How Do You Replace A Sink Drain?

Replacing a sink drain may seem like a daunting task, but with a little guidance, you’ll be able to tackle it with ease. In this article, we will explore the step-by-step process of how to replace a sink drain. From gathering the necessary tools to disconnecting the old drain and installing the new one, you’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to successfully replace your sink drain and keep your kitchen or bathroom running smoothly. So, grab your tools and let’s get started on this DIY project!

Tools and Materials Needed

To replace a sink drain, you will need the following tools and materials:

adjustable wrench

An adjustable wrench will be needed to loosen and tighten various nuts and bolts during the replacement process.

See also  What Are Simple Solutions For Smelly Drains?

plumbers putty

Plumbers putty is a waterproof and durable material that is used to create a watertight seal between the sink drain and the sink opening.


A bucket is essential for catching any water that may leak during the replacement process. It helps to keep your workspace clean and prevents any damage caused by water.

pipe wrench

A pipe wrench is useful for loosening and tightening the P-trap, which is part of the sink drain assembly.


Sometimes, you may encounter clogs in your sink drain. A plunger is a handy tool to have on hand to clear any blockages quickly.


A screwdriver may be required to remove or install screws that hold the sink drain assembly in place.

replacement sink drain assembly

To replace the old sink drain assembly, you will need a new one. Ensure you have a replacement sink drain assembly that matches the specifications of your sink.

Step 1: Turn off the water supply

Before you start replacing the sink drain, it is essential to turn off the water supply to prevent any leakage. To do this:

Locate the water shut-off valves underneath the sink

Look for two valves underneath the sink, usually connected to the hot and cold water lines. These valves control the water supply to the sink.

Turn the valves clockwise to shut off the water supply

Using an adjustable wrench or your hand, turn the valves clockwise until they are fully closed. This action will prevent water from flowing into the sink during the replacement process.

Step 2: Prepare the workspace

To ensure a smooth replacement process, you need to prepare your workspace properly. Follow these steps:

Clear the area under the sink

Remove any items stored beneath the sink to create more space and allow easy access to the sink drain.

Place a bucket beneath the sink to catch any water that may leak

Position a bucket under the sink, directly below the drain pipe. This precaution will prevent any water from damaging the floor or surrounding area in case of leaks.

Step 3: Remove the old sink drain

Now that you have prepared your workspace, it’s time to remove the old sink drain. Follow these steps:

See also  How to Save Money on Plumbing with the Grundfos 15-55 HWR-T Hot Water Circulation Pump

Use an adjustable wrench to disconnect the P-trap from the sink drain

Locate the P-trap, which is a U-shaped pipe connected to the sink drain. Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the nuts that connect the P-trap to the sink drain. Once loose, you can remove the P-trap from the drain.

Loosen and remove the nut that secures the sink drain to the sink

Underneath the sink, locate the nut that holds the sink drain assembly in place. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove the nut. Once the nut is removed, you can pull out the old sink drain assembly from the sink.

Step 4: Clean the sink opening

After removing the old sink drain, it is essential to clean the sink opening thoroughly. Follow these steps:

Remove any remaining debris or putty from the sink opening

Inspect the sink opening for any debris or old putty leftover from the previous drain assembly. Use a screwdriver or your fingers to remove any remnants carefully.

Use a mild detergent and scrub the area clean

To ensure a clean and sanitary working environment, take a mild detergent or soapy water and scrub the sink opening. This step will remove any dirt or grease that may interfere with the installation of the new sink drain assembly.

Dry the sink opening

After cleaning, use a clean cloth or towel to dry the sink opening thoroughly. A dry surface is crucial for a secure and watertight seal when installing the new sink drain assembly.

Step 5: Apply plumbers putty

Now that you have a clean and dry sink opening, it’s time to apply plumbers putty. Follow these steps:

Take a small amount of plumbers putty and roll it into a rope

Take a portion of plumbers putty and roll it between your hands to form a rope-like shape. The putty should be pliable and easy to work with.

Apply the putty around the underside of the new sink drain flange

Place the putty rope around the underside of the sink drain flange. Ensure that the putty covers the entire flange circumference and creates a watertight seal when pressed against the sink opening.

Step 6: Install the new sink drain assembly

With the sink opening prepared and plumbers putty applied, it’s time to install the new sink drain assembly. Follow these steps:

See also  Protecting Your Attic Plumbing from Freezing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Insert the new sink drain into the sink opening

Take the new sink drain assembly and carefully insert it into the sink opening. Ensure that the drain aligns correctly with the opening and sits flush against the sink surface.

Tighten the nut underneath the sink to secure the drain assembly

Underneath the sink, locate the nut that secures the sink drain assembly in place. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten the nut securely. Ensure that the drain assembly remains aligned and does not wobble.

Step 7: Reconnect the P-trap

Now that the new sink drain assembly is in place, you need to reconnect the P-trap. Follow these steps:

Reattach the P-trap to the sink drain

Take the P-trap and connect it back to the sink drain. Align the P-trap with the drain and tighten the nuts to secure the connection. Ensure that the nuts are tightened enough to prevent any leaks but not too tight to damage the fittings.

Ensure the connections are tight and secure

Check that all the connections between the P-trap and the sink drain are tight and secure. Hand-tighten any loose fittings or use an adjustable wrench to secure them properly.

Check for any leaks

Once the connections are secure, turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. Run water through the sink drain and closely inspect the connections for any signs of water leakage. If you notice any leaks, tighten the fittings further or consider replacing any faulty components.

Step 8: Turn on the water supply

With the sink drain assembly installed and connected correctly, it’s time to turn on the water supply. Follow these steps:

Turn the water shut-off valves counterclockwise to restore the water supply

Locate the water shut-off valves underneath the sink that you closed in Step 1. Using an adjustable wrench or your hand, turn the valves counterclockwise to open them fully. This action will restore the water supply to your sink.

Check for any leaks around the new sink drain assembly

After turning on the water supply, closely inspect the sink drain assembly for any leaks. Watch for any water dripping or pooling around the connections. If you notice any leaks, tighten the fittings further or consider seeking professional assistance if the problem persists.

Step 9: Test the sink drain

To ensure that the sink drain replacement is successful, you need to test the functionality of the new assembly. Follow these steps:

Fill the sink with water

Turn on the faucet and fill the sink with water. Allow the water to flow freely down the drain, observing the draining process.

Watch for any leaks or drainage issues

As the sink drains, pay close attention to any signs of leaks or drainage issues. Leaks may indicate an improper connection or a faulty component that requires further attention.

If necessary, use a plunger to clear any clogs

If you encounter any drainage issues or clogs, try using a plunger to clear the blockage. Position the plunger over the drain opening and use proper plunging techniques to dislodge any debris or buildup.

By following these comprehensive steps, you can successfully replace a sink drain. Remember to take your time, be thorough, and ensure all connections are secure. If you encounter any difficulties or are unsure about the process, consult a professional plumber for assistance. Happy DIY plumbing!