to leak. 
·         I replaced just the cold cartridge.  It was fine for 3 months
·         until it began to leak, yet again. 

Thanks to the lifetime warranty the manufacturer promised to send me an entirely new faucet.  Frankly, I thought they were lying.  Two weeks later, I got this:

New (free) faucet arrives!!
Thanks Lifetime Guarantee!!!!
So now, time to install the new (hopefully leak proof) faucet.

These directions are for a 4-hole set (like the one pictured above)

For this project you will need:
·         Faucet
·         Plumbers putty
·         Wrench
·         Towels
·         Flashlight
·         Newspaper
·         Pillow
·         Goggles

This project should ideally take less than an hour.  Really it all rises or falls on how easy it is to remove the old faucet.  Installing the new faucet is pretty simple.

Removing the old fixture:

1.      The first order of business:  Turn off the water under the sink.  My sink has 3 knobs (hot, cold, dishwasher).  I turn off all 3. 
2.      Next, turn the faucet on full blast.  This will clear out most of the water remaining in the fixture.  It won’t get rid of all of the water, but it’s a good start.
I'm short so I need a pillow for lift and comfort when working under the sink.
3.      Now position your pillow under the sink.  I have fairly short arms so the pillow offers me both elevation and comfort from the edge of the cabinet.  Keep a clean towel handy.  When you remove the water lines water will leak out.  Not too much, but you’re very likely to get wet (probably on your face).
4.      Lie on the pillow and disconnect the water lines.  This will be pretty easy if you have a newer faucet and will likely be cuss-worthy if you have an old fixture.  As my fixture is only 18 months old my water lines came off fairly easily.
5.      Now remove the old fixture.  The old fixture is held in place by large nuts.  Again, this is an easy step with newer fixtures and may bring out your inner sailor if you have older fixtures.  Be patient and remember that WD40 is your friend.  Also, whacking it with a wrench might help remove some tension and the nut!

This is the nut that holds the faucet in place.
(In my case there were 4 of these)
6.      Now that the fixture is removed, remove the nut that holds the sprayer in place.
Bye old leaker!
7.      Back up on top of the sink, you should now be able to easily lift out the old faucet and sprayer.

Disconnect the sprayer from the old faucet
8.      Clean any gunk, plumbers putty and filth left by the old fixture.  You might not have filth.  My faucet had filth.

It was FILTHY underneath my faucet!

All cleaned up!

Installing the new fixture:
9.      Now it’s time for plumber’s putty. Think of plumbers putty like play doh from when you were a kid.

I love Plumbers putty!
Pinch off a bit from the blob inside the container and roll it into a play dough snake.  You’ll need enough snakes to go all the way around the plastic seat thingy [not its real name].

Snake of plumbers putty
(pre-school flash back)

Putty all around the plastic thingy!
10.  Center the plastic seat thingy over the openings in the sink and press gently.  You just want to apply enough pressure for it to stay in place, but not enough to really smash the putty too much.
Plastic thingy pressed in place
11.  Next install the sprayer.  The sprayer will have a holder for it to rest in and several washers.  Consult your instruction sheet to make sure that you install all the washers in their proper order.  Some washers go on top on the sink.  Others go under the sink.

Seat thingy for sprayer hose
12.  With the spray nozzle installed, snake the spray nozzle through the center hole of the sink.  [This will save you a bit of a headache later].  Now attach the spray nozzle to the new fixture [per the instruction sheet].

Install sprayer hose
Pull hose through center hole

Attach sprayer hose to faucet
13.  Center the new fixture over the plastic seat thingy and press a bit to hold it in place.
14.  Now tighten the new fixture in place with the nuts provided.  I suggest hand tightening the nuts then give a ¼ turn with a wrench.
15.  Attach the water line.  Again, hand tighten, and then finish tightening using the wrench.  I make these connects are tight as I can get them.
16.  Turn the water on make sure everything works!


According to the directions that’s pretty much it. 

Personally, I like to test my work.  The last darn thing I need is to discover some annoying leak a week from now. 

Here’s now you test your work:

Leak testing - Place newspaper under sink 

Before you put everything back under the sink, spread newspaper under the sink and leave it for a few hours. If you come back later and the paper is dry you’re all done.  If there is a wet mark (even a tiny one) on the paper, circle it. 

Yup - I found a tiny leak

Now wait 30 minutes and check your wet spot again.  If the wet spot has grown larger than your circle, you have an active leak.  Examine the connections directly above the wet spot to find your leak.

Oh no!  This is an active leak!

The most common causes of leaks are faulty water lines or loose connections.  Turn the water off, disconnect and then retighten your connections.  Put down a new piece of newspaper.  If you still have a leak you may need to replace your water line.  The water line can look just fine, but the washer on the line may be worn or missing.  Take the old waterline to the store with you when you go to buy the new one.  That way you know exactly what you’re looking for.

Once you’ve fixed your leaks and the newspaper is dry, you’re all set.
As of this morning, my faucet is no longer leaking.  Finger crossed it stays that way!

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  1. Hearing how you have been having problems with your leaky faucet for over a year now is truly bad. Good thing though, your manufacturer offered a lifetime warranty. Had it not been for that, you would have spent too much from purchasing new fixture over and over again. Meanwhile, I think that this recurrent scenario made you an expert in replacing your kitchen faucet, which is a good thing. However, professional plumber can determine the real cause of the leak, so hiring them is still ideal. But yeah, I wish, as you do, that the leak is gone by now.
    Mark @ Pure Plumbing Service

  2. Organized content is the best way to display or post an article, thank you for making it easy to digest your post.

  3. Most of the time the initial challenge which has to be faced by most of the home remodeling companies is, to open the kitchen faucet mechanism. The video that you shared with us is really good. It really describe all about kitchen faucet mechanism.

  4. Thanks for the tutorial! It really looks easy to do, but it can be frustrating when you’re actually doing it. Haha! Anyway, I’m glad that you mentioned about tracing out active leaks. This area is what's usually overlooked when we do inspections. Though it might be a tiny hole, it will greatly affect water consumption, not to mention that it will create further damage to the home’s structure as well, like molds and other such growth.

    Angela Cyrenne

  5. Replacing a kitchen faucet is easy. You just need the right tools and to follow the instructions, and you’re good to go. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is to be attentive with the correct size of the product you’ll be using. That way, there won’t be any hassle when you start installing it. Anyway, it looks like you did a great job on yours. Cheers!

    Levi Eslinger @ Capital Plumbing

  6. Replacing a kitchen faucet is easy but it is difficult when you don't know about it any idea. But this post shown the easiest way to replace the faucet. One thing will keep to mind that the faucet size. Otherwise it's never replaced. Thanks for giving us the valuable tutorial.