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How To Change A Kitchen Tap

by | Nov 3, 2021 | Uncategorized

Changing A Kitchen Tap

Plumbing tasks are often complicated, and most require a professional to get around them. However, there are some that you can do yourself. One of them is replacing your Kitchen tap. Although changing the kitchen tap can be easy, you still have to do some research and planning before starting this task so as not to damage anything.

For this reason, we have designed this article to help you understand the dynamics involved in changing a kitchen tap and assist you in changing your tap without causing damage.

Tools Required To Change A Kitchen Tap

First, for you to change your kitchen taps, there are some tools you will need. However, if you don’t have any of these tools, you can either borrow from someone or, better still, make a trip to the nearest plumbing material store and get them. Fortunately, these kinds of tools are relatively cheap. So, here is a list of tools you will need:

  • Basin wrench
  • PTFE tape
  • Pipe cutter
  • Open-ended spanners
  • Slotted screwdriver
  • Pen
  • Box spanner or racket
  • Towel
  • Limestone remover
  • Hacksaw or olive splitter
  • Compression fitting or check valves
  • Back nut box spanner
  • Cleaning clothes
  • Masking tape
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Washing bowl
  • Joining compound

Guide To Changing Your Kitchen Tap

Changing a kitchen tap involves two main steps: removing the faucet you want to change and replacing it with a new one. Let’s now look at how to do each of these two tasks separately.

Removing the old kitchen tap

A lot of homes use the area under the kitchen sink for storing things. If you do the same, it is best to remove everything under the sink before you start changing the tap. This is to allow you full access to pipe connectors underneath.

Step One: Shut off the water supply

To turn off the water supply, you have to do the following:

  • Locate the isolating valve of the pipe supply system. It can be found fitted on the output of a hose.
  • Turn the valve only by a quarter to turn off the water supply. Run the water to confirm if the water has been switched off.
  • Some houses do not have an isolating valve for their kitchen sinks. If this is how your home is connected, turn off the main stopcock’s water supply.

Once you are sure that the water has been turned off, proceed with the steps below.

Step Two: Prepare the work area

Spread a towel under the sink and organise all the tools you need for the task. Suppose you have the instruction manual for your old kitchen tap. In that case, you can also go through it and confirm if there is any particular precaution or steps that should be followed while removing the old tap, especially for complex taps like the mixer tap.

Step Three: Disconnect your tap from the mains

Before you start this step, be sure you understand the type of water pipe connection you have in your kitchen. Water pipe connections are of two types, flexible and standard. If you have the standard hose system, loosen the screw that connects the joints of the pipe using your open-handed spanner. Don’t be surprised when you see some water come out of the disconnected tap.

For the flexible pipe connection, you have to unfasten the nut at the point where it joins the main pipe or fitted isolator valve. When doing this, use your adjustable pliers to keep the connection or valve in place. You may experience some difficulty loosening the nut because it gets tighter with time.

Step Four: Remove the existing tap

Begin by loosening the nut that keeps the tap attached to the surface. Hold the fixture and secure it in place. Ensure that it doesn’t move around as you unscrew the nut. This is to remove it from the stud so that you can detach the tap along with the flexible hoses.

Pay attention when pulling out hoses, especially the stainless-steel type, as their sharp, pointy edge can cause injuries. When you remove the kitchen tap, take your time to remove all the nasty residue or build-up from the pipe connection under the sink. Well, that is it; you have successfully removed the existing tap and completed the first segment of this task.

Let’s now proceed to the second stage, which is installing the new faucet.

Installing the new kitchen tap

Step One: Clean the mounting surface

Once you have completed the removal of the old faucet, you will see that there is some residue from the seals or gaskets where the old faucet was located. Clean the area or scrape gently to avoid damaging the surface.

Step Two: Mount the new tap

Make sure that you go through the installation manual of the new tap before you begin. There are different installation procedures for other kitchen taps.

For individual pillar and bridge combination types, apply four to five turns of sealing PTFE tape to the water main connections lower threads. Wrap the tape in a clockwise direction, starting from under the tap. When you have completed the wrapping, tear it from the reel to make it bind.

Hoses are pre-fitted to mixer taps. If yours is not, screw the hoses into the tap base and carefully tighten it by hand. Go through the new tap’s manual to understand how to install it. Connect the end of the main to the location hole. Be careful of the sharp edges of the stainless-steel sink.

Make sure all seals, gaskets, washers, and studs are pre-fitted and placed according to the manual’s instructions. It is better to get someone to hold the tap in the correct position on the sink and make a final check to confirm if the top side seal is well placed and aligned.

From under the sink, install under-side gaskets, washers, or retaining plates in the proper order and align as specified in the tap’s manual. Use your hand to tighten the retaining plate until it is finger-tight. Check again to confirm that the tap is well aligned, and then tighten further with your tool.

Ensure that the person holding the tap keeps it in position securely. This will prevent the tap from rotating as you tighten. Finally, ensure that all the seals, washers, and mounting plates are in position.

Step Three: Reconnect the tap to the mains

After mounting the tap, the next thing is to reconnect the tap to the mains. Make sure you start threading by hand to avoid cross-threading. If you are installing a pillar and bridge mixer tap, the thread length is standard with the existing connection alignment. Look for someone to support the tap so that it doesn’t twist on tightening. Do not overtighten and make sure you use the right tool.

You do not need PTFE tape for mixer taps because the hose connection already has an integral seal. Tighten the connector nuts to the main pipe connection or isolator valves if fitted. Tighten with the right-sized open-ended spanner while gripping the connector or valve carefully with adjustable pliers.

You can use a cloth over the pliers’ jaw to avoid scratching while ensuring that the pipe is not over-tightened.

Step Four: Turn on the water supply

Lastly, it is time to turn on the water supply. To do this, adjust the isolating valve back to the original position or turn on the water from the stopcock. Check the tap by turning it on and verify the hoses have no leaks or drips.

If there are no leaks or drips and your tap is running OK, congratulations, you have successfully replaced your tap.

How Long Does It Take To Replace A Kitchen Tap?

The time it will take you to change your kitchen tap depends on your hands-on skill. If you have the experience of changing a tap, it can take less than an hour. But if you have not done something like this before, you could take a whole day trying to install the tap.

Again, there are different types of taps, and some may require additional steps. This may also affect the length of time it takes to install the faucet.

Can I Change The Kitchen Tap Myself?

Yes, you can! By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to remove your old tap and install a new one successfully. All it takes is a bit of diligence and strong determination to get it done yourself.

When Should I Change My Kitchen Tap?

Kitchen taps naturally last long. Some taps can last for as long as 15 to 20 years. Others do not last that long, so it all depends on the quality of tap installed in your kitchen.

Kitchen taps should be replaced when it is apparent that they are getting to their end of life. Another sign that you need to change your kitchen tap is when you regularly call plumbers to fix one problem or the other relating to the faucet, for example, a leaking tap.

Questions To Ask A Plumber

Before hiring a plumber to change your tap, there are a few questions you need to ask to make sure you get the best professional service. They are:

  • What is your policy if something breaks while working?
  • Do you have your own tools?
  • Do you have a team you work with, or do you work alone?
  • Are you a licensed plumber in Australia?
  • What do you do with the mess left after your work?
  • Do you charge extra fees?

Before you hire just any plumber, ensure that they are professionally trained.

Hire A Plumber If You Need Help

While removing your old tap and replacing it with a new one yourself is possible, it is equally essential to get a professional plumber to help you change your kitchen tap. Hiring a plumber will not only save you from the stress of doing the job, but they will complete the job faster. They have the right tools, experience, and skills, and they are less likely to break something doing the job.

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