family plumbing awareness

family plumbing awareness

Replacing A Sink Drain Isn't Too Tough--Here's How

Patsy Peterson

If your sink is starting to leak, then it is time to replace the drain. While you can certainly call a plumber and have them do the work for you (and there is nothing wrong with this!), you can probably manage to replace the drain yourself. There are just a couple simple steps you need to follow to ensure you won't have to call that plumber to clean up your mess.

Gather Your Materials

The first step in any project is to make sure you have everything you need to complete it. Be sure to get everything you need before you begin to avoid any potential problems.

Here's your list: 

  1. A bucket to catch the water in the trap.
  2. A wrench, wire brush, a pipe threader, and saw capable of cutting through the old pipes.
  3. A new trap, along with whatever pipe and fittings you need to connect to the old sink and drain.
  4. Sealant appropriate for the type of pipes you are using.
  5. Paper towels and general cleaning supplies in case things get messy.

It is also a good idea to turn off the water before you start working. If you are fixing a leak, you've probably already cleared the area to prevent your items from getting damaged. If you haven't cleaned out your cabinet yet, you need to now. The trap contains water all the time, so even with the water off, you will probably make a bit of a mess getting the old drain out.

Remove the Old Drain

Place the bucket under the trap and use the wrench to unscrew the tap. Carefully dump the water in the trap into the bucket and clean up around it. Because this water sits in the trap for long periods of time, it will collect grime and bacteria. After cleaning up any spills, washing your hands is a good idea as well.

If you are only replacing the trap, you can clean around the joint and get ready to install the new one. If you have additional pipe to replace, use the saw to remove it. While the trap is screwed into place (so you can easily access is to remove clogs), the rest of the joints should be cemented together. The only way to get them apart again is to cut the pipe and join in a new piece. Once again, you may need to clean both the area and the pipe before you move on.

Install the New Plumbing

Now you're ready to install your new plumbing.

  1. Measure, cut and install the new drain ends if necessary. (Skip this if you are only replacing the trap.) Make sure that the new pipe is long enough to sit snugly into the fittings.
  2. Follow the directions one the pipe sealant to connect the new ends. Depending on the number of steps, things might take awhile to set. Make sure the area is well ventilated if you want to continue working while the cement sets.
  3. Open up the P-trap kit, layout the pieces, and grab the instructions. To avoid leaks, read and carefully follow the instructions. Assemble the various washers according to the instructions.
  4. Wrap the threads with plumber's tape and screw in the trap. Make sure the cement on the other joints has had plenty of time to cure before you test the new drain.

Installing your own drains should seem more doable now that you understand how the process works. Doing small tasks like this around the house allows you to take ownership over your own home and leave extra space in the budget to hire someone when things really go wrong.


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family plumbing awareness

Keeping your home's plumbing system in good working order is a family job. Have you taught your kids what should never be flushed down the toilets or poured down the drains? Do your kids know what to watch for to know that there is a plumbing problem that needs to be addressed? If your kids know what to look for, they will be less likely to contribute to making a minor plumbing problem more serious. This blog will show you things that you should teach your kids so that everyone can work together to protect the entire plumbing system in your home.