The most common thing that can go wrong with a sink fixture (or, faucet) is that it will develop at least one leak in it. Oftentimes, the part that failed can be replaced. But, sometimes, the only solution to fix the problem is to remove and replace the sink fixture altogether. You can save yourself some money if you do the job yourself. It may not be as difficult of a job as you think!
The first step to remove a sink fixture easily is to shut off the water supply leading to it. You can do this by shutting off the water valve that is located underneath the sink. If, by chance, there is no such valve on your faucet, you will then have to shut off the main water valve. Then, open up the faucet – both the hot and the cold sides- and let the water in the pipes drain out completely. If the fixture is located in the bathroom, turn the tub faucet on also to help with the drainage.
Note: If there is no water shut off valve underneath your sink that should be your next project. It will make it easier to shut off the water when the need arises, especially in an emergency.
Before you move onto the next step, you must make sure that the water supply to the fixture is completely shut off. You can’t even let it drip or you will end up with a watery mess!
The second step in this job is to place a bucket underneath the sink. The purpose of the bucket is to catch the water that will still be left in the supply lines. Therefore, you will need to position it underneath the hot water side first. Now, use an adjustable wrench or a basin wrench to loosen the compression nut that is holding the hot water supply line to the fixture underneath the sink.
You will find this nut on the end of the faucet stem. (Be careful not to damage any metal pipes you are not going to replace, with the tools.) As the nut loosens, allow the water to run into the bucket. When the line comes off, allow that end to fall into the bucket as well. Use the wrench to loosen the nut on the other end, and completely remove the supply line.
Note: If the water supply lines you have removed are plastic, they should be replaced with good – quality, flexible, stainless steel lines. The stainless steel lines are more durable, and are less prone to leak.
Move the bucket over underneath the cold-water side, and repeat the process with that line.
The third step is to remove the pop – up drain, if your sink fixture has one. To do this, you will first need to move the bucket underneath the drain in order to catch the water spills. Then, you will need to use an adjustable wrench or a basin wrench to loosen and remove the nut that is located above the trap on the outside of the drain. Then, take the trap off, and also take the pop – up lever off too. Finally, loosen the lock nut that is connecting the drain to the sink. The pop – up drain should now be free from the sink fixture.
The fourth step is to loosen and remove the wing nuts that are holding the fixture to the sink. You should be able to loosen them with your fingers, but if they won’t budge, you can use a pair of pliers. If the nuts are metal and are corroded, you may even need to tap them with a hammer in order to loose them up.
The final step is to lift the fixture up off of the sink. If the base is caulked to the sink, you may need to slide a thin knife blade underneath the sink to loosen it up first. Be sure to clean off any caulking, dirt, et cetera, that is underneath the sink before you install the new fixture.