Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

DIY – Replacing a Bathroom Faucet

Fixtures, like fashion, have an expiration date. Nothing says “dated” like chunky Lucite handles atop your lavatory. Today’s styles focus on sleek, sturdy castings plated in chrome, nickel or specialty finishes. With a little planning, Pinterest idea, a few tools, and a visit to a reputable hardware store, a new faucet can be installed in about an hour. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The Hard Part: Planning and Removal
The old saw about the 5 P’s — “Proper planning prevents poor performance” always rings true in plumbing. With lavatory faucets, there are a few things to consider before you begin:

• Ensure that you have enough access space (and lighting) to install the faucet.
• Remember to turn off the water supply (there should be a shut-off valve on each supply line)
• Place a bucket or catch basin under the plumbing to catch leaks and excess water.
• Remove the old faucet and measure the distance between the holes (from the center hole to the outer holes) on the sink to determine the type of faucet that can be installed.
• If the distance is 6″ or greater, a wide-spread faucet is needed.
• If the distance is 4″, a center-spread faucet is needed.
• Most faucets come “kitted” and include all the parts you will need to complete the job.

Putting the new parts into the old holes is fairly straightforward (there are a million YouTube videos available for guidance). Give special consideration to the fitting connections – avoid overtightening fittings (NOTE: porcelain sinks are easily cracked by overtightening fittings). Also, if using braided supply lines, hold it steady when tightening fittings – it’s easy to twist the line and constrict the water flow.

Performing the Installation
Generally speaking, bathroom faucet installation requires 6 high-level steps and a few basic tools (a basin wrench, Allen wrenches, a pipe cutter, an adjustable wrench and a larger “tongue-and-groove” plier).

1. Install the spout and tighten the nut (by hand – see note above about over-tightening)

2. Install the hot and cold water valves for the handles

3. Fit the faucet handles onto the valves – this includes installing the braided lines and their compression fittings (again, do not over-tighten the compression fittings. Note: these instructions do not address installation of rigid supply lines. We recommend contacting Allied Reddi-Rooter for assistance.

4. Install the drain collar – it’s the chrome finish piece that fits over the drain tailpiece.

5. Connect the pop-up assembly (the drain stopper and rod used to open or close the lavatory drain).

6. Check for leaks – once everything appears assembled, turn on the water supply and check for leaks around all connection points. Also, verify that the hot water and the cold water are attached to the correct handles (attaching the “hot” to the “cold” handle happens more often than one might think).

Water You Waiting For? Sometimes, a simple DIY plumbing project becomes more of a headache than a pleasure. If you love the idea of a new bathroom fixture but would rather have someone else perform the installation, the professionals at Allied Reddi-Rooter are available in a snap. Call today for a free estimate and a prompt appointment. (513) 396-5300.