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Replacing Faucets

Even though thousands of styles of faucets have been made and continue to be made, there are few variations in basic design. Bathroom faucets have pop-up drain assemblies, and kitchen faucets may have sprayers. Also there are two possibilities for supply connections: Your faucet may have flexible copper supply inlets in the center of the unit, as shown at right, or its inlets may be located under the hot and cold handles.

Making It Easy

■ The hardest part of the job will be getting at the faucet from underneath. Remove any cabinet doors that may be in the way, hook up a work light, and make your work area as comfortable as possible.

■ If you are installing a sink at the same time as the faucet, attach the faucet to the sink before you install the sink.

■ Often even penetrating oil won’t loosen old locknuts. You may have to knock the nut loose with a hammer and screwdriver.

1. Remove the old fixture. Note: Shut off the water. (This illustration shows a faucet with flexible copper inlets.) Before you worm your way into the space below the sink, gather the tools you’ll need, as well as some penetrating oil in case the mounting nuts are stuck. It helps to have someone around who can hand you tools as you work. If your faucet has a sprayer, remove the nuts securing the hose to the faucet body and the spray head to the sink. Unhook the supply lines and move them out of the way. Use the basin wrench to loosen and remove the mounting nuts holding the faucet body to the sink. Lift the faucet out from above. Scrape the sink top clean of old putty and mineral deposits.

2. Attach the faucet to the sink. (Here we show a faucet with inlets located under the handles.) Install a gasket or a rope of plumber’s putty to the faucet or to the sink. Set the faucet in place, making sure it is parallel to the backsplash. Crawl under the sink and have a helper hold the faucet in position while you work. Screw a washer and mounting nut onto each inlet and tighten with a basin wrench. For faucets with sprayers, secure the hose guide to the sink with a washer and mounting nut. Thread the spray hose down through the hole in the guide. Apply pipe joint compound or Teflon tape to the threaded nipple at the end of the hose and secure it to the spray outlet of the faucet.

4. Connect and adjust the pop-up drain assembly. For a bathroom faucet, insert the ball rod into the opening in the drain body and secure it with the nut provided. Slip the rod through the clevis strap and secure it with the spring clip. Lower the pop-up rod down through the hole near the rear of the faucet spout and through the holes at the upper end of the clevis strap. Lightly tighten the thumbscrew and adjust the rod so the stopper seals when the rod is pulled up. When the stopper opens and closes easily, tighten the thumbscrew further to secure the rod.

3. Connect the supply lines. Brush the inlet threads with pipe joint compound or wrap them with Teflon tape. Twist the supply line nut onto the inlet and tighten first by hand, then with a basin wrench. Connect the other end of the supply line to the shutoff valve in the same way.

Connecting to flexible inlets - Some faucets use flexible copper inlets for the water supply. Connect supply lines to these lines in the same way as you would regular inlets, but take special care not to twist the copper tubes. If they become kinked, the faucet will be ruined. Use one wrench to hold, another to turn.

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