Many newer faucets have spouts with extendable hoses that serve as sprayers, but before this advance, many kitchen sinks had separate sprayers that were mounted on the body of the faucet plate or off to the side in a separate hole in the countertop. Free-standing kitchen sink sprayers are still available, so there's no need to buy an entirely new kitchen faucet when the sink sprayer needs to be replaced. Installing a kitchen sink sprayer is a fairly easy project that you can do yourself if you do not mind laying beneath the kitchen sink for a bit.
If you have a sink sprayer but it's been behaving oddly, you may not necessarily need a new one. Try removing the aerator from your sprayer and blowing out any sediment that has accumulated behind it—this may get the water flowing smoothly again and save you a repair.
Even if your faucet doesn't currently have a sprayer, it may be configured in a way that allows you to add one. You'll need to check the body of the sink to see if it has the necessary nipple fitting for attaching a hose.
Tools and Materials You Will Need
- New sink sprayer
- Channel-type pliers (two pairs)
- Basis wrench
- Plumber's putty
How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Sprayer
- If your faucet doesn't currently have a secondary sprayer, check the configuration of the sink to make sure that there is an available mounting hole for the sprayer. Also, check the faucet to make sure that there is a diverter valve nipple for the sprayer. This valve serves to shut off water to the spout and direct it to the sprayer hose when it senses the pressure release that occurs when you press the sprayer handle. If the faucet doesn’t have a diverter, a sprayer cannot be installed.
- Shut off the water to the faucet, either at water supply shut-off valves beneath the sink or at the main water shut-off valve for the house.
- Remove the sprayer flex line from the faucet body from underneath the sink. There should be a copper tube coming down from the faucet body that has a brass nipple on it where the sprayer hose is attached. Grip the brass connection with one pair of pliers and then unscrew the hose connector nut with the other pair of pliers. If you do not grip the brass fitting and hold it steady, you may twist the copper tubing leading to the faucet and break it.
- With the hose disconnected from the faucet, pull the sprayer hose up and out from above the sink. Take the sprayer head and hose with you to the home improvement or hardware store to purchase a replacement sprayer.
- Remove the old sprayer housing (if necessary) by unscrewing the mounting nut from under the sink with a pair of pliers or a basin wrench. The body of the housing may turn with the nut, so you will have to hold it steady as you loosen the nut.
- Install the new sprayer housing by inserting the tailpiece through the hole in the sink deck. The housing should have a gasket of some type around the base. If it does not, you can put a small bead of plumber’s putty under the base to help seal it.
- Tighten the mounting nut onto the sprayer housing tailpiece from under the sink, using either a basin wrench or channel-type pliers. Apply pressure against the housing if tightening the nut causes the whole housing to twist.
- Thread the new sprayer hose down through the housing so it is all the way in and ready for the connection. Before you connect the hose to the faucet, make sure it is in a position that will allow you to extend it easily without tangling.
- From under the sink, attach the threaded fitting on the end of the sprayer hose onto the diverter nipple extending from the side of the faucet body. Use two pliers—one to hold the fitting, the other to tighten the hose mounting nut—to secure the hose to the faucet.
- With everything tight, turn the water back on and check the sprayer for leaks. Run hot water through the sprayer to soften the tubing and allow it to go up and down easier.