How Different Parts of a Bathroom Sink Work

Jump to Section

The most basic bathroom or kitchen sink faucet parts are a washer, drain flange, tailpiece, gasket, and locknut. But did you know that sometimes you need up to 20 pieces for your drains to work correctly? The very popular pop-up drain assembly connects many different parts of sink faucets. Also, be sure to check out our guide on how Drano works so you can deal with clogged sinks or a drain opening.

So, if you've been looking for ways to understand how the parts of a bathroom sink work and learn about drain assembly, here is a list of 20 different parts to start your off – we also include information about how they work.

Bathroom Sinks

1.     The Shut-Off Valve: Hot and Cold Water

This is the drain part that receives the water in your sink system from the main water supply. Typically, two shut-off valves allow water to reach your sink. However, the water has to be under pressure to get to the sink. One bathroom sink valve is for cold water supply lines, and the other is for hot water.

Of course, the hot water comes from your water heater, and the cold water comes directly from the main water supply. Also, when you decide to do any plumbing work, the shut-off valve is the part you use to shut off the water from reaching your bathroom sink.

2.     The Faucet Body

Otherwise known as the tap, you already know how this part of your bathroom sink drain works. Nonetheless, the sink faucet is the part where the cold or hot water comes out, ready for you to use.

3.     The Faucet Handles

While the shut-off valve is excellent at stopping and starting the water flow into your bathroom sink, it is not convenient or easily accessible. This is why you need the faucet handle to let you open and shut the flow of water from your faucet whenever you want.

All you have to do is turn the faucet handles in one direction to open and return it to its original position to close. The best part about faucet handles is that they come in different styles, shapes, and sizes to match the aesthetic of your entire house.

Therefore, you can select one that fancies your preference. And if you need two faucet handles to distinguish between hot and cold water or a specific color for your kitchen sink, the options are readily available for you as well.

shut off valves

4.     The Ferrule And Compression Nut

For the water to reach your faucet, you need a part that connects the shut-off valve to the main water supply line. This is where the ferrule and the compression nut come in: the parts connect the shut-off valve and the faucet through a firm and watertight seal.

5.     The Water Supply Line

We've mentioned the main water supply as the source of water you need in your bathroom sink. That said, another one of the basic parts of a bathroom or kitchen sink. This part of a sink faucet is the water supply line a short section of pipe that transports the water from the shut-off valve to your faucet.

However, when the water arrives at the supply line, it needs to have tremendous pressure to force it up the faucet. Without enough pressure, the water would not flow out of your tap. This line is also called the supply tube.

6.     The Lift Rod Handle

If you want to lower or raise your stopper, the lift rod handle will get the job done for you. All you have to do is pull or push the lift rod handle, and the stopper will lower or rise, respectively.

lift rod handle

7.     The Pop-Up Stopper

This is the bathroom sink drain part that moves either up or down once you push or pull the lift rod handle. It is usually located in the plug hole. However, you might find that your bathroom sink doesn't have this part. Instead, you might find that your sink has a stopper on a chain. In that case, you'll use your hand to move the stopper.

8.     The Tailpiece Mount

If you have a pop-up stopper, then you definitely have a tailpiece mount. The tailpiece mount is the part that joins the tailpiece to the horizontal rod that moves the stopper. The rod often moves up and down as a control measure for the pop-up stopper.

Also, the tailpiece mount is the sink part many plumbers unscrew during service. For instance, the tailpiece mount is unscrewed when the sink has clogged, and it needs to be unblocked.


9.     The Pivot Nut

You'll need a pivot nut to connect the tailpiece mount to the stopper rod. Also, like the horizontal rod, this part of the sink drain allows the pivot rod to move up and down. As a result, it controls the stopper. And if you need to remove the pivot rod, you'll have to unscrew the pivot nut.

10.  The Stopper Pivot Rod

Having mentioned the presence of a pivot rod, then the stopper pivot rod is the part that connects the tailpiece to the tailpiece mount. It is a horizontal metal piece that connects the stopper to the lift rod handle.

The stopper pivot rod is connected inside the tailpiece to the stopper. Therefore, when you use the lift rod handle, it lifts the rod, which moves the stopper either up or down.

11.  The Drain Tailpiece

As mentioned, this part of the bathroom sink drain takes the water from the sink through the waste pipe and into the P-trap. Apart from water, this drain part also disposes of off other waste material.


12.  The Pop-Up Flange

You have the lift rod handle to move the stopper up or down and the pop-up stopper in the plug hole to help with these movements. To prevent any water from dripping through these movements, the pop-up flange provides a watertight system in the plug hole. It is located at the same spot where the pop-up stopper moves up or down.

13.  The Gasket And Washer

The pop-up stopper and the pop-up flange usually have a housing connected to the next section of the sink drain. The gasket is the part that makes this connection. Then you'll find that the gasket has a washer that provides a watertight seal to prevent any occurrence of leakages.

