How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet with Two Handles: Easy Steps to Upgrade Your Sink

Last updated on July 2, 2024

Learn how to replace a kitchen faucet with two handles step-by-step, ensuring a leak-free and functional upgrade to your kitchen sink.

Ready to swap out that old kitchen faucet with two handles for a shiny new one? You’re in the right place! This guide will walk you through every step, tool, and trick you need to make the switch smoothly, minus the plumber’s bill. Let’s dive in and turn that kitchen sink upgrade into a DIY victory!

Key takeaways:

  • Gather tools and materials before starting.
  • Turn off water supply to avoid indoor waterfalls.
  • Drain water lines to prevent a kitchen flood.
  • Disconnect old faucet assembly carefully.
  • Install and check new faucet for leaks and operation.

What's Inside

Gather Necessary Tools and Materials

gather necessary tools and materials

Before diving into the faucet swap, make sure you have everything you need. Start with a basin wrench, the unsung hero of tight spaces. A crescent wrench and adjustable pliers will be your go-to for loosening stubborn nuts. A bucket or towel is a simple but essential buddy to catch any drips and avoid a mini indoor waterfall.

Don’t forget the plumber’s tape to ensure a watertight seal when reconnecting the supply lines. Snag a putty knife and some plumber’s putty if your new faucet requires a bit of sealing around the base. Lastly, keep a flashlight handy. Under-the-sink lighting isn’t exactly Broadway bright.

Having these tools and materials ready will make the job smoother and save you from having to pause midway to search for a tool. Plus, it’s a great excuse to rummage through that chaotic toolbox. Who knows—you might finally find that missing screwdriver!

Turn Off the Water Supply

Locate the shut-off valves under your sink. You usually find them by following the water supply lines. They look like small round knobs or levers and are typically close to the back wall.

Turn these valves clockwise to shut off the water. Righty-tighty!

If the valves are stuck, use a cloth for a better grip or a wrench gently to avoid damage. And if all else fails, channel your inner superhero and head to the main water supply valve of your house.

Once the water’s off, turn the faucet handles to ensure there’s no water flow. If nothing comes out, you’re good to go.

Now you’ve successfully stopped the flood to your feet!

Drain Existing Water From Lines

Time to release the Kraken—okay, maybe not, but definitely release any water remaining in the lines. Here’s how to do it without creating a minor tsunami in your kitchen:

First, you’ll want to turn the faucet on to relieve any built-up pressure. Let the water flow until it completely stops. Trust me, hearing the last sputter is music to your ears.

Next, place a bucket or a large bowl underneath the faucet connections. This handy catch-all will save you from an unexpected foot bath.

Now, when you disconnect the water lines in the next steps, any residual water will end up in the bucket instead of all over your kitchen floor. Voilà! You’ve now got dry socks.

Disconnect Water Supply Lines From Faucet

Got your wrench ready? Great! Let’s get those water supply lines off. Here’s a quick guide to make it a breeze.

First, locate the nuts connecting the supply lines to the faucet. They’re typically underneath the sink, attached to the base of the faucet. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen these nuts. Lefty loosey, right?

Before fully removing the nuts, place a small bucket or towel underneath. This catches any residual water that might still be in the lines. No one wants an unexpected mini-flood.

Once loose, gently pull the water lines away from the faucet. Be careful not to twist or yank too hard; we want to avoid any unintended plumbing dramas.

That’s it! Lines are disconnected, and now you’re one step closer to faucet freedom. Give yourself a pat on the back.

Remove Old Faucet Assembly

Next up, let’s get that old faucet out of there. It’s like evicting a tenant who’s way past due. Start by getting under the sink—yes, it’s a tight squeeze. Feel like a contortionist yet? Good, you’re on the right track.

First, locate those big nuts holding the faucet in place. They’re usually right where the faucet meets the sink. Use a basin wrench if you have one—it’s a lifesaver in tight spaces. If not, a regular wrench will do, but it might take some creative angling.

