How to Replace Drain Pipes


The immediate repair of damaged or leaky drain pipes prevents costly water damage and halts the development of mold and mildew. Replacing damaged drain pipes requires only novice plumbing skills and readily available tools and materials. Even the beginning do-it-yourself plumber can easily replace the common, under-sink drain pipes. Learn how to complete this common plumbing repair problem and save money by doing it yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Rag
  • Bucket
  • Slip-joint pliers
  • Drain assembly kit
  • Place a bucket beneath the drain pipes you are replacing.

  • Grip the drain pipe's compression nut with your hand and turn counterclockwise to loosen. If the nut will not budge, wrap a rag around the nut, attach a pair of slip-joint pliers to the nut and turn counterclockwise to loosen. Remove the rag, fully loosen the nut and slide the nut away from the joint.

  • Loosen the nut at the opposite, threaded end of the drain pipe. Slide the nut and accompanying washer away from the joint and onto the adjacent drain line. Slowly remove the pipe from the drain line, allowing trapped water to drain into the bucket.

  • Remove the replacement pipe from the drain assembly kit. Slide a compression washer over the smooth end of the replacement pipe. Slide a compression nut over the smooth end of the replacement pipe with the nut's threads facing outward.

  • Place the threaded end of the replacement pipe against the adjacent drain line from which you removed the threaded end of the old drain pipe. Slide the washer and nut on the adjacent pipe toward the threads of the replacement pipe. Press the nut onto the threads and turn clockwise to tighten.

  • Insert the smooth end of the replacement pipe into the open end of the opposite drain line. Press the replacement pipe's washer and nut onto the drain line's threads. Turn the nut clockwise to tighten.

  • Wipe the drain pipes with a rag to dry. Open the sink's faucet and allow water to run through the new installation. Visually check for leaks. Run your hands around the new joints to check for leaks.

Tips & Warnings

  • To ensure that you purchase the correct drain assembly kit, remove the drain pipes and take them with you to the hardware store.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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