How To Replace A Bathroom Sink Faucet

Unlike complex projects such as water heater repair, which involves performing plumbing repairs in a unit powered boy natural gas or electricity, sink repair is relatively safe, and can be performed by the average homeowner.

Replacing an outdated or broken bathroom faucet requires only a minimal number of basic tools, and very few supplies, and can be done in less than an hour.

What you will need:

The faucet

Unless your sink is decades old, the holes for the faucet should be four inches apart, so most bathroom faucets sold comply with those measurements. If you want to keep a very old sink for aesthetic or sentimental reasons, you will likely need to order a compatible faucet from a plumbing supply company. 

A very small sink in a half bath may have only a single hole for both hot and cold water. These are readily available in your local home improvement store.

Plumber's putty or silicone putty

You will only need a small quantity of putty for this project, so buy the smallest plastic tub available, unless you want to keep some on hand for a future project. The container must be properly closed after use or the putty will dry out and be unusable.

Pipe tape

This is a small roll of thin plastic ribbon that is used to seal pipe threads against leaks.

Groove joint pliers or a faucet wrench

Although a faucet wrench is designed for the task of installing the faucet, groove joint pliers, which are adjustable and can be used for multiple projects, can be used effectively.

Bucket and rags or paper towels

 Removing the old faucet

You should first clear out the area directly beneath the sink, which in many households means an abundance of cleaning materials and other clutter. You will need the space to navigate under the sink, and keep everything from getting wet in the process.

Place rags or paper towels under the sink before you begin, and have a bucket placed in an accessible place for draining the supply lines.

You will then open both faucets and turn off the water supply lines to the sink by turning the valves clockwise until the water stops flowing. Using your faucet wrench or pliers, turn the nuts that connect the supply lines to the faucet in a counterclockwise direction. They may be difficult to access, because they will be in a small recessed area. 

Loosen the hot and cold lines individually of they are flexible metallic lines, because they will be filled with water, and when they disengage from the faucet, you will place the ends of the lines in the bucket to drain. If you have solid copper supply lines, they will remain upright and you don't need to worry about getting drenched.

You will then loosen and remove the center nut that holds the faucet in place. The faucet can then be lifted from the sink and removed.

Installing the new faucet

After cleaning the faucet area of old putty and other debris, you will place a quarter inch round bead of putty around the inside of the new faucet's base. Roll the putty between your hands to form the bead (don't try to use gloves). You will then wrap pipe tape in a clockwise direction around the threaded supply connections on the faucet.

You will then place the faucet into the corresponding holes in the sink. You will first attach and tighten the center nut that holds the faucet in place, then attach the connectors of the supply lines to the threaded faucet connections. All tightening will be done by turning the nuts in a clockwise direction (to the right). Remember the mantra: "Tighty-righty, lefty-loosey" when you get confused about which direction to tighten or loosen a nut.

After all connections are made, turn on the supply lines, clean up your mess, and you're finished. For assistance talk to a professional like Rapid Rooter Of Central Oregon.