How to install a faucet
The main consideration when installing a faucet into a kitchen sink is gaining sufficient access to the workspace. You can install a faucet into a new sink before it is in place, eliminating the problem altogether. By installing the faucet into the sink before setting it in place, you will be able to gain easy access to the hard-to-reach mounting nuts. However, if the sink is already in place, changing a faucet can be a challenging event since you will have to gain access to the hardware from beneath the sink. You will likely have to lie on your back and slide under the sink. You will have to deal with the supply lines to get the mounting nuts that secure the faucet. A basin wrench that extends your reach can be helpful, but it will still be an awkward space in which to work. It may be worth the effort to remove the sink before changing the faucet.
After you install the new faucet, you will need to remove the aerator from the faucet and flush the lines to ensure that debris can clear from the pipes. Clearing the debris in this manner will avoid clogs, which will later reduce the water flow. You can simply unscrew the aerator from a standard faucet and let the water run for a minute or two. If installing a pullout sprayer faucet, you will find the aerator filter housed in an inlet in the sprayer head. Unthread the hose, remove the filter, and flush.
Most of the new faucets you would purchase will require some assembly. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling the fixture. When installing a pullout sprayer faucet with your fixture, you will need to be aware that the sprayer needs to be threaded through the faucet body first.
You will then need to insert the rubber gasket between the base plate of the faucet and the sink top to create a watertight seal. If a gasket is not provided, you will need to fill the cavity of the faucet with a plumber’s putty. You can then insert the faucet body through the holes in the sink top. You will need to thread the mounting nuts provided onto the faucet’s shafts, then center the threaded shaft in the sink’s holes and tighten the nuts to secure the fixture.
Most manufacturers will include a special long socket designed specifically to aid in tightening the mounting nuts. There is a hole in the socket, which will allow for the shank of a screwdriver to be inserted, guiding it as you tighten the nuts. This method will help if you need to install a faucet on an already installed sink.
If you are installing a sprayer faucet or a unit with a separate sprayer, you will now need to connect the sprayer to the faucet body. The manufacturer’s directions will let tell you if you will need to use pipe wrap tape for this connection. An adjustable wrench will be needed to tighten the connection.
You will find that your sprayer faucet will come with a counterweight that will attach to the sprayer hose. The weight will help to retract the hose back in the sink cabinet after you have used the sprayer. Follow the manufacturer’s directions when securing the weight. Be sure not to crimp the hose when you attach the weight.
Be sure to hook up the faucet’s hot and cold supply lines to the water supply shutoff valves under the sink. You may need to gently bend the copper tubes coming out of the faucet for better access and connect flexible supply tubes to them. Be sure to wrap a few turns of pipe-wrap tape around the threaded nipples on the valves, then connect the tubes. Finally, tighten the nuts with an adjustable wrench.