Here are tips and instructions on how to replace
sink, bath and shower faucets. Following these and manufacturer instructions can help you
save time, money and effort. It can also help you end up with a neater, more satisfactory
THE CORRECT FAUCET
- There are many sizes, types and styles of faucets. Be sure you purchase the correct
faucet when replacing an existing one, since many faucets are not interchangeable.
- Before purchasing a replacement faucet, take an exact measurement of the holes for the
faucet, center to center (Fig. 1). Also, remove the old faucet and take it along to
the store when purchasing the new fixture.
- There are many different types of mixer faucets. Use care in selecting the correct one -
the style is optional, but the size must be correct.
- Before installing the new faucet, carefully read the manufacturer's instructions for
installation. It's important to follow them exactly.
|| USE THE
- It's important to use the proper tools when removing stubborn plumbing fixtures. Fig. 2
shows the variety of wrenches designed for specific plumbing jobs.
- You'll usually need two pipe wrenches (stillson wrenches) on a plumbing job. One is used
for holding, the other for turning. Use pipe wrenches only on pipes. The teeth in the jaws
of pipe wrenches bite into the metal and can mar chrome-finished nuts and pipe.
- Open-end wrenches, adjustable wrenches and monkey wrenches all have smooth jaws and can
be used for square or hex nuts. These wrenches are ideal for working with the interior
parts of faucets and valves.
- You can use strap wrenches instead of a pipe wrench when working with chrome-coated pipe
if a regular pipe wrench might mar the surface.
- Vise grip wrenches are ideal for holding and working with pipe of small diameter.
- Use basin wrenches to remove or tighten nuts and hose couplings under sinks and
lavatories. Its alternate positions enable you to reach nuts that would ordinarily be
inaccessible to other wrenches.
CONVERTING FROM IRON PIPE TO COPPER TUBING
- In most cases, you'll want to convert from iron pipe to plastic or copper. Check your
local code. Both copper and plastic require no threading.
- Attach copper pipe to threaded pipe with a transition union. Half of the union is
threaded onto the old iron pipe. The other half is soldered to the copper pipe. The two
halves are then threaded together. This type of fitting is also available for connecting
iron to plastic and copper to plastic using solvent-cement or mechanical connections.
REPLACING FAUCETS WITH SOLDERED ENDS
- To replace an ordinary faucet with a soldered end, first remove the old faucet by
applying heat or cutting. Clean the end of the pipe thoroughly.
- Remove the stem of the faucet to protect the seat washer (Fig. 4). Apply heat to
the pipe with an ordinary propane heat torch. Then, apply solder and reassemble the
faucet. Use a solder that contains no lead, such as 95/5.
- You can apply an ordinary faucet of the same type to threaded pipe by applying a pipe
compound or teflon tape to the pipe threads and then attaching the faucet to the threads.
INSTALLING 4" LAVATORY FAUCET WITHOUT POP-UP DRAIN
- The 4" lavatory faucet without a pop-up drain is relatively simple to install.
Place plumber's putty in the groove just underneath the chrome framing to provide a tight
seal (Fig. 5).
- Insert the shanks of the lavatory faucet into the holes of the lavatory. Attach the lock
nuts (B) and the washer (A) to the shank and tighten them firmly into place.
- Remove any excess putty from the base of the faucet. Connect the shank to the water
supply and tighten.
INSTALLING 4" LAVATORY FAUCET WITH POP-UP DRAIN
- Installing the 4" lavatory faucet with a pop-up drain is more challenging.
- Start by carefully reading the instructions that came with the faucet.
- First, remove the old faucet and pop-up drain (Fig. 6).
- Insert the new faucet into position. Add putty in the groove around the base of the
- Slip the washer over the shank and thread the lock nut up the shank, placing the faucet
loosely into position.
- Insert the drain plunger into the center hole, and affix the adjustment bar to the drain
- Place the pop-up drain body into position and attach it to the adjustment bar. Tighten
all nuts and attach the faucet to the water system. Attach the pop-up drain body to the
- Place the stopper into the drain body and work the drain plunger. Make any adjustments
by moving the lever assembly up or down in the holes provided.
INSTALLING COMBINATION LAVATORY FAUCET WITH POP-UP DRAIN
- Installing the combination lavatory faucet with pop-up drain is much the same as the
4" lavatory faucet.
- Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully for the step-by-step
- The main difference in this installation is that most models require the faucet handles,
flanges and faucets to be removed. The assembly is then inserted from underneath the
COMMON SINK FAUCETS
- Most sink faucets are of the mixer variety, where the hot and cold water are mixed and
brought into the sink through one swing spout.
- The typical mixer-type faucet also comes equipped with a spray hose (Fig. 8).
- Mixer faucets for kitchen sinks are usually 8", although they are also available in
6" and 4" sizes. There are two basic types - the exposed deck, shown in Fig. 8,
and the concealed deck. The exposed deck has a chrome housing above the sink, while the
concealed deck has only a flange exposed just below the faucet handles.
- All faucets come with manufacturer's installation instructions. Read these instructions
carefully and follow each step for a good installation.
- If instructions are unavailable, you can follow the same basic instructions given for
installing a lavatory faucet.
INSTALLING BATH AND SHOWER FAUCETS
- The first challenge in installing bath and shower faucets is getting the faucet
assemblies behind the wall.
- Most home builders provide a rear access panel. By removing this panel, you can connect
fittings without defacing the bathroom wall. These panels are usually located in closets
in back of the tub.
- The two-valve faucet assembly is the most common assembly for bath tubs. If instructions
are unavailable, study Figure 11 to help you make such an installation without too much
- The two-valve shower assembly is the basic faucet arrangement used only for shower
assemblies. This arrangement is used when the faucets are installed separate and apart
from the taps which supply water to the tub.
- The three-valve diverter with showerhead and spout provides water both to the shower and
to the tub.
- With this assembly, the hot and cold water taps are turned to bring water into the tub.
Then, when the proper mix of hot and cold is reached, the diverter valve is turned to
bring the water through the showerhead.
- There are two basic types of two-valve diverters. One has a twin ell diverter spout (Fig.
12). The water is first mixed by letting it run into the tub. It is then diverted
through the showerhead by the twin ell diverter spout.
- Another type of two-valve diverter has a shower head and ejector tee diverter spout (Fig.
13). This works in basically the same way as the twin ell, but the water is diverted
by means of a tee rather than by the twin ell.
TOOLS AND MATERIAL CHECKLIST
||Pipe Compound or Teflon Tape
||Adjustable Smooth Jaw Wrench