How to Remove Bathroom Faucet: Easy Step-by-Step Tutorial

Last updated on April 9, 2024

This article will guide you through the straightforward process of removing a bathroom faucet with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.

Key takeaways:

  • Gather necessary tools: basin wrench, adjustable wrenches, channel locks, penetrating oil, plumber’s tape, bucket, flashlight, rags.
  • Shut off water valves and drain residual water.
  • Remove standard top-mount faucet: unscrew mounting nuts with basin wrench.
  • Remove bottom-mount faucet: use basin wrench, disconnect water lines, wiggle faucet.
  • Install new faucet: check compatibility, use gasket or putty, secure with nuts, connect supply lines, check for leaks.
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Things You’ll Need

Entering the task with the right tools is half the battle won. First, gather a basin wrench; it’s indispensable for reaching nuts under the sink. Adjustable wrenches and a pair of channel locks also earn their keep for twist-and-turn operations. Round up some penetrating oil—it’s a savior when corrosion has seized threads in place. Don’t forget plumbers’ tape to ensure a secure fit during the reinstallation, and a bucket to catch any residual water when you disconnect the lines. A flashlight can illuminate the cavernous under-sink area, often shrouded in shadows. Lastly, have some rags on hand for mopping up spills or drying off connections. Being prepared not only streamlines the process but helps prevent mid-project store runs.

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Shutting Off the Water

Locating the shutoff valves is the first crucial step — they’re usually found underneath the sink. Twist these clockwise until they’re tight to halt the water flow.

If your faucet doesn’t have individual shutoffs, you may need to cut off the house’s main water supply.

Once the valves are closed, turn on the faucet to relieve any remaining pressure and drain residual water; a simple but pivotal move to prevent unwanted geysers or drips during your project.

Always keep a towel handy to catch those last disobedient droplets that could otherwise sneak onto your vanity or floor.

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Removing a Standard Top-Mount Faucet

Begin by positioning yourself underneath the sink to locate the mounting nuts that secure the faucet to the sink. These are often found on the tailpieces of the faucet that extend through the sink. Employing a basin wrench, unscrew these nuts by turning them counterclockwise. It might take some muscle if they’re corroded or covered in build-up, so keep a penetrating lubricant at hand if necessary.

Once the mounting nuts are removed, ascend from under the sink. You should now be able to lift the old faucet away from the sink top. If it resists, there’s likely a layer of plumber’s putty or silicone that was sealing it. Gently nudging it with a putty knife can break this seal.

After you’ve freed the faucet, clear any residue or old sealant from the sink surface with a razor blade scraper. However, exercise caution to avoid scratching the sink. An immaculate surface ensures a clean start for installing the new faucet, free from the remnants of past installations.

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Removing a Bottom-Mount Faucet

Dive under the sink: Your workspace is limited, so clear it out. Keep a flashlight handy to illuminate the area. Locate the mounting nuts that hold the faucet to the sink. Often, they’re secured under the sink deck around the faucet tailpieces.

Tools for the tight spot: Standard wrenches might not do the trick here due to tight space. Instead, a basin wrench—specifically designed for working under sinks—is your best friend. It can reach up behind the sink basin to grip and turn the mounting nuts.

Loosen the nuts: Turn the mounting nuts counterclockwise with the basin wrench. It may take a few tries to get a grip, so patience is key. If they’re stubborn, penetrating oil can be applied to help loosen them. Give the oil a few minutes to work its magic.

Disconnect water lines: Once the nuts are loose, disconnect the water supply lines from the faucet. Some water might spill out, so keep a towel handy.

Free the faucet: With the mounting nuts and supply lines removed, the faucet should lift out. If it resists, corrosion might be the culprit. Gently wiggle the faucet back and forth to break the seal.

Keep components organized: As you remove parts, lay them out in order—this will simplify reassembly. If you’re not installing a new faucet right away, cap the supply lines to prevent leaks and keep debris out.

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Install the New Faucet

Ensure your new faucet is compatible with your sink’s mounting holes; otherwise, you may need a base plate to cover any gaps.

Begin with placing the gasket or plumber’s putty under the faucet’s bottom to prevent water leakage.

Position the faucet through the mounting holes and secure from underneath with the provided nuts and washers.

For pull-down faucets, connect the pull-down hose to the faucet body before securing the faucet.

When connecting the water supply lines, remember that hot and cold lines are distinct and should be attached to the corresponding valves—hot to hot and cold to cold.

Hand-tightening should be sufficient, although you can gently use a wrench for a snug fit—just avoid over-tightening to prevent damage.

Lastly, thread the lift rod of the drain through the faucet, if applicable, and attach it to the extension bar on the pop-up drain to ensure proper operation.

Before declaring the job done, remove aerators, turn on the water supply, check for leaks, and flush the faucet to clear out debris.

This preliminary flush protects against clogged lines, ensuring your new fixture operates at peak efficiency.

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Is it hard to change a bathroom faucet?

Changing a bathroom faucet is not a strenuous task as it can be achieved efficiently with some common tools like a basin wrench and typically takes about an hour.

What tools are needed to remove bathroom faucet?

To remove a bathroom faucet, you will require an adjustable wrench or basin wrench for disconnecting the water supply lines and unscrewing the mounting nuts under the sink.

Can a single-handle faucet be switched to a double-handle in a bathroom remodel?

Yes, a single-handle faucet can be switched to a double-handle in a bathroom remodel.

How can one safely deal with potential rust or corrosion when removing an old faucet?

One can safely deal with potential rust or corrosion when removing an old faucet by using a penetrating oil or rust dissolver, followed by gentle agitation with a wire brush.

What preventative measures should be adopted to avoid possible leaks after installing a new bathroom faucet?

Ensure professional installation of the faucet, frequent inspection for wear and tear, and prompt replacement of any damaged parts to avoid possible leaks.

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