How To Install A Sink Drain

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Installing a sink drain is an easy DIY project that most homeowners can do themselves.

The process of installing a sink drain typically involves a few steps that are very basic but can be done in slightly different ways.

In this article, we'll go over the steps involved in installing such a sink drain as well as mention some common mistakes or issues that can arise when doing this project, along with what to avoid. You can also check out our guide on how Drano works so you can deal with clogged sinks and drains at home.

Keep reading to find out more. 

Kitchen Sink Installation Step-by-Step Guide - This Old House

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How to install a sink drain

The following steps will walk you through how to install a sink drain.

1. Turn off the water supply

The first step is to shut off the water supply at your home's main shutoff valve. This is important because you do not want any water flowing while working on this project, as it can lead to some serious problems that are difficult and expensive to fix.

2. Remove the old drain from under the sink

After turning off the water supply, put on some gloves and safety goggles, and set up a small pan to catch any loose plumbing pipes or parts that may come loose during the process of removing your old drain. Then unscrew all of your plumbing lines from your old drain until they are all disconnected. This should include a hot water line if you have one. You can use a wrench or simply twist them off by hand.

After all of the plumbing lines are removed, take a flat head screwdriver and pry your old drain assembly out from under the sink. If it's being particularly stubborn, you can carefully hit it with a hammer to loosen it before trying again with the screwdriver. If there is any sealant that seems as though it may be causing an issue when removing your old drain, scraping it away will allow for much easier removal.

3. Clean under the sink and around where you are going to put in a new drain

Before putting in your new sink drain, make sure that there aren't any pieces left over from your old one. Also, check underneath the sink to make sure that it is clean from any dirt or debris. Make sure to clean around where you are going to put in your new drain as well, as any leftover sealant from your old install can make it difficult for your new hardware to sit level with other drains on either side of it.

4. Put in your new drain

Once everything has been checked and cleaned, take a look at how far your water lines stick up above the countertop by holding a ruler along them against the back wall under the sink. You will need this measurement so you know how much space you have to work with when putting in your new drain.

Then take your new sink drain and set it in where you want it to go, making sure that the rubber gasket is facing down on top of your countertop. After your hardware is situated where you want it, put the washers and nuts on either side of it, then twist them together with a wrench or socket set.

If there are any additional pieces necessary for connecting your plumbing lines to your new drain (such as an overflow pipe), attach these parts now before putting in anything else below the sink.

5. Connect all of your plumbing pipes to the newly installed drain

Turn on the water supply, check for leaks, and then enjoy. After everything has been connected, turn on the water supply at your main shutoff valve, and check for any leaks. If you find any leaks after doing this, shut off the water supply and tighten your new sink drain a little bit more to stop the leak.

After everything is checked and tightened, turn on your water supply at the main shutoff valve again and enjoy your newly installed sink drain.

How to Install a Sink Drain - Step by Step Guide to Installing a Sink Drain

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Common mistakes or issues that may arise while installing a sink drain

These are some common mistakes that people make while installing sink drains, and how to fix them.

Not using enough plumbers putty or sealant when putting in your drain

Not using enough plumbers putty or sealant is very easy to do, but it can lead to some big problems down the road if you don't use enough of either on your new hardware. To combat this issue, make sure you go back over all of the delicate areas after finishing with everything else below the sink and add more sealant. Doing so will prevent leaks from ever happening around any of your connection points between your plumbing lines and your new drain assembly.

Screwing down pieces too hard into place (trying ‘force' pieces together)

Trying to screw down any pieces too hard, or using force when putting them in place can cause a variety of issues. For example, one issue that may arise from trying to force a drain flange into place is stripping the screws out on the other side. If this happens, you will need to move your new drain assembly back up and try to get the screws through the bottom by twisting the drain until they meet up with their corresponding holes.

How To Remove Sink Stopper

Removing a sink stopper can be a challenge because of the wire that is inside. The plunger uses the wire as a spring mechanism to move up and down. The rubber piece attaches to the plunger so it can shut off the water from going down your drain. When removing a sink stopper, you have to let all of this air out first or risk getting burned by hot water trying to exit through your drain opening.

Following the right steps when it comes to removing a sink stopper will save you time and effort. These will allow you to remove the stopper without injuring yourself and making the necessary repairs on your drain assembly.

Stuff a rag into your sink drain opening so that nothing can fall on it – including tools or parts of your plunger.

Place your bucket under the drain opening. This will be where the water goes once you pry off the wire holding pieces together with pliers so you don't have to worry about emptying it later on. Be sure to place this bucket far enough away that no one accidentally kicks it over and spills its contents all over the floor.

Wear protective gloves while performing any workaround hot pipes and other things that could burn you if they come in contact with bare skin for too long. The rubber gasket can get hot very quickly, so protect your skin from this.

How Your Different Bathroom Sink Drain Parts Work

Many different parts make up a sink drain and they all must work together for the sink to properly function. Knowing how each part works and interacts with one another will allow you to troubleshoot problems with your drain more efficiently.

A standard bathroom sink has two drains; one for water from the faucet, and one for draining water after washing hands or doing other tasks where water doesn't remain in the basin. This second drain is called an overflow pipe because it allows excess water to leave the basin through this opening when too much enters. The stopper is lifted by pushing down on it with your hand; however, this causes a chain reaction of events that lead to the plunger moving up and down over the drain opening.

Understanding how the different bathroom sink drain parts work is the first step in determining the problem and knowing how to fix it.

Final thoughts on how to install a sink drain

In conclusion, many different factors go into installing a bathroom sink drain, so understanding how to do it correctly and what can go wrong will help you save time and money if the assembly needs to be changed. Follow this simple guide on how to install a sink drain properly and you won't have any issues with your new plumbing installation in the future.

Jim Spencer

Jim Spencer

Jim has been in the construction business for over 12 years with plenty of experience working on client projects, from start to finish. From kitchens to bathrooms and backyard spaces, he writes on a wide variety of topics surrounding home improvement.

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