How to change the tap on a bathroom sink

Updated February 21, 2017

Bathroom sink taps eventually wear out and rubber washers perish over time. Maintenance on the tap may prove as costly as replacing it. Plumbers will also charge a fixed fee for a small job. So, it's beneficial to learn how to replace the tap yourself. Taps vary in size and fixtures so ensure your replacement tap is the same size as the old one.

Turn off the water supply. Never attempt to remove any plumbing fitting with the water supply turned on.

Turn on the old tap to drain any water left in the pipe.

Place an empty bucket under the sink to catch any excess water that may dribble from the pipe.

Loosen the back nut that holds the tap in place, with the adjustable basin wrench. The nut will be located directly underneath the tap, under the sink.

Unscrew the connector nuts that join the tap tail to the water pipe using an adjustable wrench.

Remove the old tap from the sink. Cut away any sealant with a craft knife. Modern taps usually have rubber seals holding them in place which are easily removed with a gentle pull.

Insert the new tap into the hole left by the old one.

Reconnect the nut to the tap tail underneath the sink. Hand tighten first and then use the basin wrench to fully tighten the nut.

Turn the water supply back on and test the new tap.


Test the tap for leaks directly after installing.


Do not cross-thread the nut to the tap, as it may cause damage to the screw thread and leak.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Adjustable basin wrench
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Craft knife
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About the Author

Chris Simon began writing articles and fiction in 1988. His work has appeared in Science Fiction and Fantasy World Horror Writers U.K and "Flashlight."