The faucet for a utility sink in a laundry room or garage sometimes looks a little different from the faucet in a bathroom or kitchen, but the plumbing configuration is largely the same. Installing or replacing a utility sink faucet looks pretty much the same as for any faucet installation. In fact, it's sometimes easier than kitchen faucet installation, since utility sinks are often open-sided, offering easy access.
Before You Begin
Utility sinks and faucets often get very hard use in difficult locations, such as in basements or garages, so it's a good idea to invest in a good sturdy faucet with a solid brass body. As with any faucet, there are many designs to choose from, but a cartridge-stem faucet with an arched gooseneck spout will be both easy to repair and convenient for filling buckets and washing paintbrushes and tools. Double-handle faucets are often preferred over single-handle models for utility sink applications.
Equipment / Tools
- Basin wrench
- Channel-type pliers
- Putty knife
- New utility sink faucet
- Plumber's putty
Shut Off the Water
Shut off the water supply for the faucet by turning off the individual shut-off valves under the sink. Make sure the water is fully shut off by turning on both the hot and cold water handles.
If the water does not completely shut off—or if the faucet is not equipped with fixture shutoff valves—then you'll need to shut off the main water supply.
If your utility sink faucet doesn't have shutoff valves, now is a good time to install them, as it will make future repairs and replacements much easier.
Disconnect the Supply Tubes
Disconnect the hot and cold water supply tubes running from the shutoff valves to the faucet tailpieces. Because this often requires reaching up behind the sink, it is easiest to do with a special long-handled basin wrench, but you may be able to do it with channel-type pliers.
Turn the mounting nuts on the supply tubes counterclockwise until they detach from the faucet tailpieces.
Remove the Faucet Body
Remove the faucet mounting nuts that hold the utility faucet to the sink. Again, a basin wrench is the best tool for this job. When the mounting nuts are freed from the faucet tailpieces, lift the faucet straight up and off from the top of the sink. Clean the deck of the sink where the old faucet sat to prepare for the new utility faucet.
Prepare the New Faucet
If the new faucet comes with a foam or rubber gasket, then you do not need to use plumber’s putty. Otherwise, put a generous ring of putty around the base of the faucet to make a waterproof seal between the faucet body and the sink deck. Set the faucet in place and push down on the faucet body until putty begins to seep out around the edges of the faucet.
Secure the New Faucet
Thread the mounting nuts for the new faucet onto the tailpieces from under the sink, and tighten them with a basin wrench. As you tighten the mounting nuts, keep checking to make sure that the faucet remains aligned and straight. Putty will squeeze out from under the faucet, leaving a putty rim on the top of the sink. When the faucet is tight, scrape off the excess putty with a putty knife.
Attach the Supply Tubes
Thread and tighten the hot and cold water supply tubes onto the tailpieces of the new faucet. These can be started and tightened by hand, but give each a one-quarter additional turn with a basin wrench.
Test the Faucet
Turn on the fixture shutoff valves and inspect all supply tube connections; tighten any connections that are leaking.
Installing new supply tubes is a good idea when you are replacing any sink faucet.