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A bath faucet where the handles are separate from the spout is known as a Widespread style faucet. These are available in a wide selection styles and prices, and are not difficult to install. The steps below describe how to properly install most common widespread bath faucets.
Seal the spout base
Form plumber’s putty into a rope and place it on the base of the spout. Press the putty against the base. Set the spout into place.
Hand-tighten the basin nut
Tighten the nut just enough to hold it in place. Don’t overtighten, because you will need to center the spout on the sink in step 4.
Thread the tee on the spout
Center the tee so the outlets are approximately parallel to the back wall and line up with the faucets on either side. See step 7.
Center the spout
Once it’s centered, tighten the spout from beneath the sink using a basin wrench.
Place the faucet valves in the sink
Slide the washer over the threads from beneath the sink. Tighten the valve nut until snug.
Connect the faucet valve lines to the faucet valve
Apply pipe compound or Teflon tape to the threads of the valve line, connect to the faucet valve, and hand-tighten. Apply pipe compound or Teflon tape to the other end of the valve line and hand-tighten onto the spout tee.
Finish the assembly and tighten the connections
Apply pipe compound or Teflon tape to the threads of the water supply tailpieces (see inset) and connect the hot and cold water supplies to the hot and cold supply valves. When the entire assembly is complete, go back and tighten all the connections with an adjustable wrench. The last step is to connect the faucet handles to the valves. Apply a bead of plumber’s putty to the faucet handle base, attach the handle, center it, and tighten the faucet nut below the sink with a basin wrench. Turn on the system and check for leaks.
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