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The Complete Guide to Faucet Installation

Whether you need a 3-hole widespread, a 1-handle deck mount pull-down, or 2-handle widespread, there are as many faucets to choose from as there are people on this planet. Whether in your bathroom, kitchen, or workroom, installing a new faucet can dramatically change your room’s look. It can take transform your space from dated to modern. It can be a DIY job if you’re just replacing the fixture. But beyond merely changing any plumbing work should be left to a licensed plumber such as Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning.

What Do You Need To Know To Install A New Faucet?

1. How Many Openings Or Holes Does Your Current Faucet Use?

Typically, your current faucet will either mount into one opening and have a level handle that turns the water on and off. Or it will mount into three holes with the faucet, the hot water handle, and the cold-water handle each having their own opening.

If you have the first one, you can easily choose any faucet that mounts into one hole. If you’ve got the latter, you’ll have to choose a faucet that fits into three. Often there’s an adapter plate that’s included with many of these faucets as well.

2. How Long Does It Take To Install?

It can be a pretty rapid process, or it can take half a day to accomplish. Usually, the hardest part is removing the old faucet since the connections can become corroded, making it hard to remove. The installation process of the new faucet tends to be the quicker part of the process. There is usually an instruction manual also included. 

3. What Tools Do I Need To Install My New Faucet?

The tools that you’ll need are relatively basic and are already available at most big box hardware stores.

  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Flashlight
  • Pliers
  • Thread seal tape
  • Wrench 
  • Plumber’s putty

4. What Should I Look For When Buying A Faucet?

The essential element you need to keep on the lookout for is the quality of construction. A common source of leaks in faucets is in the washers and springs. The higher quality faucets use a washerless cartridge construction, which eliminates these common causes for leaking.  

You also want to get a feel for the handle. This may sound a bit odd, but it’s not to be overlooked. With the number of times you pull the faucet’s handle to turn the water on and off, you’ll want it to feel pleasant to the touch. If the water doesn’t respond evenly with how you pull the handle, it won’t ever feel right, and that can get very annoying. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself looking for a replacement faucet.

Before Installing Your New Faucet

1. Always Shut Off The Water Before Starting The Installation

Before you begin your work, REMEMBER to shut off the water to your existing faucet. Most of the time, this is easy to do, and it’s accomplished by simply turning the ON/OFF valves located on the hot and cold-water supply lines. 

If your existing faucet is several years old, be prepared for the valves to be rusted and stuck. They may be challenging to budge. Apply heat to the valve with a hairdryer to loosen the valve enough so that you can close it. You can also use pliers to grab the valve and gently coax it to the OFF position. But be aware that all this twisting and pressure could break the valve and the supply line, which could result in water shooting out and flooding the area around your faucet. So that’s maybe why you’ll need to shut off your home’s main water valve. It’s usually located outside where the water line enters your house.

2. Installing Your New Faucet Is Trickier Than It Sounds.

The majority of the instruction manuals say that once the water is off, removing the old faucet is simply a matter of loosening the nuts that hold it in place and lifting the faucet out of the holes. However, removing it rarely goes that easily. The space under the sink where the faucet attaches is often narrow, and because of where it’s situated is pitch black. You’ll need a powerful work light to illuminate the area and an adjustable wrench to loosen the nuts.

Like the shutoff valves, the nuts that hold the faucet in place can be stuck or rusted.  If you encounter this problem, try sweeping away as much of the rust and corrosion as possible using a wire brush. Then spray penetration oil and wait the recommended time to help dissolve the corrosion. It can take from 30 minutes to overnight for the oil to work. You might just reach a point where you’ve waited for enough, and you decide to call the plumber, that’s okay! 

3. Be Gentle To Your Back.

Of all the DIY projects that you undertake in your home, few are as tough on your body as installing a new faucet. Whether it’s your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, trying to wiggle into the confined space under a sink to see where the faucet is attached is incredibly tough on your back.  On top of it, you’re also lying across an uneven surface, which is the inside surface of the cabinet. It is generally only a few inches higher than the bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen floor. You can be in the best of shape, but to contort your back in those different positions is especially tricky and never feels good.

Yet there is a simple handy-man trick to ease this discomfort. Insert a small sheet of plywood inside whatever cabinet you’re laying on. The layer should be narrow enough to fit through a door’s opening, but wide enough to lay on and long enough to support your back and bum. Using six to eight quart-size cans of paint to support the end of the plywood sheet extends out into the room. This should provide a flat surface on which to lie as you replace the faucet. 

