How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

Video Transcript

Video Transcript

RON HAZELTON:
Well, this is going to be a short cross-town trip. I'm going to be visiting a friend of mine right here in Fairfield, Connecticut, Peter Featherston. [KNOCKS] Hey Peter.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Hey, Ron, how you doin'?

RON HAZELTON:
Very good. So you wanted some help with a faucet?
PETER FEATHERSTON:
I sure do, Ron.
RON HAZELTON:
Well, you lend me a hand with the windows.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Sure thing.
RON HAZELTON:
Let's go. So that's it, huh?
PETER FEATHERSTON:
That's it.
RON HAZELTON:
Hey, it works.
  PETER FEATHERSTON:
Yeah, it does work but I'd like to give Christine a new one.
RON HAZELTON:
Why?
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Well, we're going to redo the kitchen soon and I'd like to start with the faucet.
RON HAZELTON:
Oh, okay.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Something I can do.
RON HAZELTON:
So this is kind of a preview of the kitchen remodel. You're going to, you're going to give her this as a token of what's to come?
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Yeah, I'd like to surprise her with it, yes.
RON HAZELTON:
All right, all right. I can help you with that. You know, there's only going to be room for one of us in here, so if you've got something you want to do, just go ahead.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
I sure do.
RON HAZELTON:
And I'll give you a holler if I need some help. I'll probably have to have you show me where to turn off the water for the house if I come to that.
[BOTH SPEAK AT ONCE]
PETER FEATHERSTON:
I can do that. Okay.
RON HAZELTON:
Right. All right, Peter, thanks. [LAUGHS] Well, this is my first surprise of the day. Normally, there would be shutoff valves right here so that I could turn off the water supply for the sink while I'm installing the new faucet. Since there are none, I'm probably going to have to turn off the water for the entire house.

Down in the basement, I discover shutoff valves for the first floor. By opening the faucet, I bleed off any remaining water pressure. I'm going to remove the sink drain starting with the dishwasher hose. Now, I don't absolutely have to disconnect the drain, but doing so, will give me a lot more room to work and easier access.
The PVC plastic pipe is simple to take out and will be just as easy to put back.
[MUSIC]
Next, I cut the copper water lines where they come out of the wall so that I can attach the lines from the faucet. Here too is where I'll install the shutoff valves, so that from now on, the sink water supply can be turned off without affecting the rest of the house.

Okay. My next step is to unscrew those water lines that I've just cut from the faucet. And that's where I find this tool to be indispensable. It's called a basin wrench and it's designed really just for this purpose —to reach up behind the sink to grab that nut in these jaws right here and allow me to loosen it. I'll show you what I mean.
[MUSIC]
Now you can see how impossible it would be to get a conventional wrench in here. I use the tool in a sort of ratcheting motion, backing off the nut a fraction of a turn at a time, until I can remove it with my fingers. I use this same tool to loosen the retaining nuts holding the faucet base to the sink.
[MUSIC]
Finally, with everything free, I can lift out the old faucet. Underneath is quite a bit of dried plumbers putty, which cleans up fairly easily with a plastic putty knife and I want to avoid scratching the sink and a cloth or plastic scrub pad.

Well, I've gotten all of the old out and now I'm going to start putting the new in, beginning with the shutoff valves down below. I just slip the valves on a copper pipe and tighten the compression fittings, using two wrenches. This keeps the valve from spinning and avoids twisting the pipe.

The first step in installing the new fixture is to place a rubber O ring on the faucet base. Then insert the lower end of the faucet through the sink hole. Underneath, I slip on a mounting plate and washer, followed by a retaining nut.

This plastic socket wrench comes with the fixture. To get the leverage I need, I insert a screwdriver to use as a handle. Next, I insert the spray nozzle hose into the end of the faucet, push it all the way through and out the bottom.

This faucet has individual valves for hot and cold water. Plumbers putty will make a watertight seal at the valve base, preventing water from dripping into the cabinet below. 
[BEEPING ON TAPE]
I’m ready to put in the valve.  Now if this sink weren’t already installed in the countertop, I could do this myself but because it is already in place, I’m going to need some help.  All right, so just go underneath and shove this up through the hole there for the valve, would you.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Will do.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah and I'll get it when it comes through the top here. Great. Hold it there. Okay, push it — pull it down. Okay, now hand tighten those nuts.

Once Peter gets the nuts snugged up, I tighten them with the basin wrench. This is a two-valve faucet. When the valves are open, cold water flows through one and hot through the other. Tubes connect the valves to the faucet hose where the hot and cold water are blended together and stream out through the nozzle.

On this faucet, the hoses connecting the faucet to the valves have clips. Slip on and snap in place. Next, I connect the water supply lines, first to the faucet — I'm using that basin wrench again — and then to the new shutoff valves.

Then I place the valve handles and trim on top of the valve body and screw them in place. I drop the pump housing for the liquid soap dispenser in place and secure it from the bottom with a retaining nut. The pump itself just sits on top, so it can be lifted out for refilling.