14.  The Locknut

Just below the gasket and the washer, you will find the locknut. This is the part that secures the top part of the drainpipe to the tailpiece, which is the part that takes the water down to the P-trap.


15.  The Clevis Strap

If you have a bathroom sink with a pop-up stopper, look for a vertical metal strip connected to the lift rod handle at the top and the rod at the bottom. The usually metal strip will have holes. If you pull the handle up, the strap should move up and pull the end of the rod upwards as well.

In response, the other end of the rod will move downwards, pulling the stopper down. As a result, your bathroom sink drain will be blocked. When you are ready to drain the sink, all you need to do is push the handle down, which will move the strip down and pull the stopper up.

In response, the water will drain away. This metal strip is what is known as the clevis strap.

16.  The Spring Clip

This sink drain part is a small metal clip that attaches the clevis strap to the rod.


17.  The Trap Assembly

This sink drain part is an assembly of different other drain parts, including the p-trap. The work of the trap assembly is to connect the waste pipe to the p-trap and prevent any leaks from happening.

18.  The Drain Pipe P-Trap

This is the bend you see in your drain pipe, which is the reason for their name since the drain part looks like the letter P. The work of this sink drain part is to allow waste products (e.g., food waste) and water to flow through. But unlike the faucet, water is not released through the p-trap because of pressure.

Instead, gravity helps to move the water through the tailpiece by giving the water enough weight to carry through the p-trap. However, not all water is released from the p-trap because anything that is retained forms a seal that prevents your sewer gases from moving up the pipes and into your home.

You don't want an unpleasant odor in your home after all. Additionally, most p-traps have a clean-out plug that makes it easy to clean the trap without removing it entirely.

19.  The Tailpiece Slip Nut

This part is a nut that connects the P-trap to the tailpiece. To make sure your sink has a watertight seal, the tailpiece slip nut will also contain a washer. However, once you are ready to clean the P-trap, you'll have to unscrew the tailpiece slip nut since the action will disconnect the p-trap from the tailpiece.


20.  The Waste Pipe

This is the last part of bathroom sinks. The work of the waste pipe is to create a pass for the waste that moves through the p-trap out of the sink drain and into the sewer system. A drain fitting made out of cast iron helps with fluid regulation.

The Different Types Of Bathroom Sink Drain Assemblies

Let's dive a little deeper into the different sink drain assemblies you will find. Usually, the pop-up drains are the most common. Nevertheless, it would help if you made yourself familiar with the different options before going on your search.

For instance, one of the tips to use is to always consider selecting the sink drain with the same finish as your faucet. By and large, the different options you'll find for your drain assembly include:

1.     The Pop-Up Sink Drain

While these are the most common types of bathroom sink drains because of their convenience and ease of use, they are also the most complicated to assemble.

2.     The Pull-Out Sink Drain

This is the oldest style among the different types of sink drains. It is also the most basic, and it features a built-in strainer or a wide-open drain flange. You'll also need a separate plastic plug if you want to plug this type of sink. Just make sure that the plug fits correctly in the drain hole.

3.     Lift And Turn Sink Drain

Just like its name, operating these bathroom sink drains requires screwing the drain stopper down to close and lifting and turning the drain stopper in the opposite direction for it to open.

4.     Grid Sink Drain

The grid drain is quite similar to the pull-out plug, but it has a strainer that sits even with the basin bottom. You'll also find some strainers that are very beautiful with decorative shapes. Besides, you'll need to buy a flat rubber stopper for plugging this type of drain that lies over the holes on the drain.


5.     Push-To-Close Sink Drain

As the name suggests, these drains are pushed to close. If you want to open the drain, make a quick tap. The bathroom sink drain has a spring clip that facilitates this type of opening and closing system.

Parts of a Bathroom Sink: The Bottom Line

If you want a plumbing system that works exceptionally well in your bathroom, then you require the best bathroom sink drain parts. Knowing the different parts of your sink drain is especially significant if you encounter any problems or need replacements.

One thing you should keep in mind is that each bathroom sink drain has its advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, ensure you have this information in mind before you make a purchase. Also, you can look into the different types of sinks to consider during your purchase.

These will include the wall-mounted sinks, the pedestal sinks, and the under-mount sink. By and large, your sink will drain in different ways due to the various components it possesses. Nonetheless, the entire process is still significantly similar for most bathroom sinks.

That's about it for the bathroom kitchen faucets. But if it's your kitchen faucet that needs help, then you'd want to read our article on how to choose a kitchen faucet and how to replace the delta kitchen faucet sprayer hose.

Kristina Perrin

Kristina Perrin

Kristina is an expert DIY home remodeler and mom to three. When she's not cooking or experimenting with new recipes, you can find her working on new home improvement projects or writing about her favorite kitchen appliances or DIY projects on Kitchen Infinity blog.

Related Articles

Download Free Chart Now!

Your email will be used only to confirm your request and to provide free kitchen information. By submitting your info on this form, you are agreeing to be contacted regarding your service request by means of email. This is no obligation form and doesn’t require you to purchase any service.