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How to Replace an Old Faucet

This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey shows the proper way to replace an old kitchen faucet


  1. Turn off water and remove the garbage disposer, if necessary.
  2. Cut old copper water supply lines using a close-quarter hacksaw; catch any water dripping out in a bucket.
  3. Use a basin wrench to loosen the nuts holding the old faucet in place; remove old faucet.
  4. Apply a bead of plumber's putty under the mounting flange of the new faucet.
  5. Set faucet's mounting flange on the sink deck, then tighten the two nuts from below with a basin wrench or wrench that comes with the faucet.
  6. Use a propane torch to unsolder the old shut-off valves from the hot- and cold-water copper pipes (risers).
  7. Buff clean the ends of the risers with emery cloth to remove old solder and grime.
  8. Install the new shut-off valves onto the ends of the risers; tighten the compression fittings with two open-end wrenches.
  9. Place the faucet on the mounting flange, then from below install the mounting plate and tighten the brass nut with the special wrench provided.
  10. Connect the spray hose to the underside of the faucet by snapping on the spring clip.
  11. Use a screwdriver to tighten the weight onto the spray hose.
  12. Using a bending spring, bend the rigid lav supply line to reach from the valve to the underside of the faucet.
  13. Use two open-end wrenches to tighten the nuts that connect each supply line to the shut-off valves and faucet.
  14. Turn water back on, test for leaks.