4. Recognize Your Limits

There are times when you just can’t get under a sink far enough to get a clear path to reach the hardware holding the old faucet in place. Suppose it appears as though you’ll have to remove additional plumbing like the sink drain trap or, for instance, with the kitchen sink the garbage disposal unit. In that case, an anticipated two-hour job can quickly become a two-hour an all weekend plumbing project. When do you need to stop and consider what is more important, doing this job yourself or your sanity? May it be time to call in a plumber? Attempting to call a plumber rather than trying to remove and then reinstall additional plumbing parts yourself might be the safest plan forward.  

How Much Does It Cost To Install A New Faucet?

Plumbing can be complicated, but a qualified professional should be able to quickly and efficiently install a new fixture. The cost to install a faucet is about $244, with an average range between $154 and $335, depending on a few variables.

What Affects The Cost Of The Faucet Installation?

One would think that installing a new faucet is simple. However, there are many things you need to consider, not to mention those unexpected problems that may arise. Some major cost definers to remember are:

1. The Condition Of The Current Faucet:

Suppose your existing faucet is rusted or in overall bad shape. In that case, it may be difficult to remove and could potentially damage the plumbing lines. This could be especially concerning if it is rusted, which means it’s probably stuck and might need to be cut out.  

2. Location:

The price will vary depending on whether you will install a kitchen, bathroom, or bathtub faucet.

3. Upgrades:

If you decide to upgrade with a filtration system or lighting, you will pay more for the installation. 

4. Connectors/Mountings: 

If the existing connectors or mountings are damaged, you will need to pay them to be repaired or replaced.

5. Plumbing Condition: 

If your plumbing does not meet standard plumbing code, you might need to have it repaired before installation. 

6. Water Control & Efficiency: 

If you choose a faucet that is not built to handle the current water control setup, you will need to have the water control adjusted.

What Types Of Faucet Installation Services Do You Offer?

When you think about faucets, you might just envision your kitchen or your bathroom. But at Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we install a wide range of installation services, including the following:

  • Hot water dispensers
  • Bathtub faucets
  • Wet bar faucets
  • Utility sink faucets
  • Bathroom faucets
  • Kitchen faucets

Faucet Installation

Sure, changing the faucets in your kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room seems simple enough, but often, what appears simple to do can quickly get complicated. That’s why at Nick’s Plumbing and Air Conditioning, we highly recommend that you carefully consider the steps that need to be taken before you start a job like this. If you have any hesitation, give us a call. We’d be more than happy to come out and give you a hand.

We look forward to hearing from you!

More on Faucet Installation & Repair on The Potty Mouth Guys Show

Nick’s Plumbing & Air Conditioning Live Video Transcription:​

On today’s show, professional faucet installation in Houston. Why Hire Professional John Eccles? Richard Saad. Welcome back. Now the week gone, another week gone and another one opens up. And that’s exactly right. Why Hire Professional John? Let’s talk about it. First of all, let’s talk about the legalities of who should be doing plumbing in your house and who shouldn’t write. Homeowners are loved to do the work if you have the home homesteaded. Okay? So if you’re homesteaded, it is actually illegal for you to do your own plumbing work in your home. You can change that faucet. Yep. We’ll talk about advising if that’s good or not. And all that. The second handymen, unlicensed plumbers, um, even licensed farmers. It’s not legal for them. That is not legal, right? You need to hire a plumber, company, professional plumbing company to come out and do that. The biggest reason why it’s probably going to be just the plain, simple fact of the liability of it, right?

When you’re talking about professional faucet installations, especially here in Houston, there are some things that can go wrong, right? And the number one cause, or I’m sorry, number one claim. And homeowners insurance is what water damage, water damage. And most people think, oh well that means leaky pipes. No, not necessarily. You get down there and you start fumbling around with the false sit and don’t know what you’re doing and the water is on and you break something off and water’s coming. Right? And there’s a lot of it behind there. I promise you there’s some water pressure that’s going to put some water underneath your cabinet, out in your floors, you know, maybe damage a countertop. So there’s some things that we want to make sure that, that are done right. And these professionals that are taught these professional plumbers, you know, that we employ and other plumbing companies and use an employee have had hours and hours and hours of training for this kind of stuff.

