Stuck Shutoff Valves
If your shutoff valve is stuck open, you can often free it by loosening the packing nut slightly. This relieves pressure on the valve stem and allows you to turn the valve more easily. Retighten the valve stem nut just enough to prevent leaks around the valve stem.
Remove the Aerator Before You Turn on the Water
Messing around with plumbing often dislodges minerals or other debris that has built up inside the pipes and valves. To prevent that stuff from clogging the aerator in your new faucet, remove the aerator before turning the water back on. The aerator is the device on the end of your faucet that has a screen or perforated plastic covering the end. Most aerators simply unscrew counterclockwise. Some new faucets include a special tool for removing the aerator.
If you’re installing a pullout faucet, the aerator can be tricky to remove. If this is the case, simply unscrew the entire spray head from the supply tube and point the tube into the sink while you turn on the water. Let the water run a few seconds. Then replace the aerator or spray head. If your faucet ever starts to run slowly, remove the aerator and clean it. This will usually fix the problem.
Save the Instructions and Parts in a Freezer Bag
Many new faucets include wrenches, aerator removal tools, and other parts or tools that you should keep. An easy way to keep track of this stuff, along with the instruction sheet, is to put it all in a big freezer bag and hang it inside the sink cabinet, where you’ll always be able to find it.