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Replacing a leaky or outdated faucet isn't as difficult as you might think. You can tackle the project with a basin wrench and a few other common tools. It should usually take no more than about an hour. The same steps apply if you're installing a new faucet onto a new sink.
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When buying a faucet you need to make sure it will fit your sink. Your sink will have one, two, or three holes for the faucet. Plus, the holes will be either centerset or widespread. Make sure you have this information when you’re shopping. When in doubt, take the old one to the store with you.
Turn off the water supply. The valves are typically under the sink. If not, turn off the water at the main valve. Then turn on the faucet to relieve any water pressure left in the lines.
Disconnect the supply lines from the faucet. Use a basin wrench if you can’t reach the connections with your hands.
Disconnect the lift rod, and then remove the nuts from under the faucet.
Unscrew the slip nut on the P-trap. Put a bucket underneath to catch water in the trap.
Clean around the old drain and faucet holes. Mineral spirits can help remove old silicone sealant.
Follow the manufacturer's directions for specific installation instructions. Most installations begin with installing the gasket on the bottom of the faucet. Some require sealant or plumber's putty. Then put the faucet through the mounting holes in the sink and tighten the mounting nuts.
Not all faucets come preassembled so you might have to attach the handles. It’s easy. Slip the guide ring onto the bottom of the handle, position it on the faucet base, and secure with the setscrew. A setscrew is the tiny screw on the underside of the handle. Your faucet probably came with a hex wrench to tighten it.
Apply just a little bit of silicone (some manufacturers recommend plumber’s putty) under the flange. Position the drain body on the bottom of the sink — making sure the pivot hole is facing the back — and screw the flange on from the top side.
Underneath, tighten the nut and gasket. On the top, use mineral spirits to clean up any excess silicone.
Flush the faucet by removing the aerator. This gets rid of debris or sediment in the faucet. Some faucets include a handy little tool to unscrew the aerator. When you’re done, keep it inside your vanity or with the rest of your tools. Turn on the hot and cold water for about a minute. Check all the connections for leaks and retighten if necessary. Screw the aerator back on and you’re done.