How to Replace a Tap

New taps are a great way of updating the bathroom basin or kitchen sink. The good news is that new taps are relatively inexpensive too. Minimal tools are required to replace a tap.

You may be wondering if you need a plumber or whether your DIY skills are up to replacing a kitchen tap or a tap in the bathroom or en-suite.

replace a tap

Buying a new tap

As well as replacing like-with-like, you might want to consider some of the new breed of taps coming on to the market.

Replacing a tap with an eco-tap, for example, will save water. If one of your taps is dripping, it may not mean you need to replace it, but replace the washer inside. However, it you have your new taps ready to fit, take a look at our step-by-step how to replace a tap guide.

NB This guide look at replacing a tap that is like-for-like, i.e. replacing the current tap with a newer version. In some cases, replacing a tap with a mixer tap or eco-tap can be slightly more complicated. You may need the services of a professional plumber.

Step 1 – Turn off the water

If you have a plumbing emergency or intend fitting a new appliance of piece of equipment that uses water, it is a good idea to switch off the water.

In most UK homes, the water isolating tap is in the cupboard under the kitchen sink. This isolates the water coming in to the property. But, in older properties it can be in the cupboard under the stairs or in another location.

Check your hot water system and whether you need to turn this off too.

Step 2 – How to remove a tap

Reaching up from under the sink, unscrew the holding buts of the current taps. You will need a basin wrench to undo the connector nuts that hold the taps to the pipes. You will also need a cranked spanner to remove the back nuts that secure the taps to the basin.

Step 3 – Lift off the old taps

Most of the time, the old taps will come away easily once the connector nuts and backing nuts are removed.

With older taps, they may be held in place with putty. If this is the case – or your taps won’t budge – gently tap them from below with a wooden mallet to loosen them.

NB Before fitting the new taps, make sure that the connecting head on the pipe is clean and free from old putty.

Step 4 – Fit the new taps

Fit the new taps from underneath with the washers and mounting nuts supplied in the pack. The hot tap goes on the left, the cold tap on the right.

Step 5 – Existing connectors

You can either fit your new taps to the existing pipe work or use flexible tap connectors, including fibre washers. You will need to make sure that all connections are clean – remove old paint or putty etc., with wire wool.

Step 6 – Turn the water back on

When you are happy with your new taps and everything is connected and secure, turn the water back on, stand back and admire your new basin or sink taps.

How to replace a kitchen mixer tap

If you are replacing a mixer tap with another, it shouldn’t be too complicated a job but when replacing a normal tap with a mixer version, you will need to spend more time ensuring that you connect the right pipe to the right connector on the tap.

Don’t forget with all tap fittings, the connections are under the sink, with only the tap on show. The base of the tap should not leak when turned on. If it does, the connection between tap and pipe is loose.

Unsure how to replace a kitchen tap?

A local plumber will be able to help. Why not give them a call?

You may also be interested in reading our full guide on plumbing repairs.