What are the Steps for Faucet Installation?

T. L. Childree

Faucet installation typically requires only a few basic steps. First, the faucet mounting surface should be clean and free of old caulking material. Next, the manufacturer supplied sealing gasket should be placed on the faucet base before positioning the unit on the sink. The faucet then can be securely fastened to the sink using the supplied tailpiece nuts. Once everything is secured, the existing hot and cold water supply lines can be connected, and the air can be flushed out of the system to complete the faucet installation.

Silicone caulk, which is used for installing a faucet.
Silicone caulk, which is used for installing a faucet.

It is important that the faucet mounting surface is smooth and clean so a waterproof seal can be made at the base. So, the first step to faucet installation is to clean and dry the mounting area of the sink. All traces of rubber gasket material and old caulking can be removed with a putty knife or razor blade. If a side sprayer faucet is being installed, the metal plug from the mounting hole will need to be removed with a screwdriver, and the area around the sprayer mounting hole should be thoroughly cleaned.

A kitchen faucet.
A kitchen faucet.

Most faucets are sold with a specially designed plastic or rubber gasket. This gasket must be in place before the faucet is placed on the mounting surface. If a gasket is not included with the faucet, caulking material must be used at the base. Latex caulk should never be used for this purpose because its strong adhesive properties will make it difficult to remove in the future. Only silicone caulk should be used for a faucet installation.

Next, the faucet tailpieces should be aligned with the holes in the sink mounting area. The tailpiece nuts that are supplied with the faucet can then be installed and tightened by hand. If the faucet has a side sprayer, the mounting hardware can be attached to the sink’s sprayer hole. The sprayer hose then can be threaded through the hole and securely attached to the bottom of the faucet. At this point, it is important to check the alignment of the faucet and sprayer and tighten the nuts securely.

Once the supply line for the cold water is identified, it can be connected and hand-tightened to the correct side of the faucet. The procedure can be repeated for the hot water supply line. The supply line nuts should then be tightened with a wrench until they are snug, but care should be taken as over tightening the nuts may cause the faucet to leak. The water supply can slowly be turned on at this point to check for leaks.

To complete the faucet installation, the aerator should be removed and each faucet can slowly be turned on to release any trapped air. The water should remain running until a steady stream of water is flowing. Once the air has been purged from the lines, the faucet can be turned off and the aerator can be replaced and checked for leaks.

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