Replacing your bathroom faucet is an effortless weekend project that can completely change the aesthetics of your sink, as well as solve issues like slow drips that cost money and damage cabinets.
Start by disconnecting both hot and cold water sources under your sink – either by turning their knobs clockwise, or using a basin wrench.
Remove the Faucet
Before installing any type of faucet replacement, it is necessary to stop water flow by shutting off either two shutoff valves under your sink, or, for top-mount faucets, turning the main water valve of the house.
Once the water is off, begin uninstalling your old faucet by taking these steps: First, disconnect its handle and spout from it; next, untie and unscrew any hidden set screws from its spout if there are any, using either wrenches or vise grips as necessary to do this task successfully.
Once your faucet has been taken apart, unscrew two large plastic nuts which hold its tailpiece to the sink. Older nuts may be difficult to undo; using a basin wrench or Ridgid Faucet & Sink Installer tool (seriously, invest in one and save your arms and bloody knuckles!) makes this task much simpler.
Remove the Water Lines
If you have a double-handled faucet, remove both handles and drain body from the top of the sink to expose its water lines and turn the water on full blast to flush any standing water from its pipes.
Under/behind your sink you may spot a rod protruding from the pop-up drain; that is your faucet lift rod and is connected by an elastic C/U shaped piece with a screw running through it called a clevis. Simply loosen this screw to disconnect your faucet. Pull up on its end rod if required to detach.
The water supply lines are flexible tubes that connect valves (the large, nut-like things you turned off initially) with faucets. Unfasten any nuts on these, using either hand tools such as pliers or basin wrenches (I used both).
Remove the Old Faucet
As your first step, remove the old faucet from the bathroom. This process should be relatively simple, although always make sure that the water supply has been completely shut off prior to starting this task. Make sure a bucket or container is available underneath to collect any drips of water that may come dripping down through its lines during removal.
Start by unscrewing the mounting nuts that hold the handles and spout in place (these should be easily accessible from above). If any handles are stuck together, use a putty knife to loosen them; once done, loosen the set screw located behind the escutcheon ring using channel-type pliers.
Now, to disengage the P-Trap from its gooseneck in the wall (this prevents sewer gas from entering your sink). Since this can be hard to do by hand, either use a basin wrench or invest in Ridgid Faucet & Sink Installer Tool which are incredible tools – these will save time and bloody knuckles!
Install the New Faucet
Installing your new faucet should come with step-by-step instructions from its manufacturer. Before beginning, review these to know which tools and supplies will be necessary. Ensure you have a bucket or container available to collect any potential drips or spills of water that might spill. It would also be prudent to lay something absorbent under your sink so as to collect any leakages that occur underneath it.
Once your sink is open, turn off both hot and cold water supply lines using shut-off valves beneath or at the water meter, loosen any nuts holding down an old faucet assembly by hand (or use a basin wrench if available) then carefully unhook all plumbing.
Install your new faucet by following the instructions carefully, turning back on water supply valves when finished, and testing both hot and cold water before activating your new faucet to check for leaks.