How to Replace a Sink Drain

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A leak under the sink can be caused from a bad seal between the actual sink and the sink strainer. Attempt to fix the leak first by tightening the nut that holds the pieces together. If the leak continues, you will need to remove the sink drain to either replace gaskets or replace the entire assembly.

Things You'll Need

  • Pliers, tips covered with masking tape
  • Spud wrench
  • Hammer
  • Long-nose pliers
  • Putty knife
  • Adhesive gasket or plumber's putty
  • Loosen coupling nuts from the top end of the tailpiece using pliers. Slide the nuts off the threads and remove the tailpiece from the sink strainer body at the top and the trap at the bottom. Place masking tape on the pliers' teeth before using.

  • Undo the locknut using a spud wrench. If the locknut is too tight, use a hammer and a piece of a wooden dowel to gently tap one of the lugs on the locknut to loosen it.

  • Prevent the strainer assembly from rotating as you undo the locknut by inserting long-nose pliers into the assembly to brace it.

  • Remove the sink drain assembly. Scrap off old putty on the drain opening with a putty knife, being careful not to damage the lip.

  • Attach the new adhesive gasket that came with the new sink drain or apply some plumber's putty to the drain opening.

  • Put the new strainer in the opening. Attach gasket, friction ring, and locknut from underneath the sink, tighten the locknut, and then reattach the tailpiece. Remove any excess putty around the drain opening.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep track of all the nuts and washers as you remove the drain assembly if you are going to reattach it.
  • Clean putty off of the old drain assembly if reusing it. Also consider buying new gaskets and washers for a tighter fit.

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