How to Remove and Replace a Kitchen Faucet

How to Remove and Replace a Kitchen Faucet

Have you ever thought about replacing your rental kitchen’s faucet? We were looking for a quick way to give our kitchen a bit of a lift, so we decided to go ahead and do this. The process was incredibly straightforward and simple, and our only regret is not doing it sooner. Anybody can do this – here’s the procedure you’ll follow to replace your faucet.

In the interests of full disclosure, we accepted an offer of a free trial faucet from Price-Pfister. We decided to go with a single-handle Ashfield design pull-down model, which uses four holes for installation.

Ordinarily we would go with a sleeker, more modern design, maybe finished in brushed nickel. However, this traditional-looking faucet with its rustic bronze finish was better suited to our brown vintage porcelain sink, as well as the overall farmhouse feel of our kitchen.

So clearly your first step is to choose a new faucet. Take a look at your sink and check how many holes your current faucet uses. We had four holes, which led us to choose a 4-hole faucet that includes a sprayer and built-in dispenser for soap.

Once you’ve made your decision about style, do some comparison shopping at Overstock, Amazon, and any home improvement stores in your area. You should be able to find the style you’re looking for with good functionality and at the right price if you’re willing to do some research. Overstock in particular has some great prices, and we found lots of models we liked there.

So now you have your faucet. These are the steps you’ll follow to replace your old faucet.

1.Take “before and after” pictures: Of course this isn’t strictly necessary, but you’ll be glad you did!

Check the parts in the box2.Check the parts: Like the engineer he is, my husband looked at everything inside the box and checked it against the parts list to be certain that we had everything we needed.


Read the instructions3.Read through the instructions: I probably don’t have to tell you this, but please read first! We were both impressed with how good Price-Pfister’s directions were. They were fully illustrated, well written and designed with the amateur handyperson in mind.


Assemble your tools4.Collect your tools: You will likely need pliers, a headlamp, a chisel or putty knife, and a channel lock/adjustable wrench. This is a job that is much easier if you have someone to help you. One person can do most of the installation while the other holds parts in place, hands over the tools and mops up when necessary. You’ll be lying under your sink on your back, so be prepared to get slightly dirty.


Turn off the water valves under the sink5.Turn off water supply: Turn the valves on your supply lines under your sink to turn the water supply off while you work.


Disconnect the hoses from the sink faucet handles6.Disconnect water hoses from faucet handles: Keep a bucket nearby to catch the leftover water that drips out when you disconnect the hoses. If your old faucet has two handles, you’ll have to disconnect both the cold and the hot water hoses.


Note hot and cold hoses7.Make note of cold and hot hoses: Pay attention to which hose is which. It’s not always obvious, and it’s important to reconnect them correctly.


Unbolt the faucet8.Remove the bolt (under the sink): There is probably a plastic bolt under your sink holding the faucet in place. Unscrew this bolt, although this may not be as easy as it sounds. You’ll find yourself lying in an awkward position using your pliers to try and remove this bolt. The good news is that this is the hardest part of the job – it gets easier from here.


Use a putty knife to remove any grout or putty under the faucet9.Scrape off putty and grout: Above the sink there will be old putty and grout left from the old faucet. Scrape this away with your putty knife.


Pull off the old faucet10.Take out the old faucet: Now that you’ve removed the bolts and old putty, this part should be pretty easy.


Clean the faucet area thoroughly11.Clean the area: Use water and soap to wash away any leftover putty or grout from where the old faucet was.


Assemble new faucet in holes12.Put the new faucet in the holes: This next part will vary depending on what make and model of faucet you’re installing. Just follow the directions that come with your faucet. Fit the new fixture into the hole, screwing on the bolts and washers that secure it in place. Usually there’s a rubber washer to put in between the faucet and sink. In our case, we didn’t think we needed to use grout or putty. Screw the bolts and washers in place under the sink too. At this point you’ll be glad to have someone to hold the faucet and tighten it from above while you take care of it below the sink.


Tighten everything13.Tighten the bolts and washers: Be sure that you’ve tightened everything so that the faucet doesn’t wobble around. Repeat this process with the remaining faucet elements, such as the handle and the sprayer.


Check over your handle situation14.Check the handles: As you put in the handle, check to be sure you know where the cold and hot hoses are supposed to go. If there’s a side sprayer you’ll have another hose on your faucet handle to connect.


Reconnect the water15.Connect the water: Screw the water leads carefully into the correct hoses. Here’s where you’ll be glad to have a headlamp. After you’re certain that the hoses are attached correctly, turn your water supply back on.


Turn on the water16.Test the faucet: Now you get to enjoy using your new faucet. Assuming you’ve done everything correctly, now is also your chance to brag about your new plumbing skills, and to post your before/after shots on social media.


You’re done! It may seem like I’ve listed a lot of different steps, but when you’ve got all the components laid out, you’ll see how logical the whole process is. My husband and I were astonished that we managed to get this done in under an hour. (We were estimating three hours, as we’re not that great at DIY projects.)

Both of us love the new faucet; we now have twice as much room under the spout to fit big pots and pans easily. It also looks much better in our kitchen than the old faucet did.

The most important point is to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need, and go through the steps in an organized manner. Anybody can install a faucet, and you’ll be surprised at how much of a lift it can give to your rental kitchen.