Sinks undergo everyday wear and tear with continuous use. If you are living in an old house, you must inspect the drains regularly to avoid any inconvenience that a broken drain brings. Usually, replacing just the sink drain increases its life for many years while you may also need to replace the strainer or the garbage disposer, if required. Although, installing a new sink is an easy job, replacing an old unit and retrofitting may need some plumbing skills, especially if both the units are different from each other. Let’s understand the steps involved in replacing a sink drain.
#1 Preparing the sink
Before starting the work, it is important to clean all the surfaces and let the sink dry completely. Keep a container handy to collect the leftover water from the P-trap. A clean dry cloth and a few rags will help in keeping the work area free from any leaking water.
#2 Removing the old P-trap
The P- shaped drainpipe located under your sink is known as the P-trap. It is prone to cracks and breakage that causes unwanted leakages. Replacing the P-trap usually helps in resolving drain leakage problems under the sink. It can be removed with the help of water pump pliers by loosening the slip nuts that connects it with the J bend and the wall bend.
#3 Replacing the strainer and garbage disposer
If the strainer is too old or water is leaking from the base of it, you may need to replace the strainer. If you are installing a garbage disposer under your kitchen sink, it is best to check the height of your drain before buying new pipes. Also decide on which side of the sink you want to install the disposer. You may need to buy a tailpiece that will connect the disposer to the continuous waste drain if you install it on the other side of the sink.
#4 Installing the new drain
Clean and deburr the threads of the wall connection. Connect the tailpiece to the wall connection by slipping in the gasket and tightening the slip nuts. Do not over tighten. The flanged tailpiece must be aligned with the strainer before fixing it for preventing leaks. Hand-tighten all the nuts.
#5 Check for leaks
Once you have installed the sink drain, run water to check for leaks. If there is leakage in the joining of the P-trap, loosen the nuts, re-align and again tighten all nuts. Avoid over tightening of nuts as it may damage the pipes and cause more leakage.
To keep your drains free from blockage, it is important not to throw non-biodegradable wastes in the sink. Fibrous wastes may block the drain and damage it leading to frequent repairs. Although, replacing the p-trap is easy and can be done by anyone who has standard plumbing tools and knowledge, of course, but if the replacement includes installing strainer and garbage disposal, it is recommended to leave the work in expert’s hands. A professional plumber will be able to install the drain as well as other parts efficiently to avoid leaks. He will also inspect other places of damages in your drainage system and recommend you necessary replacements.