How To Install A Sink Drain - Kitchen Infinity (2022)

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.

How To Install A Sink Drain - Kitchen Infinity (1)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

FAQs

How do I connect the drain to the bottom of my sink? ›

Start by adding plumber's putty to the underside of the basket strainer and fit it into the drain hole at the bottom of the sink. Then, tighten the nut with a basket wrench to secure it in place. You can then fit a brass tailpiece onto the bottom of the basket strainer, reconnect the drainpipes, and you're done!

Do you use plumbers putty on kitchen sink drain? ›

If you need to stop or prevent leaks around your faucet, sink or tub drains − plumber's putty is the product you need.

Should I use plumbers putty or silicone? ›

The main difference between plumbers putty or silicone for sink drain is how easy the substances are to manipulate or remove. Plumbers putty is very easy to manipulate into tight areas, and it's also easier to remove. That makes silicone putty better for waterproofing, even if it's more difficult to work with.

How do you install a drain pipe? ›

Steps to Install Drainage Pipe
  1. Step One: Mark Installation Area. Before you begin, clearly mark the path for the installation of the drainage pipe. ...
  2. Step Two: Dig a Trench. Dig a deep trench where you plan for the drainage to end. ...
  3. Step Three: Attach Pipe. ...
  4. Step Four: Fill Trench.
14 Jan 2019

What connects the sink to the drain? ›

Tailpiece: Often referred to as the drain tailpiece, this is the section of piping that connects to the drain fitting. It carries water away from the sink.

Do you put caulking around sink drain? ›

Sealing around kitchen sinks or sealing a sink drain with silicone will keep your sink in good condition and prevent future problems. Using a high quality, waterproof sealant prevents water and debris from entering the gaps.

How long should plumbers putty sit before use? ›

There is no drying time because it doesn't dry. It just seals the gaps and the sink, drain, or faucet which can be used immediately after application of the plumbers putty.

Is there something better than plumber's putty? ›

But if you're looking for something that's easier to use than plumbers putty, then silicone caulk may be the better option. Either way, remember that caulking is only as good as its application. So make sure you get the job done correctly the first time.

Is plumbers tape better than plumbers putty? ›

Thread seal tape and pipe dope are both effective pipe sealants. However, many people prefer using thread seal tape since it is cleaner to work with than traditional grease or paste-like sealants. Plumber's putty is used to form a water tight seal between the sink and the faucet and between the sink and the drain.

What is a flange on a drain? ›

What Is a Sink Flange? A sink flange connects the sink drain to a section of pipe called a tailpiece to create a tight seal. It is made of metal and sits around the edge of the drain rather like a collar, and it usually has a grid-like section covering the drain that looks like a strainer.

Does PVC drain pipe need to be glued? ›

PVC and CPVC cement actually break down the external layers of the pipe, allowing the material to literally combine. This permanently bonds PVC pipe and fittings. If you are trying to use PVC pipe to transport fluid or gas, PVC cement or special push-on fittings are necessary to assure there are no leaks.

Does drain pipe need to be straight? ›

It's a bad plumbing practice to have a hard 90-degree bend in a horizontal drain line that's buried in a slab or otherwise hidden. If you have to make a 90-degree bend, use two 45-degree fittings and put a small piece of straight pipe between the fittings, if possible.

Do sink drain pipes need to be glued? ›

PVC pipes under sinks include the P-trap that connects the drain to the house plumbing. Such pipes can be connected using threaded pieces or with glue. Gluing your PVC pipes creates a much stronger and permanent hold that can only be broken by cutting off the pipes.

Where does the drain pipe go to? ›

All wastewater from your house is carried to the municipal sewer line by one main drain pipe that typically runs horizontally, but with a slight downward slope, under the lowest floor in your home out to the municipal sewer main or out to the septic field.

What is a sink trap adapter? ›

PVC Threaded Trap Adapter to connect your sink drainage to the drain pipe that extends through the wall or floor. Designed to fit most tubular drain applications, this universal adapter is constructed from PVC plastic.

What's the difference between a p-trap & S-trap? ›

The difference between the two traps is simple: the shape. An S-trap flows down from the drain, curves up, then curves back down. The P-trap also flows down from the drain and curves, but the curve finishes on a horizontal pipe that takes the waste out.

What parts are needed for a kitchen sink drain? ›

A Brief Introduction Of The Kitchen Sink Drain Parts
  • Sink Strainer. You should see the sink strainer whenever you use your kitchen sink. ...
  • Tail Piece. You'll see the tail piece just right after the strainer. ...
  • Tee. A tee is a pipe that's shaped like the letter “T”. ...
  • Waste Arm. ...
  • Extension Tube. ...
  • Coupler. ...
  • Elbow. ...
  • P-Trap.

What holds the sink in place? ›

Mounting Clips and Brackets

Clips are designed to keep the sink from shifting, but in conjunction with caulk, glue or sealant to keep it in place. Most sinks use about 10 clips around the edge. Brackets are similar to clips, but much larger.

Why does sink drain have two holes? ›

Depending on the design of your sink, it may have one, two or three holes, and they may appear between the faucet valves, facing toward you, or under the near rim, facing the mirror. They serve two functions: to prevent an overflow with the drain stopper engaged and to provide an escape route for air in the drain.

