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Replace a Kitchen Sink and/or Fixture

If you're replacing only the faucets and spigot, but not the sink, plan on spending some time upside down inside the sink cabinet. A basin wrench and flashlight on a stand will both come in handy. The basic sink connections are the same, however; the following explains the necessary steps for faucet replacement:

  1. Close the stop valves and loosen the fixture mounting nuts with a basin wrench or an open-end wrench. (Some faucet assemblies are mounted with a single nut; others use one or more locking rings.)

  2. Remove the water-supply tubes at both ends. It's best to replace the tubes, but if they are in good shape and flexible, they may be reused. Note that water-supply tubes often have different sizes at each end: 38" × 12" is a common size.

  3. Clean the sinktop. Use steel wool for stainless and nonabrasive cleaner for others.

  4. If, after attaching the water supplies, they will fit through the appropriate hole in the sinktop, attach the supplies now.

  5. If the new faucet mounts through a single hole and the water supply tubes will not fit through the hole after they are attached, mount the faucet to the sink first, and then attach the top ends of the water supplies from inside.

Step 1: Locate the Cutout

In this section, we'll assume you're installing a self-rimming sink in a countertop that you can cut with a jigsaw. Some counters can be cut only by installers or manufacturers. If that's your situation, go to Step 2: Mount the Fixtures First.

If the sink comes with a cutout template, use it. Otherwise, mark the cutout as follows:

  1. Stick wide masking tape on the counter, on the approximate sink location.

  2. Place the sink upside down on the tape, centered on the opening, with at least 112" clearance to the back splash, and parallel to the front of the counter. (Note: This method will fail with an asymmetrical sink. Measure the opening and mark the cutout instead of tracing it.)

  3. Mark on the tape around the perimeter of the sink.

  4. Remove the sink and measure the amount of overlap. Measure the amount of overlap on the sink and subtract 18".

  5. Drill through the countertop at the corners; then make the cutout with a jigsaw.


Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Simple Home Improvements © 2004 by David J. Tenenbaum. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.

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