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It’s safe to say that we rely on our kitchen sinks a lot throughout the day, which is why we need to make sure we maintain them well.
Our faucets, in particular, are subjected to a lot of wear and tear, whether we’re washing our hands, filling up a refreshing drink, soaking cloths to wipe down our worktops, or simply filling a washing bowl to clean up at the end of the day.
It is only natural for our kitchen accessories to need replacing from time to time. So, if you’re looking for tips on when and how to replace a kitchen faucet head, you’ve come to the right place!
If you’re fancying tackling the faucet head replacement process as part of your own DIY project, then we’ve also got a step-by-step guide at the end to help you.
When to Replace the Kitchen Faucet Head
It’s all good and well replacing a kitchen faucet head, but you’re not likely to want to wait until it’s already broken or not working properly.
Firstly, you may notice the faucet’s appearance has deteriorated after repeated use. Although it can be cleaned, there’s unfortunately only so much this can do over time. Therefore if your faucet’s head is looking worse for wear, it may be time for a replacement.
Next, check for leaks after you’ve turned off the faucet, as this could be the tell-tale sign of a more significant problem such as a burst pipe. However, if you’ve attempted repairs on your faucet before, but the problem continues, then it may be time to replace it.
A big reason to change your faucet is if the head is corroded or rusting, as this can cause other issues such as leaking and poor functioning later on. Also, rusting tends to happen internally before you start to see it on the outside, so it’s worth getting a new head once you notice any signs of deterioration.
Here are some guides to help you fix the problem before you drop money on a new faucet head:
- How to clean a corroded faucet
- How to remove calcium build up on a faucet
- How to fix cloudy water on a faucet
Can You Replace Just the Head of a Kitchen Faucet?
If it is just the faucet head that is damaged, you can always head to your nearest hardware store, such as Lowes or Home Depot, to find a replacement. However, note the prices as it may be worthwhile just getting a whole new faucet.
If the faucet’s head has run its course, you should keep in mind that this damage or age is most likely reflected in the rest of the faucet. Therefore, it may be better to replace everything, to prevent further problems from occurring with your faucet.
Step by Step: How to Replace a Kitchen Faucet Head
As mentioned above, sometimes it is easier and more cost-effective to replace the entire faucet rather than just the head. This is because if your faucet’s head is old and worn, it is likely the rest of the faucet is too. After all, why get a shiny new faucet head if the spout will need replacing soon after?
Firstly, it is important to make sure you have all the tools you’ll need! Make sure you have the replacement faucet or sprayer head, a basin wrench (or a faucet wrench tool), an adjusting wrench, towels, a bucket, paper towels, Teflon tape, a flashlight, and cleaning products.
1. Clean out under the sink and turn off the water supply
Before you can even think of installing the new faucet, you must remove the old one. And to do that, you must first clear out any items you have sitting underneath your kitchen sink. After all, you’ll be spending time on your back in the sink cabinet, so you might as well make it as comfortable and easy as possible.
Plus, you can kill two birds with one stone here by doing some spring cleaning. You can easily get rid of some old products you don’t need any more while doing this. Keep some paper towels handy to catch any spillage or leaks and lay some towels on the bottom of the cabinet for your own comfort!
Once everything underneath the sink has been cleared, it is time to switch off the water at the main supply valve. In the sink cabinet, you should notice two pipes coming out from the wall, one for hot water and the other for cold water. Simply shut off the valves to turn off the water to avoid leaks while you work.
Sometimes you may have a pipe with a splitter so that there is only one going to the wall and another heading to a different location. Check it is the correct one by following where it goes and turning the valve until it is fully closed.
2. Disconnect the hose
Now you will need to disconnect the hose that runs to the faucet. This is when you should keep buckets handy as there may be some leaking!
3. Loosen the nut under the faucet
Following this, it is time to get under the sink! Look for the nuts that hold the faucet, but as it can be dark under the sink, keep a flashlight nearby if you’re struggling to see.
To unscrew the nut, you should use a basin wrench. However, due to the lack of room under the sink, this can be difficult. Therefore, you can always opt for a specific tool for your faucet, as mentioned earlier, to make this step much easier. We have a guide for you if you need to remove the faucet head without a basin wrench.
Now come out from under the kitchen sink, and you should be able to pull out the faucet with relative ease.
