How To Replace A Two Handle Sink Faucet


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Most people don’t think about using the best kitchen sink faucet because the thought of changing the plumbing fixtures never crosses their minds. 

Despite the many ways people plan to improve their interior décor, hardly anyone focuses on the little things. Yet, using old fixtures can lead to major plumbing problems in the blink of an eye. 

Today we will discuss the steps for replacing a two-handle sink faucet and explain why it’s important. 

When To Replace A Two Handle Faucet?

When to replace a two handle faucet.

Before we discuss how to replace a two-handle sink faucet, you might wonder when and why to replace them in the first place. Some of the common tell-tale signs of an old faucet include: 

  • Worn out faucet handles and faucet assembly
  • Corroded and grimy surface
  • Both the showerhead and faucet are discharging water simultaneously
  • Dripping faucet spout
  • Leaking handles and faucet body

If you notice one or more of the above signs, it’s time to opt for a replacement. Moreover, the new faucet will spruce up the kitchen or bathroom, as modern units are available in multiple styles and colors. It can act as the focal point and amplify the interior décor. 

This, in turn, will increase the property’s value and hold greater appeal for new homeowners since they won’t have to spend on a new fixture. Best of all, for greater convenience, modern faucets come with the latest features, like pull-outs, swivels, and touch controls. These are much more efficient and help save water to reduce your water bill and carbon footprint.

How To Replace A Two Handle Sink Faucet?

Once you notice the signs of a worn-out faucet, follow these steps to remove it safely without damaging the plumbing. Since we are discussing two-handle sink faucets, there will be a gap of 8 inches between the pre-drilled holes. 

There are pipes running through the faucet body and attached to the spout, while the spout is connected to the handle and supply hoses. You will also find mounting nuts below the sink, even when the pipes run over the sink for widespread faucets. So, clear the cabinet and wear a headlamp before dismounting the structure. 

1. Close The Water Supply Lines

As with all plumbing tasks, turn off the shut-off valves underneath the sink before opening the faucet to drain the remaining water. 

2. Unscrew The Supply Hoses

You will need an adjustable wrench to unscrew the supply hoses but remember to place a rag on the floor as water is likely to spray out. The hoses are present inside the faucet stem, so pull them out gently.

3. Disconnect The Spray Hose

The next step is disconnecting the spray hose with pliers or twisting and pushing it. Exercise caution, and you should be able to remove it easily.

4. Unscrew The Mounting Nuts

A basin wrench will come in handy to remove the mounting nuts from under the sink. Try to squeeze into the confined space and turn the nuts to loosen them. Once they are a little loose, unscrew the nuts by hand. 

For a top-mount faucet, you will need to access the nuts from above to lift them out of the sink.

5. Remove The Spout And Handles

Remove the spout and handles by loosening the set screw on top of each handle with a Phillips screwdriver. Sometimes, the faucet may have a decorative cap, and you must pry it open using a slot screwdriver. 

The last step is removing the retaining nut with adjustable pliers before unmounting the spout and lowering the faucet.

How To Install A New Two Handle Faucet?

After removing the old faucet, choose a compatible unit and refer to the following steps to install the faucet and its necessary components, like the faucet cartridge. After installing it, you might wonder – can you spray paint sink faucets? Yes, you can, and doing so will also improve the lifespan of the unit.

1. Read The Instructions

Don’t turn on the shut-off valve until all the components are securely in place, so keep the water supply line closed. Unbox the two-handled faucet and replacement cartridges to check whether they fit the sink holes.

Read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to install the gasket before securing it with plumbers’ putty. We have also come across a rubber gasket located between the spout assembly, countertop, and the base of the valves in certain models. 

Other models are easier to install since you only need to apply the plumber’s putty to the faucet’s base.

2. Align The Faucet

Align the faucet spout with the countertop but check whether the riser tubes are pre-installed. Then gently lower the faucet and spout body to pass the hot and cold valves through the countertop. 

3. Tighten The Bolts

Tighten the hold-down bolts underneath the sink and do the same for the washers and nuts that fit the valve tailpieces. At times, manufacturers add brackets to secure the bolts to the valve body.

4. Connect The Hoses

Join the flexible hoses that run from the hot and cold valves to the spout while connecting the stop valves to the riser tubes. Then turn on the water lines and inspect the faucet for about a minute for leaks. 

We also recommend removing the aerator in the spout and running water over the faucet to wash away impurities. When you notice clear water coming out of the faucet, attach the aerator, finish tightening all the components if needed, and your new faucet will be ready!

How To Replace A Two Handle Sink Faucet Frequently Asked Questions ?

Are two handle sink faucets better than single-handle faucets?

Before learning how to install a vessel sink faucet or any other widespread faucet, it’s natural to think about how the two-handle units are different from single-handle models. The primary advantage of the former is that they offer better temperature control since there are two handles for hot and cold water.

You can maintain optimum water temperature in all conditions and reduce the chances of temperature fluctuations even if you accidentally bump the handle.

What are the types of valves in a faucet?

There are several valves present in a faucet to control the water flow, so you need to check the existing components to buy the right unit. Some of the common valves include – 

  • Ball valves
  • Ceramic disc valves
  • Cartridges
  • Compression valves

You can even use many of these valves in the tub or shower. 

Which way should faucet handles turn?

Before installation, ensure you know which way the faucet handles should turn. Faucets with a cross-shaped handle open counterclockwise to discharge cold and hot water. If you get confused, remember the phrase – lefty loosey, righty tighty. It’s the same as using a screw, whereby turning it left will unscrew it while turning it right will tighten it.

Beautiful decoration interior of sink and water faucet or tap in bathroom for wash. How to replace a two handle sink faucet conclusion.

How To Replace A Two Handle Sink Faucet Conclusion

Replacing an old sink faucet with a new model is a simple yet effective home improvement technique, but most importantly, it’s a necessity. 

Even with regular maintenance, using the same bathroom or kitchen faucet for a long time is impossible. And it’s best to stay on top of the problem by opting for replacements before faulty fixtures lead to a major issue. 

You can either hire a professional plumber for the job or follow the steps mentioned in this guide. Also, arrange all the components, like retaining nuts, prior to installation for a smooth experience. 



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