Installation of a new kitchen faucet is relatively easy nowadays as they come with clear installation instructions and videos. You may take the help of a handyman or a plumber to do the installation for you, or you can do it yourself if you have some plumbing experience and have the required tools.
Installation of a kitchen faucet broadly includes the following steps:
1. Turn off the water supply. The water supply is usually located underneath the sink. Turning the valves clockwise shuts them off.
2. Turn on the handle (or both handles) of the faucet completely, to drain out all the remaining water in the supply lines.
3. Detach the old faucet from the sink by unscrewing the nuts that hold the faucet to the sink. They are located underneath the sink, just below the faucet. If the nuts are on the top of the sink, you might have to remove the handles and the deck plates.
4. Remove any grime and dirt from the sink surface.
5. Modern faucets come with a rubber gasket to set on the appropriate holes on the sink. Place plumber’s putty on the underneath rim of the deck plate.
6. Place the new deck plate and faucet on the sink by following instructions given on the installation manual of the faucet.
7. Fasten the deck plate by using a bolt and a washer on the nuts and screwing them tightly using a wrench.
8. Connect the water supply lines to the faucet’s water connections and tighten them by using an appropriate wrench.
9. Turn the water supply on and check for leaks. If there are leaks, evaluate each step and tighten or correct a step. Use a plumber’s tape if required to seal a connection.
One of the main areas in which installation of a faucet can prove to be a challenge is while connecting the faucet water connections to the water supply lines (step 8).
This can be due to the mismatch in pipe sizes and dimensions of the faucet’s connecting the pipe and the water supply lines.
Pipes and fitting sizes for plumbing parts are not easy to identify as the dimensions are based on the inner diameter of the pipes. With experience, you can identify the size of the pipe by looking at it.
Otherwise, you can also measure the external size and estimate the inner dimension. There is a significant visual difference between the 3/8 inch and ½ inch plumbing.
Plumbing to sink consists of two water pipes – one pipe for hot water and one for cold water, with valves in each,to turn off the water. When you install a faucet to the sink, you connect it to the valves with flexible hoses. The threading on the connector that connects the hose with the valve of the water pipes must match those on the valve outlets and the faucet tubes.
Pipe sizes – The pipes underneath the sink are branches of the main water pipes and are connected to it. The main water pipes have a diameter of ¾ inch. The branch pipes usually have a diameter of ½ an inch.
These pipes are usually made of copper, chlorinated poly vinyl chloride (CPVC) or polybutylene (PB),and plumbers usually conform to these sizing standards while designing and setting up the plumbing work of every kitchen. The shut off valves that connect to these branch pipes may be threaded, but always have a ½ inch inlet port to connect to the supply pipe.
Valve and faucet fittings – Shut off valves come in different sized outlet ports. The two most common are 3/8 inch or ½ inch compression or male pipe threads.
However, faucet connectors are not completely standardized, but mostly have a ½ inch male pipe thread connectors. The hoses that connect the valves to the faucet have ½ an inch diameter and come in various lengths and with various configurations of 3/8 inch and ½ inch female connectors, so that you can find one that fits both the shut off valves and the faucet.
Some hot and cold water supply lines might require plumber’s tape around their threaded part. If this needs to be done, ensure that the plumber’s tape is wrapped around in counter clockwise direction.