How to Replace a Leaking Bathroom Faucet

By Jenny Rae Armstrong

  • Overview

    Replacing your bathroom faucet should only take an hour. It just may save your sanity, your marriage, your pocketbook and your tool kit. So what are you waiting for? Grab a bucket, a basin wrench, a tube of plumber's putty, and let's get started.
    • Step 1

      Turn off the hot and cold water valves under the bathroom sink, or shut off the house's main water supply. Turn on the faucet to drain the pipes.
    • Step 2

      Remove the water supply tubes from the faucet, using the basin wrench to loosen the nuts, and drain the tubes into the bucket. Unscrew the nuts and washers holding the faucet to the sink, and lift the old faucet out. Clean the sink top, using a putty knife and scouring pad if necessary.


    • Step 3

      Position the plastic gasket between the sink and the faucet, or apply a bead of plumber's putty to the bottom rim of the faucet if you have no gasket. Insert the faucet's tailpieces through the holes in the sink, and set the faucet in place on the sink top.
    • Step 4

      Finger-tighten the washers and nuts onto the tailpieces, keeping the faucet aligned on the sink, then snug them up with a basin wrench. Clean up any plumber's putty that squeezed out around the faucet before it hardens.
    • Step 5

      Screw the water supply tubes onto the faucet's tailpieces, being careful not to twist the tubes as you tighten the nuts.
    • Step 6

      Thread the lift rod through the hole in the back of the faucet and attach it to the drain mechanism, keeping the lift rod down and the drain up. Test it when you're done to make sure the lift rod is opening and closing the drain properly, and make any necessary adjustments.
    • Step 7

      Turn the water supply back on, then open the faucet and let it run, checking for leaks. If you see a leak, turn the water supply off, disassemble the leaking connection, and apply some plumber's putty to the threads. Screw the nut back into place, clean up any plumber's putty that squeezed out around its edges, and turn the water back on, checking to make sure the problem is fixed.
    • Skill: Moderate
    • Ingredients:
    • Basin wrench
    • Bucket
    • Putty knife
    • Scouring pad
    • Plumber's putty
    • Tip: Smearing a little plumber's putty around the bottom threads of the faucet's tailpieces will help ensure a solid connection.
    • Tip: You can replace most bathroom faucets with an adjustable wrench, but using a basin wrench will save your knuckles.
    • Warning:
    • Make certain your new faucet is compatible with your sink before you begin.
    • Never remove the water supply tubes without turning on the faucet first, to make sure the water valves are turned all the way off.
    • Let the water run for several minutes after replacing your bathroom faucet to make certain there are no leaks, and flush out the new faucet.

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