Dealing with a faucet repair or installation jobs is a task that many homeowners consider one of the more approachable ones to deal with on a DIY basis. It's important, however, to know what you're doing and when it's time to contact a pro. Working from this list of tips, you'll have an easier time taking on your next job.
Know Where Your Water Lines Are
The biggest potential source of trouble when handling a faucet repair or installation is addressing issues with the lines. As a matter of good form, you should have all the lines that run up from your basement clearly labeled, a choice that can speed things up when you need to shut the water off as fast as possible in an emergency. Before you start repairs or a faucet installation in your house, make a point to locate and turn off the ones that run to the room where you'll be doing work. There should also be a shutoff valve below the faucet itself--although this may sometimes be situated inside a small cabinet. Turn this one off too.
There might not be a shut-off valve installed right below the line, or you may need to have new lines run to reach the spot where you intend to place your new faucet. In these instances, unless you're confident in your plumbing skills, it's time to call a professional.
Repairing an Existing Faucet
Most faucet leaks arise from gaskets in the handles breaking down. There should be tabs on the tops of each handle that can be popped off with a flathead screwdriver. Once the caps are off, a Phillips screwdriver can be used to take the handles off and access the gasket area. If the gaskets are broken down, simply find the appropriately sized one for your model of faucet. Once that has been done, reverse the disassembly process, turn the water shutoffs back on, and test it.
Installing a New Faucet
Clean the top of the sink thoroughly and let it dry before adding the faucet. The bottom of the assembly should fit easily into the holes of the sink, and you should be able to attach the lines by hand. Fittings on the line should attach to the screw mounts at the hot and cold water supplies and can be tightened by hand. Turn on the shutoffs and test. Contact a professional plumber for further help.