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How To Change Sink Drain

How To Remove A Kitchen Sink Drain

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Drain

This article was co-authored by David Balkan and by wikiHow staff writer, Christopher M. Osborne, PhD. David Balkan is a Professional Plumber, CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service, and President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning. As a hands-on owner of these companies for over 40 years, David is knowledgeable about water service lines, sewers, and drain line issues. David is a Committee Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council and has sat on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for over 30 years. His knowledge and solution-oriented approach contributed to Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service being the largest and most trusted service in New York City and the recipient of the 2017 Angies List Super Service Award. This article has been viewed 130,773 times.

If you hear a drip, drip from underneath the kitchen sink when its full of dirty dishes and water, theres a good chance you have a leaky sink drain . The sink strainer is the metal, funnel-shaped contraption that pressure seals to the sink from above and below, and it will eventually either spring a leak or get so scratched and discolored that youll want to replace it. Luckily, with the right tools and some elbow grease, you can remove all but the most stubborn rusted-on sink drains yourself and even install a new one without calling a plumber!

How To Change A Kitchen Sink Drain: In Four Easy Steps

Every now and then a kitchen sink drain needs to be replaced. Most plumbing components will eventually need to be replaced, and if your kitchen sink isnt draining as well as it should, it could be that its old and worn. And if you have to constantly fix it or use a plunger, now is the time to think about replacing the kitchen sink drain for smooth, easy water drainage every time.

However, before you replace a kitchen sink drain, make sure youre not just trying to fix a clogged sink. The main causes of clogged kitchen sinks are grease and food, says Martha Stewart . Thats why its so important to scrape any crumbs off your plate and throw them in the trash before you give it a thorough rinse.

Check your sink area regularly and look for signs of wear and tear. If yours is old and outdated, chances are the drain is too.

Replacing the kitchen sink drain isnt too time-consuming, says Lucy Searle, Global Editor in Chief for Homes & Gardens. It should take about an hour or two from start to finish, and its a task even the most inexperienced DIYer can handle. Its time to replace it when the water isnt draining properly and is difficult to fix, or when youre replacing a kitchen sink as part of a kitchen makeover or update.

Connect The Drain Assembly

Place the lift rod in the hole at the back of the faucet. Then connect the clevis and make sure to tighten the connection screw. If you have a stopper, place it onto the strainer and put the pivot rod in the tailpieces hole.

Test the stopper by operating the pivot rod, then tighten the pivot rods nut onto the tailpiece. Drop the other end of the pivot rod into the cleves hole and slip it through the spring clip to hold it.

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How To Remove Kitchen Sink Drain

Do you have a bowl under your kitchen sink drain to catch dripping water? We know that you understand that a container under the sink is not a plumbing design anywhere, not even in hell.

As homeowners ourselves, we correctly understand how irritation builds with the rising level of water in the bowl. We have seen frustration overflow from keeping an eye to ensure the bowl does not overflow.

In this DIY guide, you will learn the ten steps to remove a kitchen sink drain and install a new one to replace it.

Connect The Drain Parts

Replace Bathroom Sink Drain Pipe And Install A Bathroom Vanity And ...

Push the pop-up drain tailpiece assembly up through the drain opening from under the sink as high as you can. While holding the drain piece in place, fit the drain ring into the opening from above the sink, and thread the ring onto the drain tailpiece as far as you can by hand. . For now, it only needs to be hand-tightened to hold it in place.

The Spruce / Kevin Norris

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Disconnecting The Drain Pipe

  • 1Loosen the coupling nut that connects the strainer to the drain pipe. Sink strainers are always made of metal, but most modern homes have white PVC drain pipes. Youll find either a PVC or metal coupling nut connecting these two components beneath your sink. Loosen this nut to separate them.XResearch source
  • You should be able to loosen a PVC nut by hand, turning it counterclockwise. Wrap a towel around the nut to help you get a better grip on it. A metal nut may also require the use of a pipe wrench or large adjustable wrench.
  • If you wish, you may also be able to disconnect the drain pipe at the top of the trap in order to give yourself more room to work with.
  • 2Stabilize a spinning strainer in order to remove a stubborn nut. If the strainer is spinning counterclockwise along with the nut as you loosen it, youll need to hold it still from above. Insert a pair of needle-nose pliers or a sink drain wrench down into the sink and pinch the strainer grate to immobilize the entire strainer.
  • You may be able to hold the pliers with one hand and loosen the nut with the other, or you may need to recruit a helper. This would be a good helper job for an older kid or teen.
  • If you have trouble squeezing the pliers, you can also insert the handles of the pliers into the openings of the strainer grate, then stick a screwdriver between the handles and hold it steady to immobilize the sink strainer.XResearch source
  • Clean Under The Sink And Around Where You Are Going To Put In A New Drain

    Before putting in your new sink drain, make sure that there aren’t any pieces left over from your old one. Also, check underneath the sink to make sure that it is clean from any dirt or debris. Make sure to clean around where you are going to put in your new drain as well, as any leftover sealant from your old install can make it difficult for your new hardware to sit level with other drains on either side of it.

