Faucets on kitchen and bathroom sink can last for decades, but over time their function and appearance tends to degrade. Once your faucet has begun to function poorly (or if it just plain doesn't look good anymore), replacement is usually a cost effective and relatively quick solution.
When it comes to any plumbing fixture replacement, one of the first things you should consider is the water efficiency of the new fixture you'll be installing. Old faucets must release a lot more water per minute to have the same pressure as their modern counterparts. Kholer--arguably one of the most well-known and trusted names in the kitchen and bathroom fixture business--suggests that "…it's possible to start conserving up to 80% of the water typically used in older versions of ordinary plumbing fixtures." While hardly your only concern when picking out your new faucet, this statistic clearly shows that buying water efficient appliances, fixtures, and components is an effective way to help the environment and cut down on utility costs, too.
1.Do Your Own Faucet Replacement or Hire a Pro?
Though replacing a faucet isn't exactly rocket science, old fixtures, broken shut-off valves, and corroded connections can all make this job a lot more difficult than many homeowners imagine. Obviously, doing the job yourself can save you a significant amount of money in theory, but if the reality leads to a flooded room and the need for immediate professional attention, that bargain you're chasing is likely to cost you plenty.
If your faucet is relatively new and doesn't show any signs of serious corrosion, a handy homeowner is likely to be able to pull this operation off successfully. Before you attempt it, though, read the manual that comes with your new faucet carefully and use a few trusted resources (either online or off) to get a better understanding of what this job will entail.
The task of faucet replacement becomes far more involved when you're looking to add features like garbage disposal units or under-the-sink water filtration systems. Not only do these features require careful attention to the dimensions under your sink, they can involve electrical work, too. Bare-bones faucet replacement can be extremely DIY-friendly, but when you are upgrading a sink with features and components that weren't present before, professional installation might be a worthwhile investment.
Outdoor spigots are exposed to hazards that indoor faucets are not, and though manufacturers do their best to make these fixtures extra tough, leaky, rusty, and corroded outdoor spigots are extremely common. Replacing these fixtures can be a snap in some cases and a real hassle in others; it all depends on how the spigot is connected to the pipe extending from your home. In some cases, the spigot will be soldered to the pipe, and a torch must be used to get the spigot off--a task many homeowners are simply not going to attempt. In other cases, the spigot is attached to the pipe with a threaded adapter; all you have to do is purchase a new spigot that will fit the adapter, unscrew the old one, and screw on the new (after turning off the water supply first, of course).
4.Who to Hire?
If you've decided to leave any of these jobs to a professional, your first thought is probably to hire a plumber. This is certainly one way to go, but there's another option for jobs that are not extremely involved that may suit your needs better.
Professional handyman services specialize in doing a number of different small repairs. A good handyman can handle all sorts of minor electrical, plumbing, carpentry, and heating and cooling tasks all in a single visit. This means that your list of little fixes can all be remedied in one day, saving you the hassle of hiring multiple service professionals as well as saving you money by limiting the number of fees many professionals charge for coming to your home. If you have a number of small jobs that need to be done around the house, a handyman service is an effective solution; make sure you give the service a detailed list of the jobs you want done before they arrive, so they can show up with all the tools and equipment they'll need for each job.
If your new faucet seems to not be working properly, check out our Faucet Installation Troubleshooting Tips to find out what went wrong.
Bare-bones faucet replacement can be extremely DIY-friendly, but when you are upgrading a sink with features and components that weren't present before, professional installation might be a worthwhile investment.