How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

Learn how to remove a dated or leaking faucet and upgrade it with a new model.

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Project Overview
  • Working Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $75

The kitchen faucet is one of the most-used plumbing fixtures in your home. It's used for food preparation and cleanup, as well as a range of purposes throughout the day. But over time, faucets begin to show signs of wear, like difficulty operating the valve, leaks, or even cracks in the body of the faucet.

Left in this state, the faucet puts the entire kitchen at risk of water damage if it bursts, so it's best to replace it with a new faucet when you notice significant signs of wear and tear. Replacing a kitchen faucet is a relatively easy job for an experienced DIYer. By following the simple steps provided, you can learn how to replace a kitchen faucet on your own and know when to turn to a professional plumber for help.

How to Choose a New Kitchen Faucet

A kitchen faucet replacement doesn't take long. You'll want to have all the necessary parts on hand before you begin. To select a new kitchen faucet, consider a few different factors, including the spout height, spout reach, number of holes in the sink, handle type, and sprayer type.

The spout height and reach should take into consideration the size of the sink and any restrictions, like overhead cabinets. Otherwise, you could end up with a new faucet that doesn't fit under the cabinets or isn't long enough to reach the majority of the sink.

Similarly, you should look for a new kitchen faucet that's compatible with the number of holes in the sink. Most kitchen faucet kits come with a base plate to cover up any extra holes, but if the sink doesn't have enough holes, you may need to find a compatible product or attempt to drill or cut additional holes through the sink or countertop.

The type of handle and sprayer type should also be noted before purchasing a new faucet. You can opt for single-handle or double-handle designs, depending on your preference. Some faucets come with pull-down sprayers that extend down from the end of the faucet, while others come with pull-out sprayers that pull out from a separate position, typically located to the side of the main faucet. Weigh your preferences and consider the space and sink configuration you currently have before deciding on the right kitchen faucet for your home.

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Channellock pliers


  • Bucket
  • Towel
  • Kitchen faucet kit
  • Plumber's tape


How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet

  1. Prepare the Area

    Start this simple project by opening the cabinets under the sink and clearing out any items so you have space to work. Place a towel on the bottom of the cabinet and position a bucket under the hot and cold water lines to catch any drips. If you have a garbage disposal, turn off or disconnect the power before proceeding.

  2. Turn Off Water

    With the area prepared, turn off the water to the kitchen sink by turning the valves located on the hot and cold water lines. Closing these valves will cut off water to the sink, but will not turn off the water to any other faucets, showers, or fixtures in the home. Open the faucet to drain some of the water from the and relieve the pressure on the fixture.

  3. Disconnect Water Lines

    Use a set of Channellock pliers to loosen the nuts on the hot and cold water lines until they are loose enough that you can operate them with your fingers. Detach one hose at a time, ensuring that any excess water is drained into the bucket. If you have a sprayer, take this opportunity to disconnect the water line from the sprayer as well.

  4. Remove Old Faucet

    Once the water lines are disconnected, use the Channellock pliers to loosen the locking nuts on the base of the faucet. These nuts secure the faucet to the sink. After removing the locking nuts, lift the old faucet out of the sink and place it in the bucket.

  5. Prepare New Faucet for Installation

    Typically, a faucet kit comes with instructions for installation provided by the manufacturer. In some cases, the manufacturer may suggest adding plumber's tape to the threads to create a better seal, while other products may advise against this. Check the manufacturer's directions for your specific product to determine if plumber's tape is necessary.

    If you need plumber's tape for your kitchen faucet, wrap the threads of the water line connection two to three times. Before proceeding, consider using a multipurpose cleaner to scrub any dirt, grime, or residue left on the sink from the old faucet.

  6. Cover Extra Sink Holes

    Depending on the number of sink holes required for the new kitchen faucet, you might find there's an extra, unused sink hole. This additional hole can be covered with trim rings or a deck plate, instead of leaving a hole in the countertop. Alternatively, you can use an extra hole to install a built-in soap dispenser or a sink sprayer.

  7. Secure the Faucet

    Slide the water line hoses and the new faucet down through the holes in the sink. If you have a single-handle faucet, all of the lines will enter through the same central hole. If you have a two-handled faucet or a faucet and sprayer setup, you may end up threading the hoses through the holes on either side of the central hole.

    Once the faucet is in place, attach the locking nuts to the base of the faucet. Hand-tighten the locking nuts, then use Channellock pliers to finish tightening up the nuts. Make sure not to overtighten these parts to avoid cracking the nuts.

  8. Reconnect Water Lines

    Connect the hose for the cold water to the cold water line and connect the hose for the hot water to the hot water line, then use your pliers to tighten the nuts on these connections. If the new kitchen faucet has a sprayer, connect the sprayer hose to the base of the faucet, and use the pliers to tighten up the connection, if necessary.

  9. Remove the Aerator

    Dirt, dust, and other debris can get trapped in the line, creating flow and pressure problems, so before testing the new faucet, it's recommended to remove the aerator from the faucet outlet and turn on the faucet. This will allow any debris in the line to flow out of the faucet when the water is turned back on.

  10. Turn the Water On

    Double-check the water line connections to ensure they're snug, then turn on the cold water valve and the hot water valve. If you left the faucet in the open position as indicated, the water will flow into the faucet and force out any trapped air or debris in a brief sputter that should pass within a few seconds. When the water comes out in a smooth flow, you can turn off the faucet and reattach the aerator.

  11. Test for Leaks

    Check all connections under the sink and at the base of the faucet to make sure the repair was successful and there aren't any leaks. If you're concerned about any connections, use your pliers to tighten the nuts, or consider leaving the bucket and towel under the sink for an hour or two or until you can confirm that there isn't a leak.

When to Call a Professional

Not all plumbing is new, shiny, or even functional, so you might open the cabinet under the sink expecting a relatively straightforward job and end up facing a plumbing nightmare. In these situations, it's best to consult with a professional plumber to avoid costly mistakes.

In some circumstances, you might find that the hot and cold water lines leading to the kitchen faucet don't have independent shut-off valves. In this case, you might still be able to complete the job by turning off the water to the entire home, but this assumes that you know where the main shut-off valve is and that it is operational. Other circumstances that may require a plumber are if the water lines are leaking or the valves are seized. Some experienced DIYers may be able to handle these problems, but if you don't have a lot of plumbing knowledge, it's best to call in a professional plumber to quickly fix the issue before it can cause extensive water damage, wood rot, and mold growth.

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