How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet


Replacing a kitchen faucet can seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a bit of know-how, it can be a relatively easy DIY project. A new faucet can completely transform the look and function of your kitchen. Old, leaky faucets aren’t just annoying, they also waste a lot of water and money on your water bill.

Upgrading to a new, high-efficiency faucet is a great way to modernize your kitchen and make it more functional. The good news is, you don’t have to be an expert plumber to replace a kitchen faucet on your own. With this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know, from picking the right replacement faucet to installing it successfully.

What You’ll Need

Before starting any DIY project, it’s important to make sure you have all the necessary supplies on hand. Here’s what you’ll need to replace a kitchen faucet:

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Basin wrench
  • Teflon tape
  • Rag
  • Replacement faucet
  • Silicone sealant

Make sure to check the size of the water supply lines and drain connections on your existing faucet before purchasing a new one. The connections need to match up for a smooth installation. If you’re replacing the sink at the same time, buy the faucet and sink together to ensure compatibility.

Step-by-Step Installation Guide

Follow these steps to safely remove your old faucet and install a new one:

Turn Off Water Supply Lines

The first step is to turn off the hot and cold water supply lines under the sink. There is usually a shut-off valve for each line. Turn them clockwise all the way to stop the water flow.

Test by turning on the faucet to make sure the water is completely off before proceeding. If the valves are stiff, spray them with penetrating oil like WD-40 and let it sit for 15 minutes before trying again.

Disconnect Supply Lines

Once the water is off, disconnect the flexible supply lines from the faucet inlets using adjustable pliers or a wrench. Unscrew the nut that connects each line to the faucet.

Be sure to have a bucket or pan ready to catch any water still in the lines. Keep the supply lines elevated above the bucket so they can drain completely.

Remove Mounting Hardware

Remove any screws, nuts or mounting hardware that attaches the faucet body and baseplate to the sink. You may need to pry off decorative caps with a flathead screwdriver to reveal the fasteners.

Use an adjustable wrench or basin wrench to loosen and remove the nuts. Slide the faucet body forward to take it off the baseplate. Remove any remaining washers or gaskets.

Scrape off old putty or plumber’s putty with a putty knife. Clean the sink surface thoroughly to get rid of any debris.

Detach Drain Components

The next step is to detach the drain collar and lift rod from the old faucet. Unscrew the rod from the clevis strap underneath the sink and set it aside.

Unscrew the drain collar counterclockwise to disconnect the pivot rod ball rod strap assembly. You can pry it up with a flathead screwdriver if needed.

Install New Faucet

Now you’re ready for the new faucet! First, thread the tubes and wires through the center hole of the sink. Apply a bead of plumber’s putty or silicone sealant around the base of the new faucet.

Position the faucet correctly and press down firmly to adhere it to the sink. From underneath, slide on any washers and mounting nuts. Tighten them with a wrench or basin wrench to secure the faucet.

Connect the drain collar and drain tailpiece. Reattach the clevis strap and lift rod. Make sure the pivot rod can move freely.

Connect Water Supply Lines

Connect the flexible supply lines to the faucet inlets. Make sure to use Teflon tape on the threads to prevent leaks. Tighten the nuts securely with a wrench.

Attach the other ends of the supply lines to the shut-off valves. Turn the valves back counterclockwise to restore the water supply. Check for any leaks and tighten the connections if needed.

Flush the Faucet

The final step is to flush out the new faucet. Turn on both the hot and cold water supplies and allow the water to run for a few minutes. This will flush away any debris in the lines.

Check the drainage by plugging the sink and filling it with water. Look underneath for any drips or leaks around the connections. Tighten as needed with a wrench.

Once any leaks are addressed, your new kitchen faucet is ready to use!


How do I remove an old kitchen faucet that’s corroded and stuck?

If you can’t get the old supply lines or mounting nuts loose with a wrench, try using penetrating oil or rust remover. Apply it liberally around the stuck connections and let it soak in for 30 minutes. Tap gently around the stuck area with a hammer to help loosen the corrosion. Be patient and keep trying with the wrench, adding more penetrating oil if needed. The oil will help dissolve the corrosion so you can eventually get the hardware unstuck.

How do I remove a kitchen faucet without access panels?

If you don’t have shut-off valves or access panels under the sink, turn off the main water supply for the house before starting. Look for the shut-off valve near the water meter. Use an adjustable wrench to turn it off. Then follow the same process of disconnecting the supply lines and drain components from above using tongue-and-groove pliers and a basin wrench. Use a flashlight to see underneath.

What type of kitchen faucet should I buy?

Some popular options include:

  • Pull-down sprayer faucets that have a retractable hose for extended reach.
  • Pull-out faucet with a detachable spray head and flexible hose.
  • Single handle faucet for simple temperature and flow control.
  • High arc faucet that swivels for more room for washing.
  • Hands-free motion sensor faucet for touchless activation.

Consider your budget, kitchen decor, and how you use your sink when choosing a new model.

How do I get rid of hard water stains on a stainless steel kitchen faucet?

Mix a paste of baking soda and white vinegar and rub it onto the stains with a soft cloth. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing clean. For tougher stains, make a paste with lemon juice and cream of tartar and let it sit overnight before scrubbing and rinsing. Avoid abrasive cleaners or steel wool that could scratch the finish.

To prevent future stains, wipe down the faucet regularly and use a stainless steel cleaner monthly. You can also install a water softener system.

How do I tighten a loose kitchen faucet base?

If your faucet develops a wiggle or loose feel, the base connections likely need tightening. Start by fully turning off the water supply lines. Remove any decorative caps and use an adjustable wrench to tighten the mounting nuts underneath the sink. Make sure the rubber gasket is properly aligned before retightening. Apply plumber’s putty or silicone sealant if any gaps are visible between the faucet and sink. Wipe away any excess. Turn the water back on and test for tightness.

Why does my kitchen faucet drip after being turned off?

A faucet that drips after being turned off usually has worn out rubber washers or seals that need replacing. Start by shutting off the water supply and disassembling the faucet. Inspect the washers and O-rings for cracks or damage. Use silicone grease to lubricate the new rubber parts before reinstalling them. Damaged valve seats inside the faucet may also cause dripping, and need professional repair. Adjusting the water pressure may help if the drips are minor.


Replacing a kitchen faucet is a great DIY project for homeowners to take on, even if you have limited plumbing experience. Following the step-by-step guide above and using the right tools will set you up for success.

The most important steps are shutting off the main water lines, detaching the supply lines and drain connections, removing the old faucet, and then reversing the process to install the new one. Take your time and be patient with stuck connections.

Installing a new faucet can update the look of your kitchen and also fix any leaks or performance issues you’ve been putting up with. Some helpful tips are choosing the right style for your needs, using pipe tape and sealant to prevent leaks, and thoroughly flushing the new faucet.

Regular faucet maintenance like wiping down visible surfaces and tightening connections as needed will keep your new fixture functioning optimally for years to come. With the proper know-how and preparation, you can tackle a faucet replacement project in a weekend.