Installing Your New Faucet
Most new faucets come pre-packaged with a gasket; however, there are exceptions. If your new faucet does not come packaged with a gasket, you will need to purchase a container of high quality, good grade plumber's putty or caulking. Apply caulking between the faucet's bottom and the counter or sink top where it is being installed. A word of caution: if you are installing the faucet on a fiberglass or marble sink or countertop, do not use plumber's putty; choose a caulk that is made specifically for these surfaces instead. If your faucet came packaged with a gasket, you will need to place the gasket on the faucet's bottom and mount the faucet on the counter or sink top through the provided holes. You can also put small beads of putty or caulk around the base of the faucet to help hold it into place. Most faucets are secured in place with nuts that can tightened easily by hand; however, if the faucet you are installing does not have the type of nuts that can be tightened in this fashion, you can use a basin wrench of adjustable pliers to tighten them. Depending upon the type of faucet that you install (single handle, double handle, single-hole, single lever, etc) and the manufacturer of the faucet, there are various different methods of mounting the faucet - so be sure to read the manufacturer's instructions that are included in the faucet's package.
Once your new faucet is installed, your next step will be to re-connect the water supply to the cold and hot connections on the new faucet. At this point, many homeowners choose to replace the existing supply lines or other plumbing beneath the sink. You may also need to replace these lines if they are an incorrect length. If you decide to replace the plumbing lines to the new faucet, be certain to purchase the right types of connections for the shut off valve and the faucet (most faucets use a ½" supply line). Of special note: if you are using copper tubing or copper supply lines to connect your faucet, now is the best time to replace the washers on these connecting parts.
Once the supply lines are re-connected, you can turn the water back on at the shut off valve. Remove the aerator (temporarily) located in the faucet's spout to allow debris or other sediment left over from the manufacturing process to be expelled from the faucet. Turn the faucet's tap on and run for a minute or so to inspect for leaks in the faucet and in the connecting supply lines. Once this is complete and you have cleaned up excess putty or caulk (a damp rag usually does the trick), you can stand back and admire your independent spirit and newfound plumbing skills. You did it! Your new faucet is installed and ready for use, and your wallet is glad that you did it yourself.