how to replace a kitchen tap

How to Replace a Kitchen Tap 101: The Essential Guide

Knowing how to replace a kitchen tap can save you a few quid, but it can be very difficult. To replace a kitchen tap, you need to turn off the water supply, disconnect the two hot and cold pipes, remove the tap from the kitchen sink via the nuts, and refit everything in reverse order.

I am a full-time plumber and gas engineer. I have been plumbing and replacing bath taps and kitchen taps for over ten years, and I can tell you first-hand that replacing a kitchen tap can be a walk in the park, or make me want to quit plumbing.

I can be in and out in 20 minutes and feel like a plumbing god, but sometimes it takes a few hours and makes me feel like plumbing isn’t for me. Every situation and setup is different.

Kitchen Tap Tools

The kitchen tap tools needed to replace a kitchen tap can vary, but here are my recommendations for most kitchen taps –

  • Adjustable spanner
  • Plumbers grips (water pump pliers)
  • Monobloc tap spanner set
  • Pipe cutter 15 mm (only if there are no compression fittings to attach the tap connectors to)
  • A towel

Most kitchen taps have a horseshoe-type bracket to hold the tap to the kitchen sink. These horseshoe brackets are held with threaded rods and one or two small nuts.

The nut sizes vary on different taps, so a monobloc tap spanner set between 8 – 13 mm will do the job. This is the same as changing basin taps, kitchen taps and single lever basin taps are virtually the same underneath.

How to Remove a Kitchen Tap

To remove a kitchen tap, the first thing to do is lay down a towel under the tap and turn off the water supply to the tap. If there are isolating valves on the two pipes under the kitchen sink, then turn them off with a flat head screwdriver.

If not, you will need to turn the mains water off at the stopcock. You should also open the kitchen tap to let the water out, and open a tap upstairs if you have one. This will release most of the water lying in the pipes.

The next step is to disconnect the two pipes connected to the kitchen tap under the sink. This is done by grabbing the isolation valve with the grips and turning the top nut anti-clockwise with an adjustable spanner.

Once the tap connectors are both disconnected, you can use one of the box spanners from your monobloc tap spanner set to undo the small nuts that are holding the tap onto the kitchen sink. Turn them anti-clockwise to remove the nuts.

It can be very difficult to access the nuts and get leverage on them with the bar, especially if they are rusted and/or in a very tight and awkward position under the sink. Remove the nuts and bracket, then remove the kitchen tap from the sink.

How to Fit a Kitchen Tap

To fit a kitchen tap –

  1. Screw in the new flexible tap connectors into the new tap, hand tight only.
  2. Feed the chrome plate and washer over the tap connectors if you have some.
  3. Screw in the threaded rod(s) if they aren’t already fitted, there’s normally one or two.
  4. Feed the tap connectors through the tap hole in the sink and stand the tap in place.
  5. Fit horseshoe rubber and plate over the threaded rods under the sink and screw on the nuts and tighten with a box spanner.
  6. Fit the nuts on the flexible tap connectors onto the isolating valves that the old ones were on.
  7. Turn the water back on and test for leaks.

How to Change a Kitchen Tap With Copper Pipes

Changing a kitchen tap with copper pipes is a bit more tricky than changing a kitchen tap with flexible tap connectors. You can follow the above steps for the most part (how to fit a remove a kitchen tap).

You will need to cut the copper pipes with a 15 mm pipe cutter and fit some isolating valves to the copper pipes, then you can fit the new flexible tap connectors to the new isolating valves after removing the top nuts.

How to Change a Kitchen Tap Cartridge

To change a kitchen tap cartridge to fix a dripping tap, you need to remove the tap handle, and then the cartridge with an adjustable spanner.

Replace Kitchen Tap FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


What Size Box Spanner for Kitchen Taps?

What size box spanner you need for kitchen taps depends on the tap. There is not a standard size for the nuts on kitchen taps. You need to buy a set of box spanners, which typically come in 9 – 13 mm sizes. This should cover the sizes of box spanners needed for almost all kitchen taps with small nuts.

Why Does My Kitchen Tap Drip?

Your kitchen tap drips because the cartridge needs to be replaced.

Can You Replace Your Kitchen Tap Yourself?

Yes, you can replace your kitchen tap yourself.

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