How to Plumb a Kitchen Sink

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How to Plumb a Kitchen Sink

Whether you’re installing a new kitchen sink or updating an old one, plumb your kitchen sink properly to avoid leaks and to ensure the correct water flow. Unlike other plumbing jobs, the kitchen sink has many different components and a unique layout that requires a good understanding of how they fit together. Fortunately, most DIYers can complete the job themselves with a few tools and a little practice.

Planning the Kitchen Sink

Kitchen sink plumbing is a bit different than other plumbing jobs in your home. This is because your kitchen sink has a lot of pipes and features going into it, making it more complicated to plumb.

The first step when plumbing a kitchen sink is to take measurements of the space underneath the existing sink and the countertop. This is important because it will help you figure out how big of a new sink to purchase.

Once you have your measurements, it is time to select the right sink for your needs and style of countertop. There are a variety of sink types to choose from, including drop-in, undermount, flat rim and apron-front options.

Once you’ve made your selection, it’s time to start the installation process. It’s easy to install a kitchen sink, but there are some things to consider before you get started. The most important thing to remember is to take good measurements and use a tool to ensure that you’re installing the correct size sink.

Preparing the Surface

The surface is a major consideration when you’re plumbing a kitchen sink. In addition to making your work surfaces look good, a well-done job could save you money in the long run by eliminating leaks and other potential problems.

Keeping all of your tools nearby and shutting off the water supply to your sink is a must before you start. Having the right tools on hand will make the task a lot easier, and can even help you avoid costly mistakes down the line.

For the most part, you should only need to use one tool to get the job done. In addition to a pair of channel-type pliers, you should also pick up a jigsaw and a few specialty tools that are unique to your trade. This will help you make the most of your time and energy while you’re transforming your kitchen. The best way to determine which tools you need is to consult a guide or read up on the task at hand.

Installing the Basket Strainer

The basket strainer is an essential component in plumbing a kitchen sink. It filters water and prevents leaks beneath the sink. It’s also easy to replace when it’s worn or damaged.

The strainer is typically made of stainless steel and comes with a back nut on its upper part. This allows you to rotate it as you need.

Unscrew the nut with a spud wrench or a pair of 16-inch slip-joint pliers. If the nut doesn’t come off, you may need to slice it with a sawzall or hacksaw.

To fit the new strainer, remove the nut. Then, unscrew the tailpiece and set aside the gaskets that were on it.

Next, assemble the rest of the parts. Use compression nuts to attach the drain tailpieces to each basin’s basket strainer. Then, tighten each nut in small increments until you have a secure connection.

Installing the Pipes

Kitchen sinks get a lot of use, so it’s important to make sure they’re properly plumbed. If the drain pipes under your sink are leaking or they have rusted, you need to replace them.

You can find sink drains at hardware stores, department stores, and online. They’re available in plastic, stainless steel, and cast iron.

Once you’ve selected a model, you can start installing the drain assembly and waste pipe. Ideally, the tailpiece that extends from the sink drain and the P trap should be aligned with the pipe coming out of your wall just below the sink.

It may take some trial and error to get the fit right, but once you’ve got it right, your drain assembly should be leak-free for years. Be careful not to overtighten the nuts and washers, however, since that can cause them to crack or even tear.

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Casey Loeber

Casey Loeber is the founder of His mission is to share the best information online about plumbing jobs and help plumbers lead fulfilling careers.

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