Tackling a faucet or fixture installation in the home is a project that many people prefer to handle themselves. It's a good idea, however, to understand the process, its challenges, and exactly when it's time to call in a professional. If you're thinking about dealing with such a project, pay attention to these tips.
Know How to Shut Everything Off
The vast majority of sinks and fixtures in a house will have local shutoff valves attached to the feed lines for both the hot and cold water. These are typically located in a cabinet below the fixture, or they may be exposed in some cases.
It's a good idea to also know how to turn off the lines to each room in your home during a fixture or faucet installation effort. This adds a second layer of safety in case the local valve on the fixture is faulty or something goes terribly wrong while you're working. You can typically find the shutoffs for each room in your house in the basement or some type of access closet. They should be clearly labeled, but you can test them one by one to see which ones go where. Some folks will prefer to have a professional handle the job of initially labeling the lines just to be on the safe side.
Know How to Get a Fixture Installation Started
Once all the necessary shutoff valves have been turned to the off position and tested to be off, you can begin the installation. If there is an existing fixture in place, you'll need to detach the feed lines and undo any bolts, washers, or screws holding it in place. After they're detached, you may need to pry the fixture loose with a knife or a flathead screwdriver. Set it aside until you're completely done in case you need to put everything back due to a failed install.
When mounting a new fixture, make sure that everything matches up before you tighten down anything. Pull the feed lines into position and verify that they'll have enough slack so that they won't be stressed when you tighten the screws on them. If there are problems with the feed lines, most people will want to replace them with the help of a plumber.
If everything is in order, you can tighten things up. Upon completion of your fixture install, turn both the cold and hot water on until it stops sputtering.