Friday, 26 August 2011 1:52 PM
Installing new kitchen taps may seem like a daunting task, particularly if you are not a DIY expert, but with careful preparation most homeowners shouldn't find it too difficult.
The first stage of any successful home improvement project is to ensure you have the right tools at hand and fitting kitchen taps is no exception.
For this particular job you will most likely need a basin wrench, tap connectors, an adjustable spanner and silicone sealant.
In some cases, you might also require a drill, reducing couplers, masking tape, a centre punch, copper piping, pipe cutters and pipe springs or benders.
If you are installing kitchen taps on a new sink, you may need to create the hole in which they will be placed.
To do this, cover the area with masking tape and then put a small hole in the middle with the centre punch and use a drill to widen this gap so that it is large enough to fit whatever fixture you have purchased, whether it is traditional kitchen taps or lever kitchen taps.
Remember to use masonry drill bits for ceramic sinks and metal bits for stainless steel ones, increasing the size of the bit as you progress.
Once this is complete, you will need to make sure to turn off both the hot and cold water supplies, as well as turning on the current kitchen tap if you are performing a replacement job to remove any existing water in the pipes.
Now use the basin wrench to undo the supply connections. This can be difficult, particularly if they are located in an awkward place, so an adjustable wrench is advised.
If you are struggling to turn the nuts, try using some WD-40 to loosen the grip, before removing the existing tap fixings and any leftover sealant.
The fixing may differ depending on whether you have traditional kitchen taps or lever kitchen taps, with the former using a single back nut, while the latter may have a metal collar and rubber washer that is secured by a threaded shaft and nut.
Upon removing these fittings, you should now be able to remove the old tap entirely.
At this point, it is a good idea to compare the diameter of the current supply pipe with the pipework on your new kitchen taps.
Where there is a difference, you will need to modify the pipe by using reducing couplers. It may also be necessary to adjust the length and position of the supply pipe to ensure it fits properly.
Now assemble the tap through the hole in the sink and link it to the supply pipes using the tap connectors. It is important to make sure you get the hot and cold taps hooked up to the right supplies.
You should also make sure you have aligned the tap in the right direction and at the correct angle before you secure it in place.
When putting together the fixture, you may need to use additional sealant to ensure there is no gap in the hole, although this should not be required if the product already comes with washers.
Once you are happy with the work, it is time to switch the water supplies back on to test it out. Leave the tap running to see whether there are any signs of leakage.