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    Remove The Old Drain Assembly

    Loosen and remove the P-trap from the branch drain and sink drain tailpiece, using channel-type pliers. With some traps, you may be able to loosen and remove the trap by hand, without a wrench. It’s possible there will be some water in the trap, so position a bucket under the trap to catch this water.

    Next, extract the old pop-up linkage assembly, if there is one.

    Now, use channel-type pliers to remove the mounting nut from the tailpiece on the old drain assembly. Lift the entire drain assembly clear of the sink. This may require some wiggling of the tailpiece to break the seal on the drain flange.

    With the drain assembly removed, clean the sink thoroughly of debris and old plumber’s putty.

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    Apply Putty And Reset The Basket

    How to Install a Bathroom Sink Drain | Repair and Replace

    Roll plumbers putty between your hands into a rope the size of a pencil and wrap it around the lip of the kitchen sink drain opening. Press the kitchen sink strainer firmly down into the putty, add the rubber gasket, friction ring and locknut under the sink, and retighten the locknut.

    If you discover a puddle of water in the cabinet under your sink, it may be caused by a leaky basket strainer. Old plumbing fittings can be tricky to loosen, but well show you how to tear them apart and put them back together without any strain. You can pick up all the necessary supplies at a hardware store or home center.

    To be sure the leak is coming from the basket strainer instead of a pipe joint, test the basket for leaks as shown in Photo 1. Once you confirm that the basket strainer is leaking, begin the removal process . Photo 3 shows how to remove the strainer locknut, which holds the basket tight to the sink. If the locknut is rusted in place, spray it with penetrating oil. If you dont have large enough pliers to get a good grip, loosen the locknut by tapping the locknut with a hammer and an old chisel. Completely remove the locknut, friction ring and gasket, and lift the old basket out of the sink.

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    Figure Out The Height Of Your Drain Outlet

    To start, you should check the drain outlet height especially if you plan on replacing your sink with one that has a different height. You should measure the distance between the trap arm to the bottom of your cabinet.

    If the measurement indicates that the height is greater than 16-inches, youll have to make some adjustments as the new sink cant accommodate the downward slope thats needed for the trap arm. While you can cut the wall open on your own, it is a reasonably complicated job, so its best to seek the help of a professional. If youre doing it on your own, you should leave sufficient space to allow for removing and cleaning the trap.

    Install The New Drain Strainer

    Turn the new sink drain strainer over and apply some plumbers putty around its body.

    Put the drain strainer down the sinks drain hole and press it down to achieve an even seal with the putty between the sink and the drain strainer.

    Do not press the basket strainer so hard such that the entire putty is squeezed out. Clean off excess putty squeezed out as you pressed the drain strainer down the hole.

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    Buy The Right Drain For Your Sink

    Before replacing your drain, you need to inspect the size of the sink. Make sure to measure the opening or take a look at the manufacturers instructions for the drain size. If you get the wrong size, you may end up with clogged drains, or the drain falls into the drain lines.

    Getting a drain with a different finish usually works well to add an accent to the sink. Brass drains are the most popular sink drains since theyre pleasing to the eyes.

    A bronze drain has a versatile finish, which makes an eye-catching combination. It blends with copper sinks and concrete sinks. A nickel drain gives a nice shine, while a chrome drain matches with modern bathrooms and sinks.

    Measure The Tailpiece For Buying A New Kitchen Sink


    You can choose a new sink with a deeper basin than the existing sink has, but if it hangs down too low, it wont drain properly and youll have to lower the sanitary tee connection in the drain line inside the wall. Youll definitely want to avoid this task if the connection is metal and ends up being behind base cabinets. Plastic pipe is easierif you can get to it easily. The actual tee connection may be several studs over from where the waste arm enters the wall.

    Measure the sink tailpiece between the basket strainer and the tee. That measurement is the extra depth that can be added to the sink bowl without lowering the drainpipe going into the wall. Also be aware that a new disposer may have a lower drainpipe than your existing onebut it cant be lower than the tee. If the disposer drainpipe will be too low, consider a sink with different depth bowls. Youll have a deep bowl for dishes and a shallow one for the disposer.

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    Check The Drain Outlet Height

    Before removing the old sink and buying a new kitchen sink, it is a good idea to check the height of the trap arm on the old sink. The trap arm is the horizontal piece between the U-shaped trap bend and the branch drainpipe in the wall. It connects to a sanitary tee fitting in the branch drain and should slope down toward the tee at about 1/4-inch per foot for proper drainage.

    Measure up from the floor or base of the cabinet to the center of the trap arm. If the height is more than 16 inches, you may find that a new sink will not allow for the necessary downward slope for the trap arm.

