Replacing an old faucet in an inexpensive way

Be careful not to lose parts of your newly bought faucet.

If you have an old faucet that needs to be replaced, you may be tempted to call a professional plumber. However, with a little patience and some basic knowledge, you can easily replace an old faucet yourself. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also get a sense of satisfaction from completing the project yourself.

Before you remove the old faucet from your sink, make sure the replacement is on hand and ready to install. Most faucets come with pre-attached supply tubes which you can directly connect to the shutoff valves underneath the sink. This will make the installation process much easier and quicker.

If the pre-attached supply tubes of your newly bought faucet are of the right length, then it’s good. However, in some cases, extensions may be needed to make the connections. If you find that you need extensions, be sure to get the right ones for your make and model of faucet. You may also need to purchase additional fittings to complete the installation.

To save you from making an extra trip to the hardware store, check your current supply lines to see if they need to be replaced for your old faucet. This will save you time and money in the long run.

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Here is a list of things you need and the steps you need to follow when replacing an old faucet.


  • Plumber’s Putty
  • Plumber’s Tape
  • Spray Penetrating Oil
  • New Faucet


  • Putty Knife
  • Basin Wrench
  • Water-pump Pliers
  • Adjustable Wrenches



The first step in replacing your old faucet, of course, is to make sure that your water supply is shut off. Depending on the location of your water shut-off valves, you may need to shut off the water to your entire home in order to replace the faucet. Once you have shut off the water, you can begin the process of removing the old faucet.

Apply a penetrating oil to the tailpiece mounting nuts and supply-tube coupling nuts. This will help to loosen them and make them easier to remove.


Let the oil sit for about 15 minutes to work, then remove coupling nuts using a basin wrench or water-pump pliers. If your supply valve needs to be replaced, too, you can remove them at this point — just make sure the house’s main water supply is turned off.


Remove the tailpiece mounting nuts, too.


Now you can remove the faucet by pulling it straight up. If you are having a hard time in this step, you can loosen the faucet by inserting a putty knife’s tip.

Clean old putty, too, but be careful not to scratch your sink.


To attach the faucet to the sink, place the rubber gasket, retainer ring and locknut onto the threaded tailpiece. Use a basin wrench or water-pump pliers to tighten the locknut.

If your faucet comes with a decorative cover plate, you can secure it from below by screwing locknuts with washers onto the cover plate bolts.


Now connect the pre-attached supply tubing to the shutoff valves using compression fittings. There are instances where a plumber’s tape is needed at the threads, but new parts shouldn’t require this.


Make sure that the tubes are installed appropriately — the red-labelled tube should be connected to the hot water supply line and the blue-labelled tube should be connected to the cold water supply line.


Now you can open your water supply to test your new faucet. Do a final check to make sure there are no leaks. 🙂

Source: Plumbing Depot
Images: PaleoPunk 

NOTE:  In some jurisdictions, plumbing work must be performed by a licensed contractor. This usually only applies to new work or changes to existing supply lines. Maintenance such as changing a faucet/tap fitting is allowed.



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