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Kitchen Sink & Faucet Upgrade: Expert Plumber Tips

Thinking of upgrading your kitchen with a new kitchen sink and faucet? It is probably the “easiest” way to achieve a new look in your kitchen, provided you follow our advice below and fight the desire to take short cuts.

We must first warn you though: This is not a simple task. It requires knowledge about both plumbing basics and measurements. Unless you’re a DIY expert, we recommend that you rather call the professionals to do it for you. Here at Anta Plumbing, we do several plumbing fixture installations every week and have gained the experience to install new sinks and faucets without a hitch.

Installing a New Kitchen Sink & Faucets

Here’s how we do it:

1. Take Measurements

The Tailpiece

sink-tailpiece
Most homeowners wish to install sinks with deeper basins, however it is critical to measure the tailpiece first. If the basin hangs too low, the fixture won’t drain properly. This is not too much of an issue, as the sanitary tee connection can be lowered easily enough if it is plastic and easily accessible, but it can become a huge mission if:

● it is a metal connection
● it sits behind the base cabinets

Therefore, measure the tailpiece of the sink between the tee connection and the basket strainer. When you shop for a new sink, you can use that measurement as an indication of how much deeper you can go without having to lower the drainpipe.

The Garbage Disposal Drain

garbage-disposal-drain
Consider your new garbage disposal’s drain too. If it is going to be too low, you have to consider a more shallow basin, or perhaps two of different depths – a deeper basin for dishes and a shallower one for your garbage disposal.

The Cutout

If your sink is too small for the cutout on the countertop can leave large, unappealing gaps around – if it doesn’t simply fall right through. Measure the cutout from underneath, from all sides, paying close attention to the corners. Some contractors cut corners (literally and figuratively) at 90-degree angles instead of rounding it off properly. If need be, you may need to buy a larger sink and enlarge the hole. Also be sure to match the sink openings to the new faucet.

2. Check for Leaks

sink-leak
If you have particleboard under your plastic laminate countertop, be sure to check for water stains. While a little water damage is no big deal, severe swelling will affect how your sink sits and if the particleboard is crumbling, it will not provide a solid base. If the particleboard is not firmly attached to the laminate, or if you see bulges, rather consider replacing the countertop.

3. Seal the Deal

caulk-remover
Use a putty knife to remove the old caulk or putty. Home centers sell a special caulk remover for the stubborn bits. You can remove the final residue with nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol.

It is important to use the right sealant, and plumber’s putty is not it. In fact, plumber’s putty dries out, leading to cracks and eventually leaks. It can also damage some of the plastic used in sinks. Instead, use silicone caulk.

4. Get a New Waste Assembly

Don’t be a scrooge and use the old drainpipes. Over time, the threads become corroded, preventing a tight connection. Buy a new waste assembly and avoid leaks in the near future. If you buy a kit, you will have everything and probably save money at the same time.

Also check your old valves to see if they need to be replaced.

5. Clear Away the Mess

When you work on water lines, some sediment will always be loosened. Be sure to purge the lines first, before you hook up your new faucets.

Need help replacing your old kitchen sink and faucets? Anta Plumbing will happily assist.

Written by Tanya Klien

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