Your kitchen faucet is one of the most-used pieces of equipment in your home. With constant use, they can become dated, corroded or faulty. Acid build-up, rust, water stains and other plumbing issues can cause your faucet to malfunction.
Some faucet repairs may be a bit daunting, costly or time-consuming. You never know what you‘ll find when you open up your faucet. There may be corrugated pipes, or hard to reach nuts. Confined places that limit access to the pipe fittings can be off-putting.
You’ll need to replace your faucet because of leaks or wear or tear. However, some tasks are easy to get done with time and patience.
If You Plan to Upgrade Your Faucet, Here Are a Few Shopping Tips:
Most faucets come with chrome or plastic plated seals. Some of these seals may still allow occasional leaks with wear and tear.
- Buy a faucet according to the needs of the household. Brass-plated faucets may be a bit more durable but will cost more. Look for finishes that may be scratch resistant.
Before You start, Here’s a Brief Checklist:
- Choose a faucet that matches your existing one.
- Check the connection holes so you’ll know the best type of faucet for your sink
Usually, most sinks may have 3 or 4 holes. One hole each for hot and cold water and one to attach directly to the hose.
Assemble Your Tools:
For the do-it-yourselfer, the right tools will help make light work.
- Tube Cutter
- Adjustable Wrench
- Channel-locking Pliers
- Plumber’s Putty
- Flexible Supply Lines
Some of the materials you may need include:
- Shut-off valves
- New Faucet
- Supply tubes
Before you begin:
Clear the area
First, start with a clean work surface.
- Remove any cleaning items or soaps beforehand to avoid water damage.
- Protect your back and legs by placing a slab of wood to lie on as you work. As you lie under the sink, make sure our arms are well-positioned to use your tools.
Protect Your Work Surface
Spread an old towel or sheet to help absorb water as you work.
Shut The Water Supply Off
Minimize sprays from leaks and protect shelves from becoming water-logged.
Shut the water off! Turn the main valve to your right to seal the water off.
The valve is at the point where the pipes and faucets connect. Open up the tap and run the water to help release some of the pressure in the line.
Disconnect the hot and cold water lines with a pair of pliers or adjustable wrench. Examine the lines for wear or tear or corrosion. Replace them as needed.
Drain Any Excess Water
Drain any remaining water in the pipeline. It helps free up the water pressure that may build up in the pipe. As you work, you don’t need water spraying all over your surface or yourself.
Switch on each tap, both hot and cold. Pull out the faucets and let the water drain from the valves. Make sure the lines are completely dry.
- In the event there’s still water in the faucet:
- Change the shut-off valve before you disconnect the water line.
- If there’s more than one faucet handle:
Check the water temperature (hot/cold) to see which valve may be faulty.
- Always ensure the primary water source is off before you change the supply valve. The hot water valve is to the left, and the cold valve to the right.
- If your faucet is still leaking, install a new one.
- Measure the supply tubes and match them with exact new ones.
- Next, locate either the hot or cold hose you need to replace. You’ll need to unfasten the correct line hose that sends water to the faucet.
Some parts can be metal or plastic. Have a pan at hand to catch any spills when you detach the hose.
Apply a Little “Elbow Grease.”
Take your time and loosen the lock nut that connects the hose to the water supply. Keep turning the nut to your left, until it becomes loose.
It’s a good idea to limber it up a bit with an adjustable wrench. Once the nut comes loose, use your hand to twist it off.
Next, separate the hose from the faucet. Trace the hose from the water source to where it connects with the tap.
Feel for the lock nut and loosen it completely. Pull it off with a basin wrench. Keep turning it until it comes loose.
Slow and Steady Progress
If your line has copper tubing, it may become twisted or snap. Using both hands, get a good grip with one hand, and loosen the nut with the other.
As the nut becomes loose, continue to twirl it by hand until it comes entirely off. When it is detached, you can remove the hose.
Take Your Measurements
- Get accurate measurements of the hose you wish to replace.
- It’s best to match up the old hose with a new one to get the perfect fit.
The length and width of each hose should match up.
- Mark your areas for each line, so you’ll know where to reconnect the valves to the faucet.
Seal It Up
Sealing tape helps form a strong bond between pipe joints. It also lubricates the threads to minimize leaks. It makes attaching the hose a lot easier.
- Dry the pipe ends where the hose attaches to the faucet and water source.
- Wrap the dry clean ends with thread sealing tape.
- Don’t allow the tape to overlap the end of the pipe.
Connect the New Hose
Stretch the hose, connecting the pipe end to the original joint.
Install Each Attachment
Now it’s time to re-set the hose, faucet head, and weight.
- Push the hose through the correct hole.
- Pull the hose until it stops. Fasten the faucet head in place.
- Slide the weight onto the hose to re-connect it
If the weights screw together, fasten them over the hose and secure them in place.
Connect the Hose to the Water Pipe
Check your line to see if more than hose thread together.
If they do:
- Push them together and turn the nut to the right.