Once you’ve loosened those nuts, give the faucet a firm tug from above the sink. If it doesn’t budge, check for any additional mounting screws or brackets that might be hiding under there. Sometimes a little wiggle and a jiggle is all it takes.

Old faucets can be stubborn. If yours is giving you the cold shoulder, try using a putty knife to gently pry it loose from any old sealant or gunk holding it down. Don’t worry about being too gentle; it’s tough love time.

Remember to keep a towel handy to catch any residual water and to minimize mess. The old faucet should lift right out, leaving you with a clear sink and a sense of accomplishment.

Clean the Area Around the Sink Holes

Now that your old faucet is out of the way, it’s time for a bit of cleaning. No, it’s not the spring cleaning you’ve been avoiding. This is quick and essential.

First, grab a cloth and some mild soap or a non-abrasive cleaner. You’d be surprised at the gunk and grime that can accumulate around those sinkholes. Wipe away any old plumber’s putty, mineral deposits, or mildew. You’re not trying to win a cleanliness award here, just giving your new faucet a smooth surface to settle into.

Stubborn residue? A plastic scraper can help. Just be gentle, you don’t want to scratch up your sink. For those really tough spots, a mixture of vinegar and water can work wonders. Vinegar, the unsung hero of kitchen cleaning.

Lastly, make sure the area is dry before you proceed. Wet surfaces can mess up the new sealant and we don’t want that. So, dry it off, take a step back, and admire. You’re already halfway to your new, shiny faucet.

Install the New Faucet Assembly

Here comes the fun part: installing the new faucet! Make sure to position it correctly before tightening anything.

Use the gasket or putty provided by the manufacturer to create a seal between the faucet and sink. This helps prevent water from sneaking underneath.

Fit the faucet into the mounting holes. Ensure the handles are lined up nicely; misaligned handles can irk even the chillest of us.

From below the sink, use nuts and washers to secure the faucet in place. A basin wrench can be your best friend here since space is super tight.

Double-check that everything is snug but not overly tight. You don’t want any parts cracking under pressure.

Voilà! Secure and snug, ready for the next step.

Reconnect the Water Supply Lines

Now that you’ve got the new faucet in place, it’s time to get those water lines hooked back up.

First, make sure the supply lines are aligned properly with the corresponding hot and cold handles of your shiny new faucet. You don’t want to surprise yourself with a blast of hot water when you’re expecting cold!

Then, gently screw the connectors back onto the faucet’s threaded pipes. Use your fingers to start the threading process to avoid any cross-threading mishaps. Once they’re snug, finish tightening with your wrench, but remember, Goldilocks would want it just right—not too tight to avoid damage.

Give those connections a quick glance to ensure no bends or kinks in the lines. Those can lead to annoying drips or, even worse, dramatic spraying under your sink.

You’re almost ready to flow with the new faucet!

Turn On the Water Supply and Check for Leaks

Whew, that was a workout, wasn’t it? Now, slowly turn the water supply back on. You’re in the home stretch. This is where the magic, or horror, happens—you’ll find out if you’ve got a leak or not.

Check for leaks by running both hot and cold water. Place paper towels under the sink to easily spot any drips. If you see some sneaky water droplets, don’t panic, it’s usually just a matter of tightening connections.

Give the faucet a good wiggle—look for any shaky parts; sturdy is the goal. If everything’s dry and the faucet feels stable, high-five yourself. You nailed it.

Test the New Faucet for Proper Operation

First, slowly turn on the water supply and let the faucet run for a minute. This helps to clear any debris that might have gotten lodged during installation. Listen for strange noises. No one wants a faucet that sounds like it’s auditioning for a horror movie.

Next, check both the hot and cold handles individually. Make sure water flows smoothly from each side. No drips from the spout? Fantastic. If there are, tighten connections. It’s a faucet, not a sprinkler.

Finally, look underneath the sink to check for leaks around the supply lines. A dry area means you’re good to go. If you see any water, your new faucet may be trying to rain on your parade, so tighten connections a bit more.

Enjoy the thrill of a smooth, functioning faucet. Painless, right?

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