You know. And, and I just said the word countertop and you know, that’s another thing, some these faucets, if you’re replacing an old faucet, you’re a vendor will foster that was seized up. Oh absolutely right. Those nuts get tight and they get to where you actually literally have to cut them out. And now you’ve got a blade going under there around your disposal wire, if it’s in the kitchen, your cabinets, your countertops in. Trust me, we bought a countertop or too, haven’t we? We have guys make mistakes and it happens. But again, the liability, right? Is it on you the homeowner or is it on us professional company that makes that mistake? If it does happen, I remember on those mistakes are few and far between, but they do happen and you know, even for professional. Yeah, absolutely know you’re talking about guys that do this for a living day in, day out.

They still have, you know, their situations and I’m telling you when you seen as many of them we have that it gets crazy sometimes. So when you’re doing this, it’s very, very important liability wise to really go with a professional plumbing company that installed that Faucet. Yeah, absolutely. You know, I mean it’s just, um, it’s, it’s, it’s more of a headache than you could possibly think. We just had a situation last week, not on us, on another company where one of their technicians, a professional plumbing technician actually flooded aA. a six plex. Yeah, over there in Montrose. Yeah. I’m like, thank God we didn’t. I didn’t happen on our watch them, but yeah, he was putting in a kitchen faucet and he laughed and something went wrong and something let loose and it flooded the entire thing. Absolutely. But three units up, three units down as I think is what it was, but it ended up being on the second floor.

That happened too. So there is real dangerous plus what John is saying, it’s the law. There is laws on the books from the UPC state of Texas follows where the IRC, you have to hire a plumbing company to put it in or you can do it yourself if it’s homestead. Again, just like John was saying earlier, but the risk involved, if you do it yourself, where you choose to hire somebody that is not a plumbing company, your insurance has every right to deny that claim. And we have seen that countless times. So, and let’s talk about this in today’s industry. No, of course we go back 20, 30 years ago, it’s not as prevalent, but today technology is infiltrating our industry in making these products a little bit more complicated. There’s electronics involved in some of them. We go into homes that have six, a six head showers, right?

There’s some stuff that’s really complex, uh, in these fixtures that sometimes looks pretty easy, but we all know, looks, can be deceiving, right? So everyone’s stolen two minutes, right? I saw the youtube video. So if you’re going to get a false it and you want it done right, and you want to make sure that your free liability, go ahead and get a professional to come out and install your false that, um, and it’s just the better route to take. It’s not worth the takes the liability off of you puts it on us. That’s right. Drive. So we’re talking about installing faucets. What about repairing them or maintaining them? Facet repair and maintenance in Houston, in Houston. So how would you do that? Well, there’s several ways to do it, but they make thousands of different faucets within these brands and there’s hundreds and hundreds of brands. I shouldn’t.

I was going to say thousands, but I know there’s hundreds of different brands, so if you looking at a shower valve versus a kitchen faucet versus a lavatory faucet, all of those are going to be repaired differently. Then you’ve got your two handle faucets, you’ve got your single handle faucet. All of those get repaired differently in shower valves as well. Two handles to one handle in the shower bell. Absolutely, and within shower valves you’ve got shut off valves possibly. You’ve got body sprays, you’ve got a multitude of items that could be needing repair. I try. So John’s question is how do you do faucet repair and maintenance? You me tell you how I do it. Tell me how you do it. I call it professional. There’s no way I want to get my hands as a homeowner right in the middle of something that has working parts that I’m not quite sure of are familiar with or familiar with.

Again, the potential of the liability is still there. Just like the installed the liability of, of the cartridge blown out or cedar wash or whatever kind of false you’re dealing with, there’s a huge amount of liability that if it’s not done correctly, there’s going to be something wrong. Then if you damage it while you’re trying to repair it and you got to replace it, now you’re just adding to the cost. Right. And that’s something that you don’t want to do as a homeowner if you’re trying to repair it. Obviously it’s because you liked the false that you’d like to look. Most people replace because they want to upgrade the look or something. So if you’re trying to repair it, you know, you don’t want to add any additional costs that you don’t need. That’s right. If you’re, if you’re like me, my, my shower, I did a new shower and I have high end, uh, faucets, shower, nice ones.