- Fasten it part-way with a wrench
To insert quick disconnect hoses; slide the male end in place until it clicks.
Slide the ring of collect hoses in position.
Push the hose into the attachment.
Test It Out
- Switch the water on and test the hose.
- Turn the faucet on and let the water run.
- Check for any leaks.
- Ensure the water runs freely through the hose and faucet
How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet Handle
A leaky faucet can grind on one’s nerves over time if left unchecked. Here are some of the tools you may need:
- Allen wrench
- Packing grease
- Faucet repair kit
- Flat-head screwdriver
- The hot/cold water diverter
- Locate the valve; switch off the faucet and let the water drain out.
- Plug the drains to stop small parts from falling in.
- Loosen the setscrew on the faucet handle with the Allen wrench.
- Take the handle off.
Place the faucet parts in the exact order as you remove them. You’ll need to reassemble them in the same order.
Take off the Ball, Cam Assembly, and Bonnet
- Remove the chrome bonnet with a slip-joint pliers
- Protect the teeth of the pliers with masking tape. It will shield the chrome from damage.
- Take out the ball and cam assembly
Next, use a needle nose pliers and prize out the springs and packing pieces. Brush away any deposit or debris from inside the faucet.
- Dislodge the O-rings and diverter. Use a bit of pressure and work the spout with both hands until it comes loose.
- Remove the O-rings with a spanner and take out the diverter with needle-nose pliers.
- Line up the parts. Squeeze the new diverter into position.
- Put the top O-ring in position first, and then set the new O-rings in place.
- Apply a little grease to the O-rings.
- Seal the faucet parts with packing grease to help protect them from high water temperatures.
Reconnect the Spout
Put a bit of pressure on the spout to set it back into place.
- Slip the springs and packing parts into position with a spanner or Allen wrench
Reconnect the Parts
- Slide the faucet ball into its socket.
- Insert the cam and packaging
- Re-position the chrome bonnet
- Switch on the faucet and let the water run
- Check for any possible leaks
Replacing a Kitchen Faucet Sprayer
A sink sprayer is a great, handy addition to your kitchen faucet. To replace it, here’s what you will need:
- Sink sprayer
- Slip joint pliers
- Basin wrench
First Things First
You’ll need to place the sprayer base into the sink opening. Some plumber’s putty will help seal the sprayer in place.
Next, connect the washer, mounting nut and tailpiece with a basin wrench. A pair of pliers can help fasten it in place if necessary.
Use a cloth and wipe any residue from around the base.
Put on the Sprayer Hose:
Attach the sprayer hose to the base of the faucet and fasten it with your pliers.
How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet Cartridge
Your faucet cartridge helps to regulate the water flow and control the temperatures.
Worn out cartridges and rubber ring seals can cause leaks in your faucet cartridge.
Your faucet may either be a compression faucet or cartridge.
What’s the Difference?
Compression faucets have levers for hot and cold water.
Ball-type faucets carry a knob above the spout that helps control water flow and temperatures.
Always check your instructions manual for the best way to fix your type of cartridge.
Your Toolkit Should Include:
- A utility knife
- Needle-nose pliers
- Phillips screwdriver
- Flat screwdriver
- New faucet cartridge
And You’re Off!
First, turn off the water supply.
- Hold under the sink and switch off the water at the shut-off
- Drain each faucet (hot and cold) so that remaining water can flush out.
Take off the Faucet Handle:
- Use a small flat screwdriver and lift off the handle cap.
- Locate the screw on the handle and unscrew it.
- Lift the handle to remove it from the attachment.
Take off the Retaining Clip
- Remove the plastic retaining nut with a water pump pliers.
- Lift the faucet spout in an upward position to remove it.
- Remove the clip with needle-nose pliers.
Take Out the O-Ring
Use your hand or a screwdriver to remove the O-ring from the housing.
Take the used O-ring to the hardware store to evenly match the replacement.
If the O-ring does not come loose, you can use a utility knife to cut it off.
Use a lean rag to clear away any deposits from around the faucet housing.
Insert the New Cartridge
After you’ve matched the correct part, connect it in a few easy steps:
- Hold it at the top with a pair of pliers. Lift it up to remove it.
- Check your manual to see which type of cartridge tool you’ll need for your kind of faucet.
- Once the cartridge is out, check to see if there are any changes in your O-rings.
- If they need replacing, make sure they match with the originals.
- Install the new cartridge and ensure it aligns
Re-connect the O-Rings
- Put some silicone grease on the O-ring and insert it into the faucet cylinder.
- Re-connect the spout. Position the retaining clip and screw it onto the plastic retaining nut.
- Next, put the handle on the assembly and fasten it with the original screw.
- Replace the handle cap.
- Put the handle in the “on” position.
- Slowly switch the water on at the valve.
- Check to make sure there are no leaks.
At home plumbing repairs can save you time, frustration and money if done correctly. Some tools, replacement parts and a little time and patience will get the job done efficiently.