Porcelain Handle Bathroom Faucet. If you want to change the look of your bathroom but you don’t have a lot of money, you can do so relatively inexpensively by replacing your sink and faucet. You’ll have lots of choices on the market, many of which are “retro” and look like the faucets in your grandmother’s bathroom. You can also choose from modern-looking chrome faucets or fancy brass fixtures. You can also still buy the old-fashioned crystal-headed faucets with the snub nosed spout. If you’re so inclined, you can buy the old-fashioned key-shaped faucet handles and can choose from porcelain, brass or brushed chrome finish.
It might surprise and please you to know as well that many of today’s faucets are actually multifunctional units that can convert to showerheads or split into separate streams. You can choose from many functions and can even have multiple functions, if you so choose.
Like just about anything else, bathroom faucets run the gamut in terms of price. You can choose from simple and relatively inexpensive to fancy and quite a lot more expensive. Some things to consider before you buy a bathroom faucet include:
What type of handle do you want on your faucets? Single handled faucets rotate to handle all water temperatures from one spigot. You can also buy faucets and handles separately and make your own unique combination. However, if you do this, you have to make sure that the faucet and faucet handles will fit each other.
Next, what style of bathroom faucet will look best in your bathroom? There are hundreds of styles available, anything from antique to modern, and if you so choose, you can even buy 1970s-style faucets. Believe it or not, you can also buy stone faucets that “spit” water out of the wall or those that look like statues from Rome. However, remember that the more complicated your style is, the harder the bathroom faucet will be to install. It will also probably be a lot more expensive than a simpler one.
Next, do you want your bathtub and shower faucets to match those in your sink? Some people don’t consider this important, but it might make your bathroom appear to have a more uniform design if that’s what you’re going for.
Finally, what do you want the bathroom faucet to be made of? They are available in porcelain, chrome, brass, nickel, plastic or even stone. Some creative designers have even made bathroom faucet spouts out of seashells.
Whatever you decide, there are plenty of choices out there available for you to pick something that exactly fits your lifestyle, budget and needs.
There are a few things you can do yourself to improve the look and feel of your bathroom. A new shower curtain, paint the walls and cabinets, install new power outlets and light switches, install new faucets, and if your a DIY contractor, you can attempt to replace the shower or tub. Today we are going to help with something a little harder, the bathroom faucet.
When most people think of installing a new faucet, they are thinking, I have no idea where to start. What tools do I need? If I mess it up, how long will it be before I have running water again? And of course, how much is it going to cost to get a professional in here when I do mess it up. Well if you follow the proper steps in this article, you might find its not as hard as you might think. Alright then, lets begin.
There are actually two parts to installing a faucet. Installing the actual faucet and we also have to install the new drain and flange (tube running from your white PVC pipe). We will start with the drain part first. It is more messy than installing the faucet, and there is not much gratification in installing the drain. So lets try and get this over with and hope it goes smoothly.
The first thing you need to do before buying a bathroom faucet is to figure out how many holes your sink has in it. In order to make replacing your bathroom faucet relatively easy, make sure you buy a faucet with the same number of wholes as the sink.
Step 1 – Remove the Old Drain
First it is probably a good idea to turn off the water at this point. We are not installing the new faucet yet, but after you remove the drain assembly, you don’t want to accidentally turn on the water when there is no drain to catch it. Use a pipe wrench (or large vice grip) to loosen up the rubber sink stopper by unscrewing the large nut at the top of the flange (pipe just below the drain.) If you find the drain on top is turning also and you are not getting any where, put a large screwdriver in one of the holes down in the drain to get leverage.
Once the large nut is loosened, you can shimmy the rubber stopper down and the drain will loosen off of the sink hole. With the drain loose, you can now unscrew the top part of the drain with the drain plug from the flange. Put a bucket under the J-Unit pipe, and unscrew the J-Unit pipe from the drain pipe. You might be able to remove the drain pipe from the J-Unit by simply loosening it up and you might not need the bucket, but more times than not you will have to remove the J-Unit also to get the drain pipe out.
Note: The J-Unit is piece of PVC pipe shaped like a “J.” It is used to hold out the stink from the sewer system by constantly holding a water barrier between your sink and sewer. You might need to poor this water out momentarily while you’re installing the new drain.
There is a plastic washer ring for every section of the homes PVC water pipe to secure the pipes together, so make sure you take note of where these washers are. You will need them when putting in the new drain pipe. Well, that should do it for the worst part of the job. The job gets much more fun from here. Clean up the area by disposing of the J-Unit water, remove the old plumbers putty around the drain whole, and you might want to give it a nice once over with some disinfectant.
