How To Replace A Leaky Or Unsightly Kitchen Sink Drain
Do you have a kitchen sink drain that leaks? Maybe the drain doesn't leak but looks awful. Sometimes, cheap drains can become damaged when you use chemicals to free-up clogs. No matter the reason for your wanting to replace the drain in your kitchen sink, you can do it fairly easily with just a few supplies and a little time.
Find the Location of the Leak
If you are making this repair because of a leak, you need to find the exact location of the leak before you go ripping things apart.
- Remove all of the stuff from under your sink so that you can easily see what is going on underneath.
- Dry off the piping and the underside of the drain.
- Turn on the water and watch underneath to see exactly where the water is coming from. If you can't identify whether the leak is coming from the drain itself or the piping just below the drain, you may need to add a few drops of food coloring to the water in your sink to get a better view of where the water is coming from.
- If the drain is the problem, you will see the water dripping from around the rubber seal at the base of the drain.
If this is the case, continue with your drain replacement project.
Replace the Drain
Take a trip to your local hardware store and purchase the following items:
- Sink strainer/drain assembly kit – this kit will include all of the seals and washers you need for the installation.
- White plastic tailpiece – this should be the exact size as the current one. (The pipe that connects the base of the drain to the drain piping.) It is possible that your old one can be reused if you carefully remove it and clean the threads well.
- Plumber's putty
- Liquid pipe joint compound
- 12" long pipe wrench
- Flathead screwdriver
Step 1: Remove the old drain – use the wrench to loosen the white plastic nut directly below the drain – once loosened, it will slide down the drain pipe. Unscrew the first lock-nut by turning it counterclockwise. If the lock-nut doesn't break free, pry the flat-head screwdriver against the ridge and tap it gently with a hammer. At this point, you should be able to lift the strainer portion of the drain up out of the sink and throw it in the trash.
Step 2: Install the new drain – Open the package and remove all of the parts – you will find instructions in the kit. You can follow those instructions with a few extra tips –
- Prepare the plumber's putty before you place in the threads of the drain – do this by rolling it into a ball and then rubbing it between your hands to create a snake-like shape. It should be roughly 1/4" thick and long enough to wrap around the threads of the drain.
- Press the drain in place and ignore the putty that seeps out of the top. Follow the instructions to attach the parts on the underside of the sink.
- Don't forget to apply the joint compound to the threads of each connection.
Using this guide and the instructions that come with your kit can help you put a stop to your leaky or unsightly drain. If you are unable or not confident in your ability to complete this project, contact your local plumber (like those at Rapid Rooter Of Central Oregon or another location) for assistance.