How To Remove 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 143,690 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!
Hometodays 2021 A To Z Stain Removal Guide
You can also try a microbial cleaner, such as Bio-Clean Drain Septic Bacteria. Stay clear of any type of drain acid, James warned. As a rule of thumb, anything you wouldnt want to drink, you shouldnt put down your drain because eventually it ends up in the water supply.
William Harvey Sink Plunger, $11,
Seal The Underside Of The Sinks Drain Hole
Crawl into the sink cabinet and put a rubber-seal washer over the bottom of the drain strainer.
Also, put a friction-protection band over the rubber washer before you secure the drainer strainer tightly with a lock nut.
You should grip the drain strainer with a pair of needle-nose pliers to prevent it from turning round along the wrench while you are fastening the lock nut.
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Make Use Of A Sink Unclogging Product
If your sink is sluggish, which indicates that water takes a long time to move down the drain, and particularly if you are dealing with a bathroom sink that has likely gathered soap scum and/or hair obstructions, you should use a solution that is designed specifically for unclogging drains.
In both of these scenarios, the drain is likely to be clogged. The hair will be chemically dissolved by a substance designed to unclog sinks. Even if it isnt the most eco-friendly choice, its often the only viable option for a problem that cant be solved any other way.
Drain Cleaning Without A Plunger
Here’s What We Have in This Article
There are a number of alternatives to the use of a plunger or plumbing service that can be utilized to properly clear a clogged sink drain.
These are a few surefire solutions that you may test out at home ranging from employing natural approaches to using heavier commercial cleaning products and just plain old elbow grease drain cleaner.
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Loosen The Sink Strainer
If your model uses screws, remove those using a standard screwdriver. Be sure to match the head and size to the type of screw. Place them in the box or tray and remove the plate.
If your model uses a single locknut, youll loosen it in much the same way that you did the coupling further down. You may need to shift it using an adjustable or pipe wrench. You can also stop by a hardware store to purchase a locknut wrench.
Once youve loosened the fitting enough for it to spin smoothly, unthread it by hand. If the rubber washer is still in reasonable shape, you can put it back afterward.
At Mr. Kitchen Faucet, we suggest that you replace the washer with a new one. They are not that expensive, and its easy to swap it out now that you have everything disconnected.
If you have a bell washer strainer, loosen the nut at the bottom. You may then wriggle the housing free. If it doesnt budge, use a screwdriver to pry it off.
Choosing Your New Sink Drain
Drains come in a standard size, but its how the drain connects to the sink that you need to get right. For the best results, take the part that you just removed to the hardware store and let them choose the correct drain.
While youre there, get a new gasket, a putty knife, plumbers putty, or a non-water-based silicone.
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Disconnecting The Drain Pipe
Shut Off Water Supply
Reach for the shut-off valves in the sink cabinet to turn off the hot and cold water supply to the kitchen sink faucet.
This step may not be necessary as the part of the sink you will be working on does not deal with the water supply tubes.
However, turning off the shut-off valves is something a novice in plumbing should get used to doing.
This precaution will ensure you do not make a mess of your work even when you turn on the water faucet unknowingly, especially if you have installed a touchless kitchen faucet.
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How To Tell If You Have A Grease Clog In A Drain
If your drain is clogged, how can you tell if you have a grease clog in the drain? There are a few ways to tell. First, think about your cooking habits in the kitchen. Do you often pour cooking fats or grease down your drain rather than disposing of it in the garbage? If that sounds like you, theres probably a plug of congealed grease clogging up your drain.
Even if you dont directly pour oils into your drain, a grease clog can be the byproduct of everyday cooking. If you cook with a lot of meats or dairy products, theres fat in those foods. When you wash your pans and dishes, those fats get washed down the drain. Over time, these little bits of oils and fats will collect and eventually clog the drain.
How To Remove A Push
As mentioned above, push-and-pull drain stoppers are very similar to lift-and-turn stoppers in both function and in appearance, though the knob on the top of a push-and-pull drain stopper is typically wider and smoother than the knob used on a lift-and-turn drain stopper. Push-and-pull drain stoppers are easy to identify because they have a very simple operating mechanism. Just push the plug down to close the drain and pull the knob up to open the drain.
Can You Pour Bleach Down A Smelly Drain
Bleach is not recommended for cleaning and dealing with smelly drains. When used to tackle pungent odors from the drain, this might cause a chlorine odor that can be harmful. Chlorine is especially not recommended for homes with septic tanks. Bleach is known to kill bacteria that break down septic waste and can permanently damage the septic system. If solids in your septic tank dont break down, they fail to drain the tank properly and cause the waste system to clog.
How To Remove A Lift
A lift-and-turn drain stopper can usually be identified by a small, threaded knob on the top of the stopper. This style of drain stopper is similar to a push-and-pull stopper, except the knob on a push-and-pull stopper is fixed in place in order for the user to push the stopper down or pull the stopper up. The knob on a lift-and-turn drain stopper rotates to the left and right. Typically, turning the knob to the left will close the drain, and turning it to the right while lifting will open the drain, though differences can exist from product to product.
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How Do You Unclog A Sink With A Garbage Disposal
If you have a kitchen sink with a garbage disposal that isnt draining and seems jammed, you can dislodge the debris thats clogging your drain by using a kitchen plunger. How to unclog the drain depends on if its an issue with the sink or garbage disposal. Always check the garbage disposal to resolve sink drains.
To unclog a sink with a garbage disposal, plunge the drain, and tighten a clamp over the rubber part of the drain line to your dishwasher. This can be found under your sink.
Place the plunger over the clogged sink drain and fill it with water . Hold a wet rag over the adjacent drain and plunge vigorously for several minutes.
