How to change your kitchen tap?
We don’t think about it, but we use the kitchen tap hundreds of times a month. Having a beautiful new tap in your kitchen can make a big difference. If your tap stops working, leaking or is rusty it’s time to change.
Our experienced plumber show you in 10 steps how can you change a kitchen tap, and what to expect. The first thing before you start is to choose your new tap.
#1 Choosing your tap
We have to start with a right-buy. Don’t go for the cheaper ones, but choose a middle range kitchen tap at least, and we advise you to buy a tap which is manufactured in Britain.
There are many brands on the market! To buy a suitable kitchen tap for your kitchen sink, we have to consider the water pressure in your home. Usually, the water pressure in the kitchen is main fed so you will not have any problem with the water pressure.
What about if you have low water pressure in your home?
In this case, you have to buy a low-pressure kitchen tap. But this means that you have low pressure in the whole house.
If you struggling with really week water pressure, you can install a booster pump. If you are not confident to do the installation, you can call MML Plumbing ltd at 020 8355 0840 and we do it for you.
#2 What do you need for the job?
This is a small job, but to make your life easier you need a few handy tools and materials to finish the work. You need a:
- Set of 8 piece spanner (monoblock spanner)
- Pipe cutter
- Basin wrench
- Adjustable spanner
- Pump pliers
- Flathead screwdriver
- Backnut spanner
- Loctite or PTFE tape
- Plumbers mate jointing compound
- Isolating valve (if needed)
- New tap
#3 Make a plan before you change a kitchen tap
If you think through all the steps that you need to do and all the materials you have to use this job should take you just a few hours.
#4 Switch your mains water supply off
This is the first and most important thing you do. If you don’t know where to turn off the water for your tap, you STOP NOW. If you can’t close the water supply you don’t even start. There can be a complication with the installation, and even the smallest one can cause major leak damage.
Where is the stop tap?
Normally you can find the stop tap or main shut off valve under the sink in the kitchen cupboard. If you found it just turn the head clockwise to close (anticlockwise to open). Sometimes the handle is stiff and you need a plier to close the stop tap.
If you can’t find the main shut off valve in the house then close the stop valve in the street. You can find the stop tap underneath a black plastic lid written with water on the top. You can turn off the water by turning the valve head a quarter anticlockwise.
Sometimes you are lucky and there is two isolator valve underneath the sink on the pipes. These are compression fittings. You can close this one too, but we prefer to isolate the whole house because these isolation valves sometimes leak when you disturb the joints.
Double-check if the water is shut off by opening the taps and now you also can drain out the leftover water.
#5 Disconnect the pipes
Before you disconnect the pipes get a towel and a small bucket ready. When you disconnect the pipes and you open the tap handle there will be some water coming out which you can catch into the bucket.
You have three options to disconnect the kitchen tap:
- If there is 15 mm compression fit copper pipe connections, you can undo the nuts with an adjustable spanner. Also, you have to hold the old tap so it won’t twist and undo the nuts on the hot and cold sides.
- Another option is when you have flexible pipe connectors. You can loosen the nuts with an adjustable spanner where this connecting to the pipe or isolating valve. Sometimes the nuts are very tight. Unscrew the nuts and take out the flexible tap connectors.
- The third option is to cut both 15 mm pipes and install an isolator valve. Sometimes you have to go with this option.
#6 Disconnect the tap from the kitchen worktop
You might need a faucet wrench or a monoblock spanner. It all depends on which one can be used to access the nuts/ single-threaded rod easier. Sometimes the single-threaded rod and nut are rusty and the space is tight. Now, this can be a messy job. If you can’t unscrew the tap single threaded rod from underneath, you have to cut it down. This is a really rare occasion but it can happen.
If you manage to take out the tap from the kitchen worktop, now you can clean the surface. There can be some limescale leftover.
#7 Prepare the new tap
Read the installation manual. Unwrap the kitchen tap from the box, and start to put it together. There will be two flexible tap connectors (pipes). You just have to turn this into the hot and cold side which you can find underneath the tap body.