    The Spruce / Kevin Norris

    Replacing The Drain Pipe

    The new pipe should be the same internal diameter and length as the old pipe. This ensures that the drain will function correctly. When connecting the new pipe to an existing drain pipe, place rubber couplings on either end of the existing pipe loosening the steel bands will help you do this. You can also ease the steel bands on the opposite side of the couplings, ready to receive the new PVC pipe. You can use a flat screwdriver for this, but you can use a 5/16 inch socket if you have one too.

    If you are also installing a new tailpiece and P-trap, install all of this before the pipework. Once this is installed, you can take accurate measurements for the rest of the system.

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    Connect The Drain Trap

    The drain trap assembly includes a U-shaped trap bend and a J-shaped trap arm. The trap bend fits onto the bottom of the tailpiece tee fitting, while the trap arm extends into the drain outlet in the wall.

    Assemble the trap bend and trap arm together loosely with a slip nut and washer. Slide a slip nut and washer onto the straight end of the trap arm. Push the trap bend up into the tee fitting on the tailpiece while sliding the trap arm into the drain outlet at the wall.

    Adjust the trap pieces as needed to create the most direct path from the sink to the drain outlet. Make sure the trap arm has a slight downward angle toward the drain outlet.

    Confirm that the continuous waste pipe and the trap arm slope slightly downward in the direction of the water flow, then check all of the drain connections to make sure they are tight.

    Replacing A Sink Drain Instructions:

    How To Replace A Bathroom Sink Drain Assembly

    Lay out a towel under your sink to catch any drips and to cushion your work area.

    Reach behind your drain and unscrew the cap around the pop-up ball and rod. Remove them from the drain.

    Remove the stopper from the drain.

    Look under the sink and locate the P-trap. Loosen the slip nuts from the p-trap near the wall and on the drain.

    Pull the P-Trap down to release it from the drain. Dump any excess water and gunk into a basin.

    The tailpiece on my drain assembly was plastic and just crumbled in my hand

    Use your pliers to loosen the nut on the drain and remove it. If the nut is stuck, spray a little WD-40 on it and wait about 10-15 minutes.

    Pull the rubber gasket from the bottom of the drain.

    Reach on top into the sink and lift up the drain flange.

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    Connecting The Drain Tap

  • Connect both the trap bend and arm . Youd want to use a slip nut for this.
  • Then, nudge the trap bend into the tee fitting and slide the trap arm in.
  • Place the trap pieces so youve got the shortest path from the sink to the wall tee, the trap arm should also be sloping downwards slightly.
  • If its too long, youd want to mark your measurement and cut it before reinstalling the P-trap assembly.
  • Make sure the slip nuts are tightened to a reasonable degree.
  • Ensure that both the continuous waste pipe along the trap arm has a slight downwards slope.
  • Finally, ensure that all drain connections are tight.
  • In this step, the trap must face the right direction. If its in the wrong direction, youll have to deal with leaks.

    Apply Plumbers Putty To The Basket Strainer

    Use your bare palm to roll a slender length of the plumbers putty and thread it all over the base of the strainer.

    The rolled-up putty should have an equal diameter down its stretch to avoid one part of the strainer appearing more padded than others.

    Plumbers putty is also available in retail hardware stores around you.

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    Replacing A Sink Drain

    Have you ever needed to know How to Replace a Sink Drain? Or maybe in the past you hired a plumber. Well, Im here today to tell you that its not a hard project and I know you can do it!

    I think the plumbing Gods smiled down on me recently. After the little leak that turned into a major kitchen renovation, finding this crack in the drain pipe saved us from another costly leak.

    I dont normally inspect the drain pipes on our sinks, but I just happen to be looking for something under my sons sink when I noticed the crack on the drain pipe. Remarkably, there were no drips in the vanity. Before I could grab a new drain assembly, I gently hinted to the family that they might want to use another sink in the house.

    How To Install A Pop

    How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer

    Aaron Stickley is a licensed plumber with 15 years of experience in commercial, new residential plumbing, and residential service and repair. He started his own residential service and repair plumbing business. Aaron’s articles about plumbing on The Spruce span four years.

    The Spruce / Ana Cadena

    • Working Time: 30 mins – 1 hr
    • Total Time: 30 mins – 1 hr
    • Skill Level: Beginner
    • Estimated Cost: $20 to $50

    For most bathroom sinks, the drain stopper apparatus is a pop-up assembly that works by means of a small vertical rod attached to a pivot rod below the sink. This lift rod slides up and down through a small hole in the back of the faucet body. The pivot rod moves a linkage inside the drain tailpiece, lifting or lowering the stopper as needed.

    You’ll need to install a new drain stopper whenever you install a new sink. And sometimes when you are installing a new faucet, it may come with a stopper assembly that needs to be swapped out with the old stopper. Finally, if a sink drain begins to leak, you can buy a new stopper assembly to replace the old faulty one.

    Installation of a drain stopper is usually fairly straightforward and simple, but occasionally the process can become a little more complicated due to variations in the fixture or fittings.

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