With all the water supply lines connected, I can begin replacing the drain.
[MUSIC]
Reinstalling this P-trap is about the last thing I’m going to have to do before I test for leaks.   Now if the drain fittings had been old or worn, I would have taken this opportunity to replace them. These though, are in good shape so I'll just reattach them and reconnect the dishwasher hose.
[MUSIC]
Well, everything's done, so I can turn on the water and see if I've got any leaks.
[MUSIC]
Well, I don’t see or hear anything. But here's my litmus test for leaks. I put some paper towels on the bottom of the cabinet and wait a few minutes, come back and take a look. If there are any drips, they'll show up right here. So far so good.
[MUSIC]
And here comes mom. You ready — one, two, three. Surprise.
[SHOUTS AND LAUGHTER]
ELLEN FEATHERSTON:
Hi. This is great, I love it.
RON HAZELTON:
What do you think, Alex? You know what you could do with this, you could throw this down, you point it at your brother and have great water fights.
[CHILDREN TALKING AT SAME TIME]
ELLEN FEATHERSTON:
It looks like a new sink, this is wonderful.
RON HAZELTON:
Yeah. In fact, you know, I, I was saying to Peter, I don't even know if you really need the remodel now that you've got this.
PETER FEATHERSTON:
Right.
ELLEN FEATHERSTON:
Yeah, that's a nice try. We're getting the new one.
[LAUGHTER]
RON HAZELTON:
Should we have a toast?
[CHILDREN SCREAMING]
ELLEN FEATHERSTON:
Yeah. Al, why don't you turn it on?
RON HAZELTON:
Al, you want to toast?
[LAUGHTER]
[AL MAKING NOISE IN BACKGROUND]
Okay, here Oliver, put it on.
[MORE SCREAMING FROM CHILDREN}
Okay, now turn it off. Cheers — to your health. Thank you, Ellen, this was terrific.
ELLEN FEATHERSTON:
Well done.

Learn how to replace a kitchen faucet and install shut-off valves beneath the kitchen sink.

As part of a larger kitchen renovation project, a homeowner wants to start with the simple replacement of the kitchen faucet with a new model that he has already purchased. The original faucet is a single tap and lever model. As part of the faucet retrofit, we install shut-off valves and then update with a single tap and individual water valves.

To view a video showing how a compression fitting works cllick here.

Shut off the Water Supply Lines to the Kitchen Faucet
Step 1

Shut off the Water Supply Lines to the Kitchen Faucet

Turn off the hot and cold water supply to the kitchen faucet--we found the shutoff valves that controlled the first floor in the basement. Open the kitchen faucet to bleed off the water and any remaining water pressure.

Remove the PVC Plumbing and Hoses below the Kitchen Sink
Step 2

Remove the PVC Plumbing and Hoses below the Kitchen Sink

Remove the sink drain, starting with the dish washer hose and PVC plastic plumbing to provide more room and easier access. Removal is simple and reinstallation will be, too.

Detach the Copper Water Lines beneath the Sink
Step 3

Detach the Copper Water Lines beneath the Sink

Cut the copper water lines with a pipe cutter to detach the lines from the faucet. You will install new shutoff valves beneath the sink so the water supply can be shut off without disturbing the rest of the house.

Loosen and Remove the Old Kitchen Faucet and Water Lines
Step 4

Loosen and Remove the Old Kitchen Faucet and Water Lines

Use a basin wrench to loosen cut water lines from the faucet and loosen the retaining nut that holds the faucet base. Lift out the old kitchen faucet and remove the old plumbers putty without scratching the stainless steel sink.

Install New Shutoff Valves below the Kitchen Faucet
Step 5

Install New Shutoff Valves below the Kitchen Faucet

Install new shutoff valves on the incoming water lines below the sink. Slip the valves over the ends of the copper pipes and tighten the compression fitting with two wrenches to avoid spinning the fitting and twisting the pipe.

Mount the New Kitchen Faucet on the Sink
Step 6

Mount the New Kitchen Faucet on the Sink

Place a rubber O-ring on the new kitchen faucet base and insert it into the precut hole in the sink. Secure the mounting plate beneath the sink and secure it with a retaining nut and the plastic socket provided.

Insert the Spray Nozzle Hose into the Kitchen Faucet
Step 7

Insert the Spray Nozzle Hose into the Kitchen Faucet

Insert the spray nozzle hose into the end of the faucet, pushing it through and out the bottom. Push the hose all the way through and out the bottom side of the faucet base.

Apply Plumber's Putty
Step 8

Apply Plumber's Putty

Apply plumbers putty to water valve bases. Insert the valves upwards through the sink, add C-rings, and hand-tighten the nuts beneath. Finish with the basin wrench. Clip on the hose that connects the valves to the faucets.

Connect the New Kitchen Faucet to the Water Lines
Step 9

Connect the New Kitchen Faucet to the Water Lines

Connect the new water supply lines to the kitchen faucet and new shutoff valves. Screw the valve handles and trim on top of the valve bodies. Install the pump housing and pump for the liquid soap dispenser.

Reinstall the Plumbing beneath the Sink and Leak Test
Step 10

Reinstall the Plumbing beneath the Sink and Leak Test

Replace the drain plumbing beneath the sink, including the P-trap assembly and the dish washer hose. Lay paper towels on the bottom of the cabinet to test for leaks before you turn on the water at the shutoff valves.