Leaky, unsightly taps with a blocked drain are a fairly common problem, but with a few basic tools–and the willingness to wedge yourself beneath a sink for just a little while–swapping out one for a brand new faucet is a very simple project to DIY.
It’s generally okay to say that the fundamentals of shifting out a faucet are easy. In actuality, installing a faucet on a new sink is one of the simplest DIY jobs you can do. The trick, of course, is that you have to remove an old faucet so you can set up a new one, and it is usually quite challenging. You might end up attempting to remove nuts that have rusted in place and can only be retrieved by wedging half of your body into a little cabinet filled with pipes, tools and parts.
In almost all cases you’ll see these items under a sink:
A PVC drain line that conveys used water from the sink. There can be multiple lines which tie together. 2 (or more) water distribution lines. Typically a faucet receives water from a cold line and a hotline that runs from your water heater. These lines are often some sort of rigid material–aluminium, galvanised pipe, or PEX, among others– as they enter the cupboard. They are normally attached to a shut-off-valve (oval knob) and over the valve you might discover rigid lines, or, in newer structure, elastic lines that run up to the faucet.
Based upon your individual situation you may see things such as extra water lines running from a purifier, a disposal, or other drain lines. Tracing the lines to their source and analysing where water flows from while opening and closing valves and taps may help you better understand what is happening under your sink.
Before you start to get rid of your current faucet, shut off the water in the valves under the sink. Test the existing faucet and be sure nothing is running until you disconnect the lines.
There are two different sets of nuts up by the faucet. The first holds the water supply line set up (and is almost constantly metal) the next set are usually bigger (and could be plastic in newer taps) and hold the faucet to the sink.
It is strongly advised to use a basin wrench to remove the nuts into the supply lines.
You could also utilise the basin wrench to remove the mounting nuts, or they might be plastic with tabs which may be loosened by hand.
In concept, this is all you will need to do to remove the faucet, though you might want to work at getting some of those nuts loose.
Installing a new faucet is essentially the reverse of carrying out the old one (if you don’t use the hammer method, of course).
The new faucet is connected to the sink with mounting nuts.
There’s also usually some sort of plastic gasket that will sit between the faucet and the sink. This might be different based on faucet kind and sink material–each faucet configuration is somewhat different, of course, so it is important to comprehend the fundamentals of how the faucet joins and apply them to your own project–but instructions should be supplied with any faucet you buy.
Provide lines must then be reattached both in the faucet, and in the shut-off valves. Using Teflon tape on the threads of any links will make a water-tight seal. Implementing Teflon tape is as easy as wrapping the tape around the threaded part of the pipe.
Consider the configuration of the holes on your sink before getting a new faucet. Sinks may have anywhere from one to four holes, and there’s different spacing on these holes to accommodate different faucet fashions.
Delta brand taps are recommended specifically because most versions include supply lines that run all of the ways from inside the faucet into the closed valves, eliminating the need for flexible distribution lines which will need to be attached up in the faucet. They are easier to install, and one less link means one less place for potential leaks.
If all else fails in your DIY attempts, don’t be afraid to contact a blocked drain plumber to find a solution.