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Replace a Bathroom Faucet in Seven Easy Steps

There is nothing quite as annoying as a leaky bathroom faucet. If it is in your master bathroom, the constant drip, drip, drip can keep you awake and make you cranky. A leaky faucet is also a serious water waster, and your inflated water bill can make you even crankier. You need to fix the problem as soon as possible. If you don't want to pay a plumber's rates and you're moderately handy, you can do it yourself. You have two choices: repair, or replace. Depending on the type of faucet you have and its overall condition, replacing may be the simpler of the two options. Besides, it gives you a chance to update your bathroom with a quick mini-makeover. A new gold-tone or sleek modern faucet may be just the touch you need to spruce up the look of your bathroom sink.

Here's how to replace your faucet:

1. Select your new faucet at your local home improvement or plumbing store, making sure that it will fit the holes in the sink, and that the connectors for the water lines are compatible. Consider price and quality, and buy the best faucet you can afford. While you're at the store, pick up a basin wrench if you don't already have one, as well as caulk, pipe dope, and plumber's putty.

2. Turn off the water supply to the sink. There should be hot and cold shutoff valves under the sink. Sometimes these will stick, or worse yet begin to leak after years of disuse. In that case, you will need to shut off the main water supply to the house. Depending on the condition of the shutoff valves, you may need to replace them as well as the faucet. Open the faucet and let excess water drain out.

3. Remove the water lines, the drain line, the trap, and the arm that operates the drain stopper arm.

4. Using the basin wrench, remove the nuts underneath the basin that hold the faucet in place, and then lift the old faucet out.

5. Clean off any old caulk or putty and set the new faucet in place. If it doesn't come with gaskets, use caulk or plumber's putty to seal it. Tighten the nuts from below with the basin wrench.

6. Re-attach the water lines to the faucet, using pipe dope to seal the threads. Seal the drain flange with plumber's putty before connecting it. Make sure all fittings are tight.

7. Make sure the new faucet is closed, then turn the water back on and check for leaks. Re-tighten fittings if necessary.

Now put your tools away and display your handiwork to your significant other, basking in the praise you so richly deserve.