There is no gainsaying that the kitchen is one of the most crucial and frequently used areas of the home.
Of all the kitchen tools or equipment, the faucet is most prone to wear out due to frequent usage.
It is estimated that 60 million liters of water are used in the kitchen yearly; this includes using the faucet to rinse your hands, fill up water bottles, do the dishes, and fetch water for cooking.
On this note, the desire to replace the kitchen faucet may result from different reasons, including being damaged or old-fashioned.
Replacing a damaged or old-fashioned faucet with a new modern one is an exciting DIY activity, but it is not always as swift and straightforward as it sounds.
Although the procedure might end without many challenges, this does not rule out the chances of you encountering some problems during the process – owing to varying faucet configurations and the conditions below the sink.
If you’re a fan of DIY and you’re planning to replace your kitchen faucet anytime soon, this article is for you!
From the initial thought of replacing your kitchen faucet, it’s essential to understand the whole procedure, especially the things likely to go wrong during the process. It would help the replacement be less stressful and increase your success rate.
Changing an old faucet with a new fixture of the same configuration is more straightforward and less of a task. But when switching from one type of faucet to another, the process may prove more tasking, thereby making the points for consideration more elaborate.
Understanding the potential scenario that may occur helps prevent losses and lets you know if it’s best handled by a professional.
Below are the crucial things you should consider before attempting to replace your kitchen faucet.
Selecting a new faucet of the same configuration(s) as the old one will reduce the odds of having challenges because most old valves and socket holds will fit into the new one. Hence, for replacement involving different types of faucets, understanding the nature of the desired new faucet and its compatibility with the old sink should be a concern.
If faucets installation has always been your thing, then this project shouldn't pose many challenges. If you’re new to DIY, this task would be a great one to start with because it can be pretty straightforward. However, if the problem escalates beyond your control during the process, don't hesitate to hire or seek help from professionals.
Running water in your kitchen is essential. So, you should not allow the kitchen faucet to be out for long. The kitchen activities could become hard to complete without the faucet. Having enough time to start and finish the replacement is vital, as it is not a project you want to start and then stop halfway.
This project often takes place in a confined space; the sink’s cabinet could be a tight spot, especially if you have stuffed things in there. Hence, you should clear the stuff in that area to give you more space to work with.
The floor under the cabinet may also be rough; thus, placing a plank or pillow to create small comfort on your back is handy.
Depending on the time of work, carrying a flashlight would be fair, especially at night. Lastly, having a rag and bucket will prove helpful to collect the remaining water in the supply line once disconnected from the faucet.
Knowing the type of faucet you want to replace is foremost and key to the project's success. Before going to the kitchen store or placing an order for a replacement, you need to know the type of faucet you are currently using.
There are various types of kitchen faucets; they could be the commonly used two-handle and one-handle kitchen faucets.
Replacing the faucet with the correct specification will make the installation go smoothly. For instance, installing a single hand faucet to a one-hole configuration would be easy as both the old and new ones have the same design.
However, replacing an old single-handle faucet with a three-handle or double-handle faucet is unfeasible; hence, this would require buying an extra component called "escutcheon plate" that fits the new faucet and expands enough to hide the initial holes.
To determine the composition of the old faucet, look under your sink to check the number of holes and their locations.
It's crucial to keep your hands protected with gloves before starting. They will protect your hands from dirt, grime, stains, and other unpleasant particles you might find underneath the sink as you work.
A protective glass is also very handy to protect your face (especially your eyes) from water splash during the whole process.
Now that you’ve gotten the right tools and the suitable replacement for your faucet, the next line of action is turning off the water valves. It allows you to have easy access to the tap without losing water.
This is usually done by twisting the on/off switch for the valves, which is located under the sink, where the hot and cold water control is situated.
Additionally, some sinks have a line of tubes connected to the faucet; this can be undone by unscrewing the bolt on them. If your kitchen faucet is an old one or has not been worked on for a long time, the screw may be hard to lose. In this case, use a piece of rag to untie the head.
But if you can't locate the main valve, turn off the home water at the meter, which is commonly placed beneath a maintenance hole cover.
With the water supply cut out, apply heat to the valve tip where it's connected, to make it easy to loosen. Alternatively, you can use a locking plier to gently hold it hard enough to allow you to pull it off its plug.
You must be careful while doing this so as not to break the valve with tube usage or too much twisting. A break will, however, not necessarily cause flooding in the kitchen since the water supply is cut out.
Now that the water is completely off, you have to do away with all materials saved under the sink cabinet and sweep the floor if dirty.
To remove the old faucet, unscrew the nuts and bolts holding the tap in place, then gradually pull from the top to detach the spout completely.
When faced with a hard and tired lid, apply lubricant and allow it to stay for 24hrs. This will allow for easy twisting of the water supply line switch and pulling the hoses. If your faucet comes with a different sprayer, unscrew the plastic nuts to separate them.
There might be some water left in the supply lines, so keep a bucket and rag to collect the water that remains in the supply line.
When converting a three-handle faucet to a different handle, say, a single handle, it's vital to use the escutcheon plate over the extra holes that may be present on the sink.
For replacement that pertains to the same type of configuration, the task would go on smoothly. But for a different set of faucets, extra hole drilling may be required to fit in the new replacement.
So, look underneath the sink before hitting the spots to see the number of holes you would need. Also, ensure that you take accurate measurements of the distance between each of the faucets.
If your countertops are tiled or solid concrete, it's advisable that you contact professionals. Cover surfaces with papers to have clean work done.
After installing your new faucet in its correct position, you have to screw back every piece of nut you removed and thread them from top to bottom of the sink. Note that you must tighten the screws firmly to prevent an unevenly attached faucet.
Afterward, connect all the supply lines to the faucet through their hoses. But carry this out carefully to avoid mixing the hot and cold water supply lines.
You must check for leaks under the sink after all the necessary hoses and supply lines have been connected. This is to avoid wasting water and having a low pressured faucet later in the future.
Evaluating the project is critical to know what you did wrongly or correctly and know whether to seek professional help.
The kitchen faucet is a critical element of every kitchen. And having the ability to replace damaged or old faucets on demand is often exciting and fulfilling. The process is a DIY-friendly task that takes a lot of guidance and dexterity to pull off successfully.
The smoothness of an attractive replacement is determined by the type of faucet and the hours it takes to complete the task.