Removing a Kitchen Faucet

Kitchen faucet in modern home
Sam Edwards/Getty Images

Removing a kitchen faucet is the first step if you are replacing it with a new model, and it can be a quick and easy operation -- or it can be surprisingly complicated in some situations. Either way, being prepared can make it easier and a lot less frustrating to remove a kitchen faucet. The following steps show how to remove a kitchen faucet and how to prepare to install a new faucet.

Before you begin the removal process, you may want to purchase the replacement so you have it on hand to immediately install it.

Being without a kitchen faucet is inconvenient at best, so to make this project less disruptive it helps to be ready to go to the next step once the faucet is removed.

Difficulty Level

  • Easy to moderate

Tools and Materials You Will Need

  • Bucket
  • Channel-type pliers or adjustable wrenches
  • Basin wrench
  • Penetrating oil spray (WD-40 or similar)

Here's How to Do It

  1. First, shut off the water under the kitchen sink. There should be two separate shut-off valves, one for hot water and one for cold water. You should see the valves at the point where the water pipes connect to supply tubes that run up to the tailpieces on the bottom of the faucet Close both shut-off valves. If for some reason the valves do not operate (old ones may be frozen) or are not present (as is sometimes the case in older homes), then you will need to turn off the water at the house's main shut-off valve near the water meter. (If the shut-off valves aren't working or are missing, you should install new ones before installing the new faucet.)
  1. Check to make sure that the water is off by turning on the hot and cold water for the kitchen faucet. There should be no water coming from the faucet. 
  2. Place a bucket or small pan or bowl under shut-off valves to catch the residual water left in the supply tubes when you move them. Now disconnect the hot and cold water supply tubes both at the shut-off valves and where they connect to the faucet tailpieces. If the shut-off valve begins to turn as you try to unscrew the supply tube nut, hold it in place with another wrench or set of pliers as you unscrew the supply tube nut.  (Note: if the supply tubes look old or you have trouble removing them, it's a good idea to replace them when you are installing the new faucet.)
  1. Remove the faucet mounting nuts securing the faucet to the sink. These will be threaded onto the faucet tailpiece, located high up under the sink and behind the basins. Depending on the faucet style, there may be two such mounting nuts or only one. Reaching these nuts can be difficult because of their cramped location between the back of the sink and the wall of the base cabinet. A special tool called a basin wrench can make removing the mounting nuts easier. Remove the nuts by turning them counterclockwise. If you find these hard to turn then use some penetrating oil on them and let it sit for a bit before trying again.
  2. With the nuts removed, you can wiggle the faucet from above the sink and take it out. This may take a bit of force if the faucet seal has hardened against the sink.
  3.  Clean off the surface of the sink where the faucet sat.  Carefully remove any putty or caulking from the surface of the sink and clean it with a non-scratching scouring pad. 

Now you are ready to install your new kitchen sink faucet.