When it comes to renovating your kitchen, installing a new faucet is an efficient way to make a significant impact without undertaking a large project.
This guide will walk you through the process of selecting and installing a new kitchen faucet in your Australian home. By following these steps, you’ll have a shiny, functional faucet installed in no time.
Understanding the Basics of Kitchen Faucets
To start, let’s delve into some fundamental knowledge about kitchen faucets. The right understanding will help you make informed decisions and ensure a smooth installation process.
Types of Kitchen Faucets
There are many types of kitchen faucets available in the market, each with its unique features. These include single-handle, double-handle, pull-out, pull-down, and commercial-style faucets.
It’s important to select a style that not only suits your aesthetic preference but also matches the existing plumbing setup in your kitchen.
Features to Consider
Consider the faucet’s functionality in addition to its style. Some features to think about include the spout height and reach, number of handles, spray options, and the type of valve.
These features affect the faucet’s usability and durability.
Applicable Australian Standards
When buying a new faucet, ensure it complies with Australian standards for water efficiency, safety, and quality. This, along with other water-saving tips, will help you save money on water bills and is better for the environment.
Look for the Water Efficiency Labelling and Standards (WELS) scheme rating – the more stars, the more water-efficient the faucet.
Before you dive into the installation process, there are several preliminary steps to consider for a successful DIY project.
Choosing the Right Faucet for Your Kitchen
Your choice of faucet should harmonize with your kitchen design, be it modern, classic, or farmhouse. It should also suit your cooking and cleaning habits.
For instance, if you often fill large pots, a high-arch faucet might be most suitable. Take measurements of your sink area to ensure a proper fit.
Tools Required for Installation
Having the right tools at hand can make the installation process smoother.
You will typically need adjustable wrenches, a basin wrench, a plumber’s putty, Teflon tape, and possibly a drill if you need to make extra holes in your sink.
Preparing the Work Area
Before starting the installation, clear out the under-sink area to give yourself plenty of space to work. It’s also wise to place a small bucket beneath the connections to catch any water left in the lines.
Understanding Your Home’s Plumbing System
Knowing your home’s plumbing layout and material will aid you in the installation process. This knowledge will help you connect the new faucet correctly and avoid potential mishaps.
Remember to take safety precautions. Turn off the water supply before beginning the installation to prevent accidental flooding.
It’s also a good idea to wear safety glasses when working under the sink to shield your eyes from dust or debris.
Removing Your Old Kitchen Faucet
Now that the preparations are complete, you’re ready to remove the old faucet. Make sure to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging your sink or countertop.
Turning Off the Water Supply
Before you start, make sure to shut off the water supply. This can be done by turning the valves under the sink clockwise.
If your sink doesn’t have shut-off valves, you might need to shut off the water supply for the whole house.
Disconnecting the Water Lines
With the water supply turned off, disconnect the water lines from the faucet. Depending on your setup, you might need a basin wrench to reach the connections.
Make sure to have a bucket or towels handy, as there might still be water in the lines.
Removing the Old Faucet and Cleaning the Area
Once the water lines are disconnected, you can remove the faucet from the sink. This typically involves unscrewing the nuts that secure the faucet to the sink from underneath.
After the faucet is removed, clean the area thoroughly to prepare it for the installation of the new faucet.
Installing Your New Kitchen Faucet
With the old faucet removed and the area cleaned, it’s now time to install your new kitchen faucet.
This process will vary slightly depending on the type of faucet you’ve chosen, but the following steps provide a general guide.
Prepping the New Faucet
Before installation, assemble your new faucet as per the manufacturer’s instructions. This might involve attaching the handle, the decorative deck plate, or the pull-out spout.
Also, apply the plumber’s putty or a similar sealant on the base of the faucet to ensure a watertight seal.
Securing the Faucet into Place
Insert the faucet through the holes in your sink, making sure it’s aligned correctly. From underneath the sink, screw the mounting nuts onto the faucet shanks to secure the faucet to the sink.
Ensure it’s tight enough to keep the faucet stable, but not so tight that it damages the sink.
Connecting the Water Supply Lines
With the faucet secured, connect the faucet’s water supply lines to the shut-off valves under the sink.
Typically, the hot water is connected on the left, and the cold water on the right. Ensure the connections are tight to prevent leaks.
Testing the New Faucet
Once the new faucet is securely installed, it’s time to test it to ensure everything is working correctly. It’s crucial to check for leaks and other potential issues before you begin using the faucet regularly.
Checking for Leaks
Turn the water supply back on and run the faucet in both hot and cold modes. Check all connections for leaks.
If you find a leak, turn off the water supply again and tighten the connections. Repeat this process until there are no leaks.
Checking the Flow and Water Pressure
Ensure that the water flow from the faucet is smooth and the pressure is sufficient.
If the flow is uneven or the pressure is too low, you may need to check the aerator for blockages or adjust the water supply valves.
Ensuring the Faucet’s Functionality
Test all the faucet’s functions. If it’s a pull-down or pull-out model, check the extension and retraction of the spout.
Make sure the handle adjusts the water temperature and flow rate correctly. Confirm that the swivel function works smoothly for models that have this feature.
Maintenance and Troubleshooting
Now that your new faucet is installed and working correctly, it’s important to know how to maintain it and troubleshoot common issues to prolong its lifespan.
Keeping Your Faucet Clean and Shiny
Regular cleaning can keep your faucet looking new and functioning well.
Wipe it down with a soft cloth after use to prevent water spots and mineral deposits. For a deeper clean, use a mild dish soap and water solution.
Addressing Common Faucet Issues
Despite your best efforts, you may encounter some issues with your faucet over time. Common issues include drips, low water pressure, and loose handles.
Most of these can be fixed with a few simple steps, which we will outline here.
Understanding Warranties and Support
Finally, it’s essential to understand the warranty that comes with your new faucet, as well as the support options available to you in case of problems.
Faucet Warranties in Australia
In Australia, most faucet manufacturers offer a warranty that covers defects in material and workmanship.
The warranty period varies but can range from one year to a lifetime warranty for the original purchaser.
Make sure you understand what is covered under your faucet’s warranty and how to make a claim if needed.
Support Services and Help Resources
If you run into issues with your faucet, whether during installation or down the line, it’s good to know where to turn for help.
Most manufacturers offer customer support services and may have troubleshooting guides or instructional videos on their websites.
Additionally, local plumbers and hardware stores can be good resources for advice and assistance.