Step 2 – Installing the New Drain
The first thing to do here is to either put plumbers putty or silicon sealant around the drain whole in the sink to ensure you won’t have a leak. Plumbers putty is fine for this job, but I find that silicon sealant works best and is much easier to apply as it will stick to the porcelain sink as the plumbers putty will slide around to much and might fall off.
Your new drain will most likely come with all its components screwed together. Unscrew all the components from drain assembly and make sure to note there order. The top part of the drain plug will come in on the top where we applied the sealant. Bring the drain pipe up under the sink making sure to have the new large nut, washer, and rubber stopper around the drain pipe, in that order where the rubber stopper is on top. Here we also don’t want to forget the washer and nut for the J-Unit pipe. The nut should go on facing down and then the little plastic washer. Put some sealant around the plastic washer for the J-Unit section and also around the rubber stopper to ensure there won’t be a leak. Using the sealant will ensure that you won’t have to undo the whole thing over again because it keeps leaking.
The large nuts on most new faucet drains are bigger to allow tightening by hand as well as most J-Unit pipes. The large nut needs to be pretty tight, but just as tight as you can get it by hand and not using a pipe wrench, assuming it is large kind with grips for a person’s hand. Tighten everything up, turn on the water and watch the drain for a minute or two to make sure it is not leaking somewhere. If you used the sealant, you should not have a problem. If you do see a leak, make sure you used the washers, and that the threads on the large nuts are aligned with the pipe threads.
Step 3 – Removing the Old Faucet
First make sure the water is off by closing the hot and cold valves under the sink. Try to turn the sink on before you proceed. You don’t want to loosen the water inlet pipes while the water is on or you could have a small flood on your hands. At this point in the procedure your back might be hurting a little bit from bending under the sink for so long.
The easiest way to do this part is to put a pillow down under cupboard opening and get all up in there by laying on your back with the pillow under you. Using a vice grip or pipe wrench loosen up the nuts at the top of the supply hoses connecting them to the copper piping at the bottom of the actual faucet, by turning them counter clockwise. Sometimes the nuts can become stuck so you can use some penetrating oil to loosen them, or you could try brute force. I normally use a vice grip to loosen the nuts up.
Funny Side Note: While trying to unscrew the nuts one time under a bathroom faucet, I succeeded in getting the nuts loose using brute force. The nuts were turning, but I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere. After a lot of turning it finally came off, but to my surprise the nut was not actually turning. I had been turning the old faucets copper piping and it finally broke of after being twisted to its snapping point. Luckily I was throwing that faucet away anyway.
With those nuts loosened up they will fall to the base of the supply hoses connect to the shut-off valves. Just leave them there as they will be used later to reconnect the supply lines to the new faucet. Now unscrew the large nuts securing the faucet to the actual sink. You can use a vice grip for this also, but if you feel you haven’t gone to the hardware store in a while, you can get what is called a basin wrench to loosen these up. The faucet should be disconnected now. Remove it from the sink and clean the old plumber’s putty and loose dirt from around the sink to get it ready for a nice shiny new faucet.
Step 4 – Installing the New Faucet
This should be the easiest part about replacing your bathroom sink. You should probably follow the instruction which came with the new faucet for this part because they have many different ways of installing them, but here are some general tips for installing the new faucet. Just like the drain assembly, the faucet assembly should have all the nuts and washers assembled already on the new faucet. Just unscrew the nuts and washers from the assembly and not there location. New faucets also should have a plastic washer that fits around its entire base. You can put a little line of sealant around the crevices of this plastic washer. There is not much to leak on the new faucet, but you want to make sure if you get water on the counter it won’t leak through the holes at the base of the faucet and get water under the sink. Place the faucet on through the holes and screw on the securing nuts underneath. Connect the water supply lines to the copper piping from the faucet using the nuts we let drop down the supply lines earlier.
Note: It is possible that your supply lines are not long enough to reach the copper piping on your new faucet. Don’t fret, you can pick a couple of these up at your local hardware store for about $1.50 each.
Step 4 – Installing the New Drain Plug
If you have purchased the new American Standard faucet with the new gear driven drain plug you don’t need to read this part. You have bought a great faucet where the drain plug works very well. For every one else, read on.
The drain plug can be used two ways. One way is to have the metal lever handle going through the whole on the bottom of the drain plug to make sure you have a strong seal when you close the drain. Otherwise you can have the hole at the bottom of the drain plug turned perpendicular where it is only sitting on the metal lever. This makes it easy to remove when need be, but will still stay open when you want it too.
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