If you have ever had to use the bathroom in a friends house, the first thing you may have noticed would be the outstanding and decorative bathroom faucet and shower fixtures. Whether it is an elegant bronze Victorian at the bathroom sink, or a stylish pewter bathtub spout, these small items really draw attention.
If you know how to replace a bathroom faucet, changing out your old, run-of-the-mill chrome for one of these specialty items could not be easier. Read on to discover just how easy the job is.
In some cases changing the tub spout, for example, is as simple as loosening a screw on the bottom, twisting off the old one, applying a little Teflon plumbers tape and popping on the replacement. The same goes for removing that ordinary chrome shower head pipe. Unscrew the old head, unscrew the pipe and just twist on new ones that better suit your taste.
Bathroom Faucet Replacement
Bathroom sink faucets are only a little bit more difficult. But, with a little homework, these too can be replaced in less than an hour. Most bathrooms have local valves under the sink, behind the U-shaped pipe. Just give them a twist until they close firmly. If for some reason they’re absent, just shut off the main house valve for the hour it takes to do the job. In many tract-house neighborhoods the control is under a removable small, rectangular cement slab near the curb.
Disconnecting Bathroom Faucet Plumbing
Disconnecting any hoses is a simple affair. Like many kitchens, most bathroom fixtures will have two rubber or flex-hoses to remove. Just squeeze the compression clamp or unscrew the car-radiator hose style clamp and give the hose a twist, then pull. Avoid pulling directly out until the hose is loosened. That can break off a hose bib or break the hose. Sometimes they get stuck due to buildup of calcium carbonate or copper oxide.
In the majority of cases, all that’s required after that is to loosen the plastic or metal retaining nuts on the bottom of the faucet. A jerk is better than a gradual twist for removing tight, often stuck nuts. But take care not to slip and/or bang the wrench against any porcelain under the sink.
Once the retaining nuts are removed, with the hoses off, it’s ultra-easy to just lift the faucet out of the holes in the sink. Designs differ. Some have only one hole and both the hot and cold water hoses feed into one cylinder. In other cases, there are two or even three holes. One for a central faucet and one each for the hot and cold water knobs.
When you replace a bathroom faucet, be sure to select a replacement that is the same basic layout, or be prepared to replace the sink as well. Which is sometimes the exact plan!
Putting the new bathroom faucet in place is sometimes easier than getting the old one off. It is important, though, to apply Teflon plumber’s tape correctly, if the design calls for that.
Some hoses fit on over a small ridge on the hose bib. The clamp is then enough to keep it from leaking water. In other cases, a bit of plumber’s tape is required. Wind it around so that it layers up to prevent water flow, rather than opening up the hose wider.