Understanding Plumbing Basics
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Understanding Plumbing Basics

As a new homeowner, I can tell you that things aren't always as simple as they appear. I started thinking about it a few years ago, and I realized that there were some serious problems with our plumbing system. We had issues with drains working correctly and toilets flushing like they should, so I started focusing more heavily on understanding the basics of our plumbing system. Within a few short months the entire system was operating more fluidly because of a few changes that I made, so I wanted to create a blog all about my journey. Check out these articles to learn more about the plumbing basics.


Understanding Plumbing Basics

Start Your Spring Cleaning with a New Kitchen Faucet

Jorge Alexander

As you begin your spring cleaning, you may notice that your old faucet needs to be refreshed too. It's not technically difficult to change a faucet, but you may have some physical limitations that will prevent you from accessing the connections.

You will need to lie on your back, with the small of your back draped over the end of your sink cabinet, while you disconnect your old faucet from the supply lines and connect the new one. These connections are in a narrow crevice directly under your faucet, and the old connections may be difficult to uncouple, especially if the faucet is very old.

Nevertheless, if you remain undaunted and confident in your physical ability to perform the task, this is how it is done.

What you will need to replace your faucet

The faucet: Faucets are sold in many styles and shapes, but your main concern is the space between the hot and cold water supply lines. Your faucet base should measure four inches across, which is the standard size, and is the likely size of your old faucet.

However, some older faucets have bases that are wider than four inches, which means that your sink is drilled to allow a wider faucet to be connected. This leaves you with two choices: Find a faucet that you like with the same space between the supply lines or change your sink along with your faucet.

Basin wrench: You may be tempted to save money by using a regular adjustable wrench or locking pliers to remove the nuts that connect the supply lines to your old faucet. Spend the twenty bucks for a basin wrench, which has a grip that turns sideways to access the tight spaces in which you need to operate.

Additional items you'll need include teflon tape and plumbers putty.

Removing the old faucet

You will begin by turning off the supply valves that control the flow of water to your hot and cold supply lines. You will then disconnect the hot and cold supply lines from the faucet. You may meet some initial resistance as you turn the connecting nuts counterclockwise until they are completely disconnected.

After they are disconnected, they will still be filled with water, so place the ends into a pail or large pan to avoid getting soaked.

You will then loosen the ridged plastic nuts that connect your faucet to the sink. They should only be hand tightened, but if you meet insurmountable resistance, use a wrench to get them started.

Finally, you will remove the nut from the center rod that descends from the faucet base and holds it firmly against the sink top, then pull the faucet from the sink.

Preparing to install the new faucet

Clean all of the old putty from the sink opening before installing the new faucet. Next, take some plumbers putty from the tub and roll it between your palms until a 1/4 inch bead is formed. You will press this bead of putty around the inner edge of the faucet's base.

Wrap a few layers of teflon tape in a clockwise direction around the threaded male ends of the faucet's supply connections, then slip the connections into the openings in the sink and press the faucet downward, creating a seal with the plumbers putty.

Connecting the new faucet

You will begin by tightening the nut onto the center rod that descends from the faucet. Hand tighten only so you don't overtighten and crack the sink.

Next, you will hand tighten the two ridged plastic nuts onto the supply connections of the faucet until they are secured against the bottom of the sink.

You will then connect the supply lines to the threaded connections of the faucet. tighten these nuts securely with a wrench to avoid leaks. The teflon tape should also help to keep leaks at bay.

Turn on the supply valves and welcome the feeling of renewal that only springtime and a new faucet can provide. For more help with this issue, contact plumbing companies like The King's Helper.