Well it’s been in now for nine months and it’s dripping. So now I need to repair it after nine months. And these were expensive items. That’s right. And it just happens that way. Things are, are different these days than where they were 30 years ago. They’re much more complicated to what John is saying on how to repair and actually the integrated parts that are within these systems. So if you get in there and if I leave hypothetically my faucet dripping too long, it water welds itself parts. So you’re having a break. Those things loose depending on how long you let it drip. That’s right. So mine just started last week. I’m going to get it repaired. Of course I’ve been lazy for a week and I didn’t feel like doing it, but I’m going to do it this week. I have one more day. It’s going to get done.

Um, but you’ve got all these different parts and a lot of these that don’t have names on them. So once you get into these parts and there’s no name on the Faucet, where do you go get apart? And I’m not saying you shouldn’t go do that, but there is a whole bunch of things that can go wrong with you trying to do it. And we have highly specialized guys. I mean, we do have professional plumbing technicians that can not work on faucets. Yeah, it is a whole different set of training and rules when you start dealing with these faucets because again, there’s 10,000 different bosses within hundreds of brands and they all go together. Similar but different. And within that there’s probably thousands of small parts that go within those thousands of volts as well. And that’s correct. So if you try to do it yourself and it doesn’t work, we are absolutely here for you.

We will fix it. Absolutely. Absolutely. Have guys that can do that. So we’ve talked about installing, repairing. Let’s, let’s go over a couple of maintenance items that may be a customer can do. That’s fairly simple, right? Um, number one I think is a big deal. We’re talking about it yesterday and I think a lot of people have this right? Hard water deposits, calcium buildup on the showerhead, very common. So what’s something they can do to remedy that as a homeowner? This is one of the easier things that you can do. You can unscrew that showerhead you do not have to turn the water off to your house, which makes it a much more simpler process. Take the shower head off. Either soak it in vinegar or clr. Is that work? Which is a lime reducer. I’m still reduce her works well. Yeah. So do I have to take it off because I thought about this after we talked about this yesterday.

You tell me if I’m wrong. If you could do this, can I put that liquid in a Baggie and secure it around the shower head? You can. I was thinking about that and I don’t know where I saw that. Saw that somewhere and I was like, oh, that’s a good idea. So that way you don’t even have to take it off. You just have to secure it up there. Let it sit, take it down, wipe it. Clean water. Absolutely works. So I’m sorry, go ahead. You were about to say something and saying that. What I would do though, if you have let it go on too long and there is a lot of buildup, those are cheap. Go buy another one. Yeah. And put it on. Yeah, they’re not very expensive or not expensive. Now you can get expensive and, and spend a couple hundred bucks or you can go spend five, but you’ve got in between there.

It’s going to be cheaper to do that than try to get that stuff off. It isn’t going to really come off and it’s going to be cheaper than paying us. Yeah, absolutely. And you can do that. Absolutely. You know, another simple maintenance thing is, is uh, especially on your lavatory faucets, they have these things called air writers, which is where the water actually comes out there almost a screwed on screen to stop stuff from coming in. So a lot of times it’s good to go in there and undo it, cleaned that screen and make sure it’s nice and clean, that there’s no sediment. Make sure you’ve got good flow coming out of those faucets. That’s something that’s very simple to do. Um, if you are having a water pressure issue, that can be a very simple thing to check as a homeowner. Correct. You know, um, was I gonna say there was, there was something that was, that was interesting.

It just skipped my mind now. I forgot what happened to me on a show like five shows again. Yeah, that’s all right. Oh, I know what it was. I know what it was. I know it was, you know, we talk every week and I’m very proud about this, about call us for information. Right. And we always like to chime in, you know, when we have that this, this week we had a guy call all the way from South Carolina and it was really cool. He said he saw our show of new. We weren’t in the area but he just had some questions about plumbing in general and we answered them and pointed them in the right direction and if he’s watching today, I hope that you got everything taken care of and everything worked out. You know, I just thought that was really cool. We’re here to help you guys. Even if we don’t do the work, will continue to say this every single week. Don’t hesitate. Call John, call myself and we will help whether you use us or not. Absolutely, and if you need professional faucet installation in Houston or you need repair of your faucet and maintenance in Houston, call us, give us a call and we’ll help you. That’s it, right? That’s it. You’ll have a great week. We’ll see you next week.

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