What size is kitchen sink drain pipe? ›

The 1½-inch size is used to capture water that might flow out of a kitchen sink, a bathroom vanity or a tub. The two-inch pipe is commonly used to drain a shower stall or washing machine, and it may be used as a vertical stack for a kitchen sink. A three-inch pipe is what's used in homes to pipe toilets.

How do you install a double bowl kitchen sink drain? ›

Instructions
  1. Install Sink Strainers. Sink basket strainers consist of the drain and strainer basket that sits in the bottom of the sink. ...
  2. Put the Sink in Place. ...
  3. Measure the Drain Outlet Height. ...
  4. Connect the Drain Tailpieces. ...
  5. Add in the Sanitary Tee. ...
  6. Install the Drain Trap. ...
  7. Mount the Faucet. ...
  8. Connect the Hot and Cold Water Lines.
8 Aug 2022

What do plumbers use to connect pipes? ›

Pipe fittings, also known as pipe connectors, attach one pipe to another in order to lengthen the run or change the flow direction in a plumbing system. These are used to combine, divert or reduce the flow of the water supply, and they come in a variety of sizes to fit the pipe they will connect.

Are all drain pipes connected? ›

The house drain inside your home is connected to your house sewer pipe underneath your front yard. Your sinks, toilets, showers, and washing machine each have their own branch line drains.

What happens if you don't use PVC primer and glue? ›

PVC primer maximizes the strength and longevity of the joint connection. A joint will still weld together without the primer, but the connection will not be as strong as the primer allows the cement itself to penetrate deeper into the material.

Which fitting is used to connect two pipes? ›

A tee, the most common pipe fitting, combines or divides fluid flow. Tees can connect pipes of different diameters, change the direction of a pipe run, or both. Available in various materials, sizes and finishes, they may also be used to transport two-fluid mixtures.

Can 2 sinks share the same drain? ›

In most cases, you can easily adapt the supply and drain pipes to accommodate two sinks, using tee fittings, special valves, extension pipes and hoses. You may have to vent each sink separately, though, depending on your local plumbing codes.

What goes up a drainpipe but not down? ›

What CAN go up a drainpipe down, but can't go down a drainpipe up? An umbrella!

How far should drain be from wall? ›

Any sidewall or nearby fixture must be at least 15" away from the toilet's flange. However, 15" is the absolute minimum. A 15-inch distance from the vanity, shower, tub and back and side walls are required to accommodate the toilet flange.

What should you not pour in a drain? ›

10 Things You Should Never Put Down the Drain
  • Coffee Grounds. Since coffee grounds are not completely water-soluble, when grounds mix with butter, oil or grease already coating the pipes, there's an increased risk for clogs.
  • Butter and Margarine. ...
  • Cooking Oil. ...
  • Grease and Other Fats. ...
  • Eggshells. ...
  • Medication. ...
  • Pasta. ...
  • Rice.
7 May 2020

What are the parts of a kitchen sink drain? ›

A Brief Introduction Of The Kitchen Sink Drain Parts
  • Sink Strainer. You should see the sink strainer whenever you use your kitchen sink. ...
  • Tail Piece. You'll see the tail piece just right after the strainer. ...
  • Tee. A tee is a pipe that's shaped like the letter “T”. ...
  • Waste Arm. ...
  • Extension Tube. ...
  • Coupler. ...
  • Elbow. ...
  • P-Trap.

What are the parts of drainage system? ›

The road drainage system consists of two parts: dewatering and drainage. “Dewatering” means the removal of rainwater from the surface of the road. “Drainage” on the other hand covers all the different infrastructural elements to keep the road structure dry.

What is a sink drain flange? ›

What Is a Sink Flange? A sink flange connects the sink drain to a section of pipe called a tailpiece to create a tight seal. It is made of metal and sits around the edge of the drain rather like a collar, and it usually has a grid-like section covering the drain that looks like a strainer.

Are all kitchen sink drain holes the same size? ›

Whether you have a single or double basin sink, the standard drain hole diameter is 3-½”. When not connecting to a garbage disposal, you will need a drain with a strainer flange and basket.

What is the metal ring around the sink drain called? ›

An escutcheon (pronounced 'ess-kutch-on') is the (typically) metal bit that hides the ugly hole in the wall that the pipes come through.

What is the hole at the bottom of the sink called? ›

The overflow hole is aptly named, as it keeps your sink from flooding. It does this by diverting water, giving you more time to act before the contents spill over if you or someone in your household accidentally leaves the faucet on or if you have a plumbing issue.

What is the ring around the sink drain called? ›

Replacing a bathroom sink drain collar, also called a flange, is a relatively simple repair that most homeowners can do themselves. Over time, it is typical for the bathroom sink drain ring to become worn and need replacement.

How tight should a drain flange be? ›

Once the flange is carefully threaded into the first few threads of the drain elbow, use the Smart Dumbell to hand-tighten the flange into the drain elbow until tight. Then use your wrench to tighten, by one quarter of a turn. Do this carefully, so as not to squeeze the gasket underneath the tub out of place.

Are pop up drains a good idea? ›

The good thing about pop-up emitters is that if there's no steady flow of water, the lid stays shut. That means no debris can make its way into the pipe. It's a great alternative to traditional drain grates that have a tendency to collect rocks, dirt or leaves that'll eventually clog the line.

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