With all of the innovations in kitchen faucet technology and related appliances, the prices have also increased to reflect the standard of quality. One great way for the buyer to save on costs is by leaving the plumber alone and completing the installation by themselves. Back in the day, this would have ended really badly for even an intermediate user, resulting in an even higher contractor bill.
Thankfully, installing a kitchen faucet has not only become easier but even more streamlined to the point where the instructions consist only of an assortment of pictures.
Installations take less than an hour, and that includes removing the old faucet and replacing it with the new faucet. Since beginners likely won't want to go hunting around for supplies, a lot of these purchases include all the tools necessary to complete an installation.
This takes a load off and even makes cleanup a lot easier. Installation methods 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 walk through of how to install or replace a kitchen faucet.
The Complete Installation Process
Starting with removing the old kitchen faucet, the first and most important step is to turn off both the hot and cold water. This can be done by turning the valve under the sink by hand. Cleaning out the area underneath the sink will go a long way in giving you as much work space as possible, so it's recommended to do so 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 come in handy again 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 quick once over of the area, getting rust and water stains off 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 its own individual way of installing, so we’ll follow generic rules. Keep that in mind when choosing a model because brands like Moen have an installation process in place that is significantly less taxing than other brands. While placing the gasket with the new faucet around the sinkhole, get the faucet tailpipe and the supply lines in place. 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 the new faucet from below, making sure that 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 problems with water flow. If there is sputtering of any kind and you know the install went perfectly, then you may need to adjust the flow of the water at the supply. That’s it for the kitchen faucet installation, unless, that is, 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 consumer's 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 right is vital. There's no precise setup as some user will want it longer or shorter than others. 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 walk through 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 won't hurt to get professional help. Sometimes the damage you cause 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, also factor in how high your bill will run if you have water pouring everywhere. You should also call a plumber if the directions seem a little bit too complicated for you, to the point where rereading them only makes you more confused. Unclear instructions will only end with disastrous results, especially with such an important appliance in the mix.
Although many companies may offer a video walk through online, the most helpful one will usually be an amateur video. But trusting an amateur to guide you with such a big task is a little unsettling, which is another reason to just pick up the phone and call a professional to finish the job. With kitchen faucet installations being as easy as they are nowadays, it is rare to have to call for reinforcements, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
As you can see, installing or replacing a kitchen faucet is not that difficult at all. It is one of the easiest things to do when it comes to installing a kitchen appliance, with a post-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 professionals, the whole process is a lot cheaper. With a combination of these basic directions and the guide that comes with the product, you will be ready to go in no time.