You May Need a Basin Wrench
A basin wrench is a standard plumbing tool that is indispensable for removing and installing most faucets. The wrench allows you to reach into the cramped area behind the sink to loosen or tighten the nuts that hold the faucet to the sink, and the nuts that connect the supply lines. You may not need a basin wrench if you can get the old faucet out by cutting the nuts or if the new faucet includes a wrench or some other means of installing the faucet without a basin wrench. Check inside the package when you buy the faucet to see what’s required. If you do need a basin wrench, you can find one at a hardware store or home center.
Mount the Faucet With Silicone
If water gets under your faucet, it can corrode the faucet or worse, damage your countertop or cabinet. Most new faucets include a gasket of some type to create a seal between the faucet and the sink, but it’s still a good idea to apply a bead of clear silicone caulk to the bottom of the faucet and the bottom of the gasket to ensure a good seal. Also, the silicone acts as an adhesive to prevent the faucet from moving around if the connection nuts loosen. Clean up any silicone that oozes out, first using just a paper towel, then mineral spirits.
Upgrade Your Supply Lines
One of the most difficult parts of installing a new faucet used to be connecting the supply lines so they didn’t leak. But the new-style connectors with braided jackets have gaskets built into each end that make connections virtually foolproof. They cost more than the old-style connectors, but are worth every penny. You don’t need to crank the nut very tight for an effective seal. Just thread it finger-tight and then add about a half-turn with a wrench. So save yourself headaches and replace those old supply lines with braided stainless steel connectors.