Meantime underneath the tap body screw in the supplied single threaded rod and insert the rubber washer seal.
Now is a good time to put the plumber’s mate sealing compound underneath the tap body where it will touching with the kitchen worktop. Normally the rubber seal that the manufacturer supplied is enough for seal, but we like to use this jointing compound for extra protection.
The last thing you want is to finish the installation and leak.
#8 Install your new kitchen tap
You can insert the kitchen tap into the worktop. You have to hold it in one hand while with the other you will put the fixing bracket underneath the tap. You will have to use the monoblock spanner set to tighten the nuts onto the single-threaded rod.
Believe it or not, this monoblock spanner can save you a lot of time. You can struggle 15 minutes with an adjustable spanner or you can finish the job properly within 2 minutes.
Check the tap alignments and tighten the nuts.
#9 Connect the pipes to the mains water supply
Now you can connect the two flexible tap connector pipes to the hot and cold mains pipe connections. If you have to cut the 15 mm copper pipe just do so and install 2 new isolator valves on the pipes.
After you installed these isolator valves, you can connect the flexible pipes.
Tighten the nuts but with one hand also hold the isolation valves.
A Good trick
Just watch out for the flexible pipes not to twist. You can avoid this by using two pliers in one hand. With one plier you hold the isolation valve, with the other you hold the flexible pipe to avoid twisting (you have to hold both pliers with one hand). And with your other hand, you can use an adjustable spanner to tighten the nuts.
And that is it, the kitchen tap is fixed and is connected to the water supply. Now you close the isolation valve with a flat screwdriver.
#10 Pressure test the tap
All you have to do now is to turn back on the hot and cold water supply. First, you check if the isolation valve that you installed is not leaking. After your success, you can open the isolation valve with a flat head screwdriver by turning it anticlockwise.
Check the leaks. If it’s all fine now you are ready to test the kitchen tap.
After you have finished the kitchen tap installation, open the cold water first, leave it run for 1 minute until the air will come out and after open the hot side.
Sometimes after an installation, if you open both the hot and cold sides at the same time, you can have an airlock. This means the higher pressure cold water can push air back to the hot side. This issue is very common in mixer taps.
And that is it, now you succeeded. Your installation is ready and hopefully, you don’t have any leaks.
But if you still think that you don’t want to go ahead of yourself with the installation and you need a reliable and affordable plumber, you can still call MML Plumbing ltd at 020 8355 0840 and we help you with the installation.
Do you need a plumber to change taps?
A plumber has all the tools and knowledge to do the installation. But there is no regulation that you can’t change the kitchen tap yourself. A plumber knows all the drinking installation requirements.
Can I change my taps myself?
Yes, if you feel confident and you have the right tools and knowledge, you can change the tap yourself.
How much does it cost to replace a kitchen tap?
The labour for the plumber will be anywhere from £140-£200. It all depends on where you live in the UK. The tap itself can cost you from £110-£400, it all depends on the quality.
How long does it take to replace a kitchen tap?
For a professional plumber, an installation will take 1.5-2.5 hours. It all depends on what difficulty the plumber has. Do they have clear space, can any extra pipework need to be changed or soldered.
Is it easy to change kitchen taps?
It looks easy, but sometimes it is quite difficult to change the kitchen tap. The space is very tight and the single-threaded rod and nut can be rusty. In this case, you have to cut off the nuts in this tight space.
Do I have to drain the hot water tank to change a tap?
No. If you have a hot water cylinder, there should be an isolator valve close by so you close this valve to avoiding draining down the whole hot water cylinder.
Where is the hot water stop tap?
The hot water stop valve should be close to the hot water cylinder. If you don’t know which one it is, you better close all of them.
What does a stop tap look like?
Most of the stop tap can be found underneath the kitchen sink cupboard. It is a brass body with a lever valve.
What should I look for when buying a kitchen tap?
There are many brands out there that you can choose from. Just go for the mid-range and easy controls.
Do you need help with the kitchen tap installation?
Contact our expert plumber today for advice and bookings!