How To Replace Your Leaking Kitchen Faucet

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With a leaking kitchen faucet, it's hard to get things done. Washing dishes becomes a nearly unmanageable task and trying to wash your hands while water seeps onto your counter always leaves you with a wet shirt. As if these problems weren't bad enough, the items you keep in the cabinets below your sink have become soaked and unusable. To permanently rid yourself of these problems, follow these steps:

Prepare Your Sink For A New Faucet

To remove your old, leaking faucet, you'll need a drain pan and a wrench. When you have these items, perform these steps:

  • Disconnect Your Faucet Hardware

    • Place your drain pan underneath your sink and loosen the water supply hoses connected to your faucet. Let the water in the supply hoses drain into your pan. Next, remove your faucet's decorative cover and loosen the nuts underneath your sink that hold your faucet in place. You'll now be able to pull your faucet out of your sink. Count the number of faucet holes in your sink.

  • Measure and Clean Your Sink

    • Measure the dimensions of your sink to determine what type of replacement faucet to purchase. You'll want to measure the width and length of your sink and the distance between each of your sink's faucet holes. Once you're finished measuring, clean any putty, mildew, or other materials from the faucet area of your sink.

  • Purchase A Replacement Faucet

    • Knowing the dimensions of your sink--and the number of faucet holes you have—will allow you to choose a compatible replacement faucet. If your sink only has a single hole, you'll be limited to a one-hole faucet. However, if there are three or more holes, you can choose a one-hole faucet, three-hole faucet, or a single-hole faucet with an additional spray nozzle.

    • While you're shopping for your new faucet, purchase plumber's putty and tape if you don't already have some at home.

Install Your Replacement Faucet

To install your new faucet, you'll need your replacement faucet and some putty. If you forgot to purchase plumber's putty while shopping for a replacement faucet, you can use children's putty (which you can make from basic cooking ingredients) as a substitute. Once you have these items ready, follow these steps:

  • Place Putty In Putty Groove

    • Your replacement faucet will have a thin putty plate that goes under your decorative cover. Underneath this plate, you'll see a groove. Fill this groove with a thick bead of putty—any excess putty can be cleaned off later.

  • Mount Your Replacement Faucet

    • Slide your new faucet (and any additional accessories) through your putty plate and into your sink. Tighten the nuts that came with your new faucet on the bolts that protrude underneath your sink. Next, connect your water supply lines to the corresponding connection points on your faucet assembly.

  • Clean Off Excess Putty

    • When you tightened your mounting nuts, excess putty squeezed out from under your decorative cover. Clean off the excess putty by wiping it off with a damp rag or cloth.

Now that your sink is installed, you can open your water supply valve and test your faucet for leaks. Before turning on your faucet, check underneath your sink for any connection point leaks.

If the connection points beneath your sink are leaking, and tightening them doesn't stop water from seeping out, then shut your water valve once again and disconnect your lines. Apply plumber's tape to the threading of your lines and reconnect them.

Once any leaks underneath your sink are stopped, turn on your faucet and make sure that it functions properly. Spill a small amount of water around the base of your faucet to make sure that water doesn't leak through your putty plate and under your sink. If it does leak, then you can apply caulking around the plate to keep the area under your sink from sustaining water damage.