Read more: How to loosen a stuck faucet stem
4. Clean out the dirt under the old faucet
You may notice a lot of grime, mold, and buildup from where you took out the old faucet, but this is completely normal and not something to be concerned about.
Scraping off the deposits first, then go in with a strong cleaner to make the faucet area look as good as new!
5. Drop the new faucet tubes through the hole
Once the space is spotless, it’s time to put in the new faucet. You may have a deck plate for your faucet, so it’s important to install that first. If you have three holes in your sink, start by lining up the deck plate above them and then threading the faucet tubes through the deck plate hole.
Each deck plate is different, so check through the instructions for any additional steps or features that need installing. For example, some have built-in seals.
Feed the tubes through the center hole, and ensure that the bracket is vertical as this is what holds the faucet in place once it’s been tightened.
6. Attach the new faucet to the sink
Check under the sink to make sure the bracket is now in a horizontal position. Next, tighten the washer and then the nut onto the threaded pipe with your wrench or tool.
You can also get some tools that go in the top of the faucet, and you simply rotate clockwise to tighten it. If you need some help tightening, have a look at our guide on how to tighten a kitchen faucet.
Next, thread the hose through the top of the faucet and down the sink. With pull-out faucets or pull-down faucets, the sprayer hoses also require a weight added to the hose underneath the sink before connecting to the water. This is so that the sprayer head is pulled back into place after use. For other faucets, you simply click the faucet neck into place.
7. Connect the water supply lines
It is time to reattach the supply lines. As a rule of thumb, hot water is always on the left, and cold water is on the right, but you’ll often find that they are conveniently color-coded for you.
Many people like to wrap Teflon tape around the supply line first to prevent the joint from seizing and then go in with an adjustable wrench to secure the water supply line.
For the spray head line, simply connect it with the water lines at the connection point so that they click and then tighten with the wrench at the supply line.
8. Check for leaks
Once everything is tightened and in place, you can slowly open the shutoff valve. During this process, check carefully for leaks, especially if you have never replaced a faucet before. If you do notice leaking, double-check that the water connections are tight and secure, but never overdo it.
Let the faucet run for a minute or so in order to check the water flow is sufficient and that it isn’t leaking anywhere. If all is high and dry, then you are finished!
How To Find The Right Kitchen Spray Head Replacement
Of course, when buying a new kitchen faucet spray head, you should purchase a head similar to the one you already have installed.
This will give you an idea of the dimensions to ensure that the spray head fits correctly. Also, consider the positioning of the connectors as well as the number of holes.
You should think about the size of the sprayer head itself, as you may end up with a product covering a large surface area when you wanted something more targeted, or vice versa.
Although it may seem obvious, when shopping, make sure you are looking for a faucet spray head and not one for showers. Different heads suit different needs and will have their own best uses.
It’s also best to look at the same brand or one that offers a very similar product to your current one to ensure that the connectors are the same. This is so that your faucets and sprayer head will produce the same water pressure as before. Nothing would be more frustrating than installing the new spray head and finding it doesn’t flow correctly and delivers a low water pressure.
For an aesthetic tip, look at the finish of the sink itself and the pull-out faucet, as well as other metal items in the kitchen such as cupboard handles or distinctive ornaments. This is so that you can match the spray head’s finish to the rest of the room, so they complement each other and blend seamlessly together for a fresh modern look.
Do You Need a Plumber to Replace Kitchen Faucets?
Replacing a kitchen faucet is generally a task you can accomplish at home with ease. However, there are some instances where you may want to consider enlisting the help of a plumber, especially for more complex tasks, or if you do not feel too confident in your own abilities.
Usually, faucets are straightforward fixtures to fit that beginners can accomplish, so long as you read up beforehand. You also don’t need to set aside a whole day to complete the job, as installing a faucet shouldn’t take longer than an hour.
That being said, you can seek the help of a plumber if you feel uncomfortable or suspect that there may be a larger issue at hand, such as a lower water pressure than normal, which may suggest there are clogged pipes.
However, note that plumbers generally charge more than it would cost for you to get the tools you’d need to do a simple faucet replacement on your own. But if you think you’ll benefit from the help of a professional, shop around for the best price and quality, or ask your friends and relatives for suggestions.
To buy and install a faucet DIY style, you’ll be looking at spending around $110, whereas a plumber will charge approximately $160 to $345. Go for whatever option you feel more confident and comfortable doing once you have weighed up the pros and cons of each.