How To

There are many good reasons to replace a kitchen faucet. It’s dripping, outdated,  or your needs are changing. Here’s how to replace your kitchen faucet with one that’s not only more functional, but more stylish. The following instructions are for the installation of a single-lever cartridge faucet. Installing other types of faucets is similar.


01 Select the appropriate faucet for your sink.Standard sinks have 1, 2, 3, or 4 holes on the rearlip. Look under your sink for the number of holes.Standard faucets typically require 1 to 3 holes.

  • If there are sufficient holes in the sink, you can install additional components such as a sprayer,soap dispenser, on-demand hot water tap, filtered water tap, or a matching blank plug. Or you can replace your sink with one that has more holes for additional components.
  • TIP: If you are also installing a new sink, you can make the job easier by mounting the faucet before the sink is set into the counter top.
  • WARNING: Wear safety glasses when working under the sink or cutting pipe and other materials.

02 Turn off both the hot and cold water supply lines. The shutoff valves typically are in the cabinet below the sink or in the basement. If you cannot find them,turn off the main water line to the house.

03 Turn on the old faucet to relieve water pressure in the lines. If the old faucet has two controls, make sure that both are empty before proceeding.

Removing the Old Faucet

01 If you are replacing both the sink and faucet, remove them as one unit. The faucet will be easier to remove and install with the sink out of the countertop. Use adjustable wrenches to disconnect the water supply lines, which are the lines that connect the water shut off valves to the faucet. If you have trouble loosening the connections, spray the fittings with penetrating oil. Give the oil some time to work, then try to disconnect using adjustable wrenches.

02 If you are not removing the sink, unscrew the nuts holding the faucet in place from underneath the sink. Use a basin wrench, a standard wrench or pliers as space permits.

  • A work light can help you see the connection better.
  • Some faucets are attached using nuts on the top of the sink. If yours are on top, remove the handles and deck plate to get to the nuts. Handles and plates typically can be removed using a Phillips (cross-head) screwdriver or Allen (hex) wrench.
  • If you have a sprayer, disconnect it as well.
          1. Remove the line from the diverter tube on the faucet.
          2. Unscrew the nut from the bottom of the sprayer hole.
          3. From above the sink, pull out the sprayer, hose and shank.

03 Lift the old faucet off the sink. As needed, clean the area of grime and old plumber’s putty before proceeding.

Installing the New Faucet

01 If you are installing both a new sink and faucet, attach the faucet before setting the sink in place. If you are installing additional components, see instructions below.

02 Some faucets include a putty plate. Place the putty plate onto the deck plate (also supplied with the new faucet).

03 Apply a bead of plumber’s putty in the groove of the putty plate. The plumber’s putty keeps water from dripping into and eventually damaging the cabinet. Your faucet may have included a rubber or plastic gasket instead of a putty plate. 1-hole faucets use the gasket rather than the putty plate. If that’s the case, just set the gasket on the appropriate sink hole(s), then proceed to Step #4. If your faucet did not include a gasket or putty plate, place plumber’s putty on the underside of the rim on the deck plate, then proceed to Step #4.

04 If you’re using the deck plate, place it over the appropriate holes.

05 Insert the faucet pipe(s) into the sink hole(s)

06 From under the sink, install the washers and mounting hardware following the faucet manufacturer’s instructions. Tighten the nuts by hand, and verify that the faucet and deck plate are straight and in the appropriate position before continuing. Tighten the nuts with a wrench, being careful not to over-tighten, especially if the pipe or connections are plastic. Most faucet kits have multiple components that require installation in a specific order for best results.

07 As needed, remove excess plumber’s putty from the top of the sink and around the faucet base with a putty knife or utility knife.

08 Attach the water supply to the faucet.

    1. Some fittings require plumber’s tape around the threaded part of the hot and cold water supply lines. Just wrap it around the threads in a counterclockwise direction.
      • A compression fitting does not require plumber’s tape. These fittings have a ring inside that conforms to the pipe when the nut is tightened.
    2. Hand-tighten the supply lines to the water connections from the faucet.
    3. Finally, tighten the connections with wrenches, being careful not to over-tighten.

09 Make sure the faucet is in the off position, then turn on the water supply lines. Check the lines and faucet for water leaks.

10 If no leaks are found, turn on the new faucet and check again for leaks. Make sure that you recheck your new faucet for leaks periodically to avoid water damage.

  • TIP: To identify the source of a leak, carefully touch a water line (being cautious of hot water lines) to determine if it is wet.
  • If a line is wet, the leak is above your hand. Continue touching higher on the lines and fixtures until you identify the source.
  • The most common causes of new installation leaks are loose connections, inadequate wrapping with plumber’s tape, missing gaskets, and misthreading.

Installing Additional Components

Installing a new faucet is a good time to consider installing supporting components, such as a sprayer, soap dispenser, on-demand hot water tap, or filtered water tap.

01 Make sure that the sink you choose has sufficient holes for the number of additional components you plan to install. If not, consider replacing your sink with a unit that has more holes. A matching blank plug can be installed for now while allowing for future additions.

02 If available, select components from the same manufacturer and style that match your new faucet. Alternately, match the design or color with components from other manufacturers.

03 Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation.

  • Soap Dispensers
    1. Place the gasket on the appropriate sink hole.
    2. From above the sink, insert the threaded shank of the dispenser body through the gasket and sink hole.
    3. From underneath the sink, tighten the nut onto the threaded shank.
    4. Thread the soap bottle on the shank.
    5. With the body attached to the sink, add liquid soap into the bottle.
    6. Insert the pump into the body.
    7. Attach the dispenser head onto the pump.
    8. When you get low on soap, just remove the pump and fill the bottle. Sprayers
  • To install a sprayer, your faucet must have a diverter tube. Typically, this is the capped line between the hot and cold lines.
    1. Turn off the water valves.
    2. Remove the cap from the diverter tube.
    3. From above the sink, insert the threaded shank of the dispenser body through the gasket and sink hole.
    4. From underneath the sink, tighten the nut onto the threaded shank.
    5. Insert the spray line through the body.
    6. Attach the tube to the diverter tube with a wrench.
    7. Check for leaks.
  • Hot water and filtered water taps typically are installed below the sink and threaded above. They require an additional cold water connection under the sink.