With all of the innovations surrounding kitchen faucets and related appliances, the prices have also gone up to meet the standards in quality. One great way buyers save a lot of money is by leaving the plumber home and doing the install by themselves. Back in the day this would have ended really badly for even an intermediate user, resulting in an even high plumber bill.
Thankfully installs of kitchen faucets have not only become easier but so streamlined that the directions are an assortment of pictures. Installs take less than an hour, and that includes removing the old faucet and replacing it with the new one. Since there is no particular love lost between beginning users and hunting for supplies, a lot of these installs include all the necessary tools to complete an installation.
This is a big load off of the consumer and even makes cleanup a lot easier. Installs vary by brand, so if there is a particular way of installing a kitchen faucet that you have become accustomed to, make sure that your current purchase supports it. Below is a quick walkthrough of how to install or replace a kitchen faucet.
The Complete Installation Process
Starting with removing the kitchen faucet, the first and most important step to follow is to turn off both the hot and cold water. This can be accomplished by turning the valve under the sink, which can be done by hand. Cleaning out the area underneath the sink will go a long way in giving you as much workspace as possible, so is recommended to do before going any further.
At this point, the water should be off, and when you turn on the faucet it will go from a full spray to a drizzle, then eventually nothing. Using a basin wrench or other compatible tool unscrew the connections for the water lines, carefully making sure that the ends go into a small bucket to catch any extra water that may escape.
The basin wrench will get more work now as you have to get at the mounting nuts that hold the faucet in place, undoing the connections and placing the old kitchen faucet to the side. Get a pair of rubber gloves and a good cleaner and do a once around of the area, getting rust and water stains so that they don’t collect on the new unit. That’s it for the removal, but now comes the fun part-installation.
Every brand has their own individual way of installing, so we’ll follow generic rules. So keep that in mind when choosing, as brands like Moen have an install in place setup that is significantly less taxing. While placing the gasket with the new faucet around the sinkhole, get in the faucet tailpipe and the supply lines. If you’re transitioning to a one hole system, cap the remaining holes or use an escutcheon plate if one is provided. Some installations may not come with gaskets, in which case you can skip this step and just apply sealant.
At this point, the hard work is done and you just need to tighten in the new faucet from below, making sure that in the process everything stays aligned and doesn’t wiggle when moved. Connect the supply lines and the shutoff valves together and tighten them until it’s comfortable, keeping in mind a lot of water will be passing through these lines.
After turning on the water make sure that it flows regularly, as an incorrect installation can lead to such problems. If there is sputtering of any kind and you know the install went perfect, then you may need to adjust the flow of the water at the supply. That’s it for the kitchen faucet install, but most likely you’ll be installing a kitchen faucet with a spray head.
In this case, it is just a few extra steps on your part to make sure that it is working correctly, and it starts with inserting the spray hose through the faucet until you can see it underneath the sink. Attach the end you see to the water line and make sure to secure it with the built in locking clip or through a manual lock. If everything is functioning at this point, go ahead and attach the nozzle to the spray hose by tightening the connection to it.
At this point, it will take a little measuring and common sense on the consumers end as the weight has to be installed on the hose between the marked area and the curve. The weight is what pulls the spray head back into place, so getting this step correct is vital. It isn’t precise as some want it longer than others while many might just want it to be shorter.
You can play around with it a bit, but just take care in testing it out before making a final decision. This is the last step in the process, with everything clocking in at under an hour if you didn’t take any unnecessary shortcuts. Take one last walkthrough of the area and make sure it is clean and you’re ready to use your new kitchen faucet.
When to Call a Plumber?
If things get a little out of hand while you are in the kitchen, it doesn’t hurt at all to get professional help. Sometimes the damage you can do by continuing to do things wrong can be more costly than just making the phone call that will make everyone’s lives easier.
A good example of this is if you spring a leak while trying to put the new install in, and can’t identify where it is coming from. Besides the potential water damage that comes with this, there is also the money you are losing by water literally streaming all over the place. You should also call a plumber if the directions seem a little bit too complicated for you to really get, to the point where rereading them only makes you more confused. Instructions that are brutal to the reader will only end up in brutal results when materialized, especially where an important appliance is in the mix.
Although many companies may offer video walkthroughs online, the most helpful of these walkthroughs will come with an amateur video. So the source may be suspect right off the bat, which is another reason to just pick up the phone and call a professional to finish the job. With kitchen faucets installations being as easy as they are nowadays it is a rarity to have to call in reinforcements, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
As you can see, installing or replacing a kitchen faucet is not that hard at all. It is one of the easiest things to do when it comes to installing a kitchen appliance, with an after a cleanup routine that is as simple as placing all the packaging in the box and throwing it outside. Water appliances have come a long way in making sure they put the customer first, and by not having to call professional things get a lot lower in price for the overall package. With a combination of these basic directions and the ones that come with the product, you’ll be ready to go in no time.