You can also fight especially persistent or tough garbage disposal clogs head-on with Liquid-Plumr® Clog Destroyer Plus+ Pipeguard. The powerful formula cuts through standing water to unclog your garbage disposal, clear your drain walls, and deodorize your drain and can help with kitchen sink drain clogs.
Also, when youre working to unclog your garbage disposal, never put your hand down your kitchen sink drain in an effort to reach the clog or something else that may be stuck. If something like a piece of silverware falls in by accident, or any other foreign object, turn the disposal off and use tongs to retrieve the item.
If you have an urgent plumbing problem, or one that wont go away, you may need to .
Learn more about how to use Liquid-Plumr® products on our FAQs page.
How Can I Remove A Sink Stopper If Its Stuck
Removing a sink stopper can seem like a difficult task, especially if its stuck. Luckily, there are a few methods you can try to get the job done. In this blog post, well discuss the different ways to remove a sink stopper if its stuck. Well also share some common reasons why a sink stopper could become stuck in the first place. So if youre struggling to remove your sink stopper and need a little help, read on for some advice! And if you need any additional help, you can always . At Miller & Sons Plumbing in Ocala, FL, no job is too big or too small for us to handle.
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Installing The Drain Plug
There are different bathroom sink stopper types, including pop-up, flip-it, push-and-pull, lift-and-turn, trip-lever and toe-touch stoppers, explains Home Depot. Pop-up ones are amongst the easiest to install. For these, place the stopper into the drain, keeping the hole at the end facing the back of the sink.
Next, you will need to place the drain stopper in the sink drain. When you do this, be sure the hole at the base of the stopper faces the back of the sink. Now, insert the pop-up assembly’s pivot rod and ball right into the opening of the drain tailpiece it should be in there snugly. Slide the ball nut over your pivot rod and then screw it onto the drain tailpiece.
The next step is to slide the pivot rod through one end of the spring clip. Then, slide your pivot rod through the closest hole in the clevis strap. Carefully slide the spring clip’s other end through the rod, which should hold it in place. To test the assembly, raise and lower the stopper to make sure it operates smoothly.
Things You Will Need
Take The P Trap Apart
If all else fails, itâs time to bring out the big guns. If you canât reach down the drain pipe yourself, the magnet doesnât work, and the four-pronged tool just isnât grabbing onto anything other than scum, taking apart the P trap is probably your only other option.
Thankfully, this isnât quite as complicated as it sounds. It does, however, call for a reasonable level of DIY skills and a little care. Here are some practical tips on how to make sure that taking the P-trap apart doesnât create a mess in your kitchen or bathroom:
- Clear out the space underneath the sink you need to work on: You will be working here and need enough space without any hindrances or chemicals that might present a hazard to your health.
- Place a bucket under the pipes: There will be some sludge accumulated within the P-trap pipes. When you take it apart, this sludge is going to go somewhere. Itâs best if that place was inside a bucket as opposed to on the floor. Besides, there is a good chance that the item you are looking for is inside this sludge, so catching it inside the bucket makes it much easier to retrieve.
- Take the P-Trap Apart: Depending on the kind of P trap you have, you can easily take it apart with your hands , or you might need to use some tools such as a pair of pliers or a wrench to remove the slip nut.
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Remove The Sink Parts Holding The Stopper In Place
Take a look under your sink at the pipes and configuration. Youll see a rod that extends from the sinks drain that is kept in place by a nut. This is the pivot rod, and it secures the sink stopper in place and keeps it from getting too high or too low.
Use pliers to gently remove the nut on the pivot rod, and then remove the pivot rod. Once the rod is removed, you should be able to pull the stopper up and out of the drain.
To replace the stopper and pivot rod, place the stopper back in the drain hole within the sink and turn it so that the hole in the bottom of the stopper faces the same direction of the pivot rod entry point. Put the stopper back into the sink and then replace the pivot rod.
Baking Soda And Vinegar
This is an old method of unclogging drains that has proven to be very effective in bathroom sinks. Simply mix 1/3 cup of baking soda with 1/3 cup of vinegar in a measuring cup.
This mixture will start to fizz immediately and should be promptly poured down the drain. The fizzing action is what helps remove the hair and grime so effectively. Let it sit for about an hour, then flush it out with hot water.
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Tips For Preventing Future Clogs
- Don’t use your drain as a trash can. Large bones, coffee grounds, and fibrous vegetables shouldn’t go in your sink or your garbage disposal.
- Don’t pour grease or oil down your drain. It can harden as it cools, causing clogs.
- When leaning over your bathroom sink, be careful not to let hair, Q-tips, dental floss, or other items fall into the sink.
- Don’t dispose of paint in the sink.
- Invest in a sink strainer to catch wayward objects like hair, food, etc.
- Run hot water down the drain on a regular basis to flush out debris.
- Use the vinegar and baking soda method once a month as a preventative measure. It will remove debris before it becomes a large blockage.
Remove The Sink Drain
Once youve loosened the plate, nut or fixture, twist the basket strainer. If the fitting and strainer gate doesnt move, jiggle it a little. This action helps to dislodge sealant remnants. Try to chip away any stubborn little bits with a chisel or pliers.
If it still doesnt move, lightly hammer the bottom with a mallet. Take care not to damage the sink drain.
Once the sink drain loosens, continue to wiggle it around until you can push it out entirely. Using a plastic knife, scrape away any plumbers putty from around the opening where the sink drains.
Note: Use plastic to avoid scratching the stainless-steel surface. Scratches allow dirt and moisture to accumulate, speeding the deterioration of the metal.
Thats the end of part one of the sink drain kitchen removal.
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