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How To Replace Kitchen Sink Drain

How To Replace Kitchen Sink Drain

The kitchen sink drain is an essential part of your sink assembly. It is the primary point of drainage and, just like your garbage disposal and P-trap, requires periodic cleaning. It is important to periodically replace your kitchen sink drain as overtime with use it can become damaged and cause leaks.

Your kitchen sink drain is in constant contact with water and food waste. Overtime, sink drains endure damage from water and moisture. An old or damaged sink drain can lead to water leaking into the cabinet below your sink. Conversely, it can also lead to a clogged sink.

The combination of constant water drainage and possible moisture build-up in your sink drain can lead to corrosion. All it takes is a peep into the cabinet underneath your sink to check the condition of your kitchen sink drain. If you’re like me, your sink cabinet is the place to store cleaning supplies. So when you open it once a week to get your house cleaning underway, you expect to see your cleaning wipes and detergent. But what if you are met with a pool of water right below the sink?

That is exactly what I encountered last summer. But admittedly, I guess I only have myself to blame. I had noticed corrosion on my drain but did not replace my kitchen sink drain for weeks. Once corrosion starts, it is only going to get worse with time. Just like the saying goes – precaution is better than cure when it comes to kitchen sink drains, it is always better to replace them before they reach the point of no return.

While you check the condition of your kitchen sink drain, also check the state of your sink. If your sink is old and corroded, replace your kitchen sink along with your kitchen sink drain.

Before you get ready to call a plumber, this is something you can do yourself! We break down the process into 3 simplified parts to teach you how to replace your kitchen sink drain all by yourself.

Average Cost To Replace Kitchen Sink Drain

A kitchen sink drain is an object that will be used daily. Furthermore, it will be exposed to water and food waste, which can lead to corrosion and damage over time. It is advisable to buy a good-quality drain from a reputed manufacturer. Expect to spend between $35-$100 for this project.

replace your kitchen sink

Time Required

Replacing your kitchen sink drain will take between 1-2 hours. Review the list of tools below to ensure that you are well prepared for the project. Before beginning to remove any pipe connections to your sink, close the water valves located underneath your sink.

Tools & Materials

Part 1: Remove Your Old Sink Drain

  1. Firstly, disconnect the drain pipe from the sink drain. Using a set of pliers to loosen the coupling nut that connects the pipe to the drain.
  2. Once loose, you’ll be able to pull the pipe out of the nut. 
  3. Now twist the nut by hand and remove it from the sink drain.
  4. Older sinks have a lock nut at the bottom of the drain strainer. You’ll need to use 16-in—slip-joint pliers or a spud wrench to remove the lock nut.
  5. If the entire nut spins with the drain bracket, insert handles of a plier into the strainer. This will hold the nut in place.
  6. Once steady, remove the nut using the joint pliers.
  7. Then, proceed to pull the strainer out from the top of the sink by hand. If the strainer is old, it will be stuck to the sink, and you will need to pry it out using a putty knife.
  8. Once you have removed all parts of the old sink drain, wash the area with soap and water. This will clean any debris or waste stuck to the sink opening and the underside of the drain.

Part 2: Attach Your New Sink Drain

  1. Grab a handful of plumber’s putty and kneed it for a few minutes with your hands. The goal is to make it smooth and soft to make it easier to attach it to the sink drain.
  2. Place your beam of plumber’s putty under the rim of the sink drain’s opening on the top side of the sink.
  3. Then, firmly press the strainer onto the drain opening.
  4. There’s bound to be excess putty oozing out from the rim of the sink. Clean it using a putty knife and wipe the area with a cloth to remove any excess.
  5. Then, attach the rubber gasket to the underside of the drain. The sink drain will have groves on which the gasket will easily twist into place (it simply needs to be snug, don’t over tighten).
  6. Additionally, attach any washers that came with your new sink drain following the same method as above.
  7. Now it’s time to secure your sink drain. Tread the lock nut onto the underside of the strainer and twist hand until it touched the sink.
  8. Then, using a pair of pliers, tighten the nut.
  9. Some lock nuts will come with a metal assembly with screws that help to hold the nut in place. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to install these.

Part 3: Re-install the Pipes

  1. Using the coupling nut, attach the strainer’s assembly to the drain pipe. Tighten the nut using slip-joint pliers.
  2. Once you have made all the connections, open your faucet and let the water run.
  3. Lastly, check from any leaks at the drain opening, the lock nut and the coupling nut. Tighten the connections accordingly.
new kitchen sink drain

The strainer should be firmly in place. If it seems to be loose, you’ll need to remove the sink drain again, apply additional plumber’s putty and re-attach to ensure that it is properly installed.

Frequently Asked Questions: How to Replace Kitchen Sink Drain

When should I change my sink drain?

If you notice leakage from the drain, you should replace it. Water being collected in your sink can cause further damage to pipes and the cabinet.

Do I need to replace my sink with the drain?

Your sink and the sink drain are two individual parts. You can replace them separately, but if your sink is old and has corrosion like your drain, it is advised that you replace them together.


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