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Step-By-Step Guide to Upgrading a Bathroom Faucet

Bath, Kitchen, Plumbing, Plumbing - Directory May 21, 2010 Matt Weber



Replacing a faucet not only adds to the décor, but many of the latest models conserve water for lower utility bills.

 

 

 

Faucets for kitchens and bathrooms are the unsung focal point of the room. All the activity in bathrooms and kitchens revolve around the sink, and the faucet is the sink’s crowning jewel. An old, malfunctioning faucet may provide a good reason for replacement, but upgrading the interior décor may be another. The stylish designs and modern metallic finishes of many new faucets offer not only superior performance and water conservation, but also add dramatic visual impact to the room. Choose from such finishes as chrome, brushed nickel or oil-rubbed bronze in sleek contemporary designs or more conventional styling for traditional appeal.

Replacing a faucet is a fairly straightforward procedure, but the cramped spaces and lack of easy visibility beneath a sink can lead to confusion for first-timers. Recently, the EHT staff replaced a couple of faucets and took the opportunity to shoot the installation steps in our well-lit workshop to illustrate the details. Here’s how it went.

 

Step by Step

2. Unscrew the cap of the drain's lift rod so the faucet will slip over it.

2. Unscrew the cap of the drain’s lift rod so the faucet will slip over it.

1. After shutting off the water supply, use a wrench to unscrew the supply lines and wing nuts beneath the faucet levers.

1. After shutting off the water supply, use a wrench to unscrew the supply lines and wing nuts beneath the faucet levers.

 

4. Use a degreasing product to scrub away any old putty or sealant from the sink.

4. Use a degreasing product to scrub away any old putty or sealant from the sink.

3. Remove the faucet, which should pull right out of the sink, although you may need to break the seal of old plumber's putty or caulk.

3. Remove the faucet, which should pull right out of the sink, although you may need to break the seal of old plumber’s putty or caulk.

 

6. Place a bead of plumber's putty along the edge of the plastic putty plate that works as a gasket between the sink and faucet. Apply the plate to the surface of the sink.

6. Place a bead of plumber’s putty along the edge of the plastic putty plate that works as a gasket between the sink and faucet. Apply the plate to the surface of the sink.

5. Shown are the faucet components that are included with Moen's Brantford style faucet for 4-inch center sets.

5. Shown are the faucet components that are included with Moen’s Brantford style faucet for 4-inch center sets.

 

8. From above, unhook the old pop-up drain cover from the lift lever in the drain pipe and pull it out of the sink.

8. From above, unhook the old pop-up drain cover from the lift lever in the drain pipe and pull it out of the sink.

7. Insert the threaded shanks of the faucet through the holes of the sink and secure them from below with new wing nuts.

7. Insert the threaded shanks of the faucet through the holes of the sink and secure them from below with new wing nuts.

 

 

 

 

 

10. Apply a bead of plumber's putty beneath the lip of the new drain cap.

10. Apply a bead of plumber’s putty beneath the lip of the new drain cap.

9. Use a pipe wrench or Channellock pliers to unscrew the retaining nut from the drain assembly. Remove the drain.

9. Use a pipe wrench or Channellock pliers to unscrew the retaining nut from the drain assembly. Remove the drain.

 

12. The mating component of the drain assembly installs from beneath the sink with a rubber gasket.

12. The mating component of the drain assembly installs from beneath the sink with a rubber gasket.

11. Seat the new drain cap into the sink hole.

11. Seat the new drain cap into the sink hole.

 

14. The drain and gasket connect to the drain cap from below with a new retaining nut.

14. The drain and gasket connect to the drain cap from below with a new retaining nut.

13. Apply plumbing sealant to the gasket before installing.

13. Apply plumbing sealant to the gasket before installing.

 

 

 

16. Thread the lift rod through the top of the faucet.

16. Thread the lift rod through the top of the faucet.

15. Position the drain pipe with the lift-lever hole facing toward the rear of the sink. Fasten the pipe in place with thread seal tape or plastic compression tape, such as Rescue Tape (shown).

15. Position the drain pipe with the lift-lever hole facing toward the rear of the sink. Fasten the pipe in place with thread seal tape or plastic compression tape, such as Rescue Tape (shown).

 

18. Install the adjustable extension arm to the lift rod, which connects with a simple thumb screw.

18. Install the adjustable extension arm to the lift rod, which connects with a simple thumb screw.

17. Drop in the new drain cover.

17. Drop in the new drain cover.

 

 

20. Thread the long end of the lever through one of the holes in the extension arm—whichever hole allows easiest operation of the pop-up drain assembly. Finally, use a coupling nut to reconnect the sink drain onto the P-trap in the house, reconnect the water lines, and the new faucet should be ready for use.

20. Thread the long end of the lever through one of the holes in the extension arm—whichever hole allows easiest operation of the pop-up drain assembly. Finally, use a coupling nut to reconnect the sink drain onto the P-trap in the house, reconnect the water lines, and the new faucet should be ready for use.

19. Install the ball-and-socket lift lever in the drain. Thread the short end of the lift lever (near the ball) through the hook in the new drain cap. The “ball” is secured in the drain pipe with a nut.

19. Install the ball-and-socket lift lever in the drain. Thread the short end of the lift lever (near the ball) through the hook in the new drain cap. The “ball” is secured in the drain pipe with a nut.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Side Note 1

Saving Water at the Tap

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if we turn off the tap while brushing our teeth, an average household can save as much as 3,000 gallons per year. There are also products that will help save water when the tap is turned on. Similar to the DOE’s Energy Star program, the EPA’s WaterSense-labeled faucets and faucet accessories (such as aerators) are high-performing, water-efficient fixtures that will help you reduce water use in your home and save money on water bills. WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucets and accessories can reduce a sink’s water flow by 30 percent or more without sacrificing performance. All products bearing the WaterSense label complete a third-party certification process that includes independent laboratory testing to ensure they meet EPA criteria. By installing WaterSense-labeled bathroom sink faucets or faucet accessories, an average household can save more than 500 gallons each year. Also, since these water savings will reduce demands on water heaters, households will also save energy. Learn more at www.epa.gov/watersense.

 

Side Note 2

No-Pain Drains

As long as you’re tinkering with the sink’s plumbing, consider installing a no-clog drain system. The PermaFlow never-clog drain is engineered to eliminate the need for secondary maintenance products and procedures such as plunging, dangerous drain cleaners, messy drain disassembly, and associated health, safety and environmental concerns. PermaFlow’s unique shape increases water turbulence to minimize routine buildup. It is GreenSpec listed and has a patented, easy-turn wiper that acts as an in-line drain cleaner and clears the clog to improve flow, reduce buildup and save water. Since chemicals are not required, gray water can be used for recycling. PermaFlow is also transparent for a quick diagnosis of potential problems. The wiper assists in locating and retrieving valuables such as jewelry through the sink, and also provides a bypass option for water flow through the upper chamber in case of emergency. For more information, call 1-877-265-9777 or visit www.pfwaterworks.com.


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