The taps (faucets) used in the kitchen hardly last forever, be it in function or in styling. One day, it’ll be time to kiss your kitchen tap goodbye. When that time comes, it’ll help knowing how you can replace the faulty tap.
Most modern kitchen taps are usually deck mounted. Most of these taps are attached to their respective cold and hot water supply tubes through some holes on the counter or sink. Standard sinks come with 3 or 4 holes that are spaced 4 inches apart. The fourth hole is often used to hold a sprayer.
It’s advisable to get a replacement tap that matches with the existing one to ensure the holes match. However, unused holes can still be covered using a fitting cup or an accessory such as a soap dispenser. This way, you won’t have to do any extra plumbing work to cover any unused holes.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to replace a kitchen tap (single-lever tap) with a hose sprayer. This type of tap is among the most common and popular types. It’s configured to fit in sinks with four holes and a spacing of 4 inches between them.
The installation requirements for installing a tap is basically the same regardless of the type or brand you’ll go for. All you need to do is to ensure that the body of the tap is secured firmly on the counter or sink, and the cold and hot supply tubes are connected properly to the respective cold and hot water supplies.
TERMS YOU NEED TO KNOW
Compression Fitting: A way of attaching or connecting copper tubes to stop valves.
Flexible Supply Lines: Flexible hoses used to connect to the hot and cold stop valves.
Plumber’s Putty: A soft clay-like material used to make watertight seals around tap parts.
Thread Seal Tape: Also known as teflon tape or plumber’s tape is a thin, white tape used to lubricate and seal threaded fittings.
Pipe Joint Compound: It is a type of sealant used to create a seal with any threaded pipe. This paste may be used instead of thread seal tape.
Deck-Mounted Tap: A tap that is attached on top of a sink or counter, usually through two to four drilled holes spaced 4 inches on center.
TOOLS & SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED
- Drip pan
- Old towels
- Measuring tape
- Channel pliers
- Braided water supply lines
- Eye protection
- Teflon tape
- Putty knife
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe dope/joint compound
- Penetrating oil
- Basin wrench
- Plumber’s putty
- New tap
Required Skills: making a compression joint; working with hand tools in narrow/tight spots
Difficulty Level: Moderate (It’ll take you 2-3 hours to detach the old or faulty faucet and install a new one.)
Steps To Follow When Replacing a Tap
Removing the Old, Faulty Tap
Before removing the faulty tap, clean the cabinet area below the sink. Then lay some towels below the sink. Shut off the cold and hot water supply valves. Open the old tap to ensure the water supply is completed turned off.
Next, remove the hose of the sprayer from the tap’s sprayer nipple. Unscrew the nut holding the base of the sprayer onto the sink. Once done, put the hose of the sprayer through the deck opening.
Take some penetrating oil and spray it on the nuts holding the tap in place or on the tap handles.
Allow the oil to soak for some few minutes. The oil will assist in easier removal of the tap.
Detach the water supply tubes from the valves. Avoid reusing old supply tubes.
In case any stop valves are faulty or missing, replace them.
Next, remove the mounting and coupling nuts from the faucet tailpiece using a channel pliers or basin wrench.
Next, detach the body of the tap off the sink. Then detach the base of the sprayer.
You can replace it if you would want to. Next, scrape off the old caulk or putty using a sturdy putty knife.
Use an acidic based scouring cleaner and a new scouring pad to clean the sink.
Use a stainless steel scouring pad in a side to side motion without leaving any circular, unsightly markings.
Installing a New Kitchen Faucet / Tap
When shopping for a tap, be careful about its material. An attractive tap with a chrome finish might be made of plastic, steel, or brass under it. A tap made of solid brass with sturdy brass handles can last longer.
Regular steel taps may still rust regardless of whether they come with a metallic coating. Chrome and brass plated steel screws and nuts are prone to rusting. A faucet made of lightweight brass or plastic will easily wear out.
Here’s how to install a new kitchen tap:
Apply some silicone caulk on the bottom side of the new tap. Then insert its tailpieces into the sink holes.
Press the tap downwards. Allow it to set firmly in the silicone caulk.
Take the friction washers and slip one on each tap tailpiece. Then tighten the tap’s mounting nut using a channel pliers or basin wrench.
Next, wipe any silicone caulk that may have squeezed out when fixing the tap.
You can use a wet piece of rag to wipe the silicone before it dries up.
You can now connect the water supply tubes onto the tailpieces of the faucet. Ensure you buy tubes that can easily reach the shutoff valves.
Also, ensure you get coupling nuts that’ll fit the tailpieces and tubes.
Fix the water supply tubes onto the shutoff valve. Use compression fittings to fix the tubes.
Ensure you attach the hot water supply onto the hot shutoff valve. Tighten the mounting nuts using your hand. Tighten them further up to a quarter turn using a wrench.
It’ll help holding the valve using another wrench such that the valve remains stable while tightening the nut. It’ll also help to wrap a length of Teflon tape over the valve threads.
Next, apply a ¼ inch of silicone caulk or plumber’s putty on the sprayer’s base.
Ensure the sprayer base is threaded securely onto the hose of the sprayer.
Then insert the sprayer tailpiece through the hole in the deck of the sink.
Slip a friction washer onto the tailpiece of the sprayer from beneath. Next, screw a mounting nut through the tailpiece to hold it firmly in place.
Use a channel pliers or basin wrench to tighten the nut. Wipe excess caulk or putty around the bottom of the sprayer.
You can now screw the hose of the sprayer onto the tap nipple. Tighten the hose with your hand.
Then use a pliers or basin wrench to tighten it further up to a quarter turn. Now turn on the shutoff valve and remove the sink aerator. Flush any debris that might be in the new tap.
Variation: How to Install a New Kitchen Tap that Comes with Copper Water Supply Tubes
Some taps usually come with pre-attached supply tubes made of copper. This reduces the connections required to install a new tap.
You’ll simply hook it directly onto the water shutoff valves. Here’s how to install this type of tap.
First, caulk the base of the tap. Then set it over the deck.
The nipple of the sprayer and the copper water supply tubes should be inserted through the hole at the center.
The tap mounting bolts should be fitted through the outside holes.
Place a gasket (made of rubber) between the countertop underside and retainer rings to secure the new tap in place.
Orient the retainer’s cutout to fit properly around the copper tubes.
Next, thread the lock nut around the sprayer nipple. Use your hand to tighten the nut.
Attach the washers and retainer rings to the mounting bolts.
Tighten the nuts by your hand. Tighten them further using a pliers or basin wrench.
Hold the copper tubes and bend them to ensure they’re in a straight, upwards and downwards position while meeting the valves.
You can use a tube cutter to trim the tubes if necessary. Next, connect the copper tubes onto the valves using compression rings and nuts.
Ensure the hot water supply tube is connected to the respective hot water supply pipe. Next, attach the sprayer.
You can now test your new tap by turning on the shutoff valve.