Keeping Your Plumbing Flowing Smoothly

If you deal with plumbing clogs on a regular basis, you might find yourself struggling with bent wire hangers, chemical drain cleaner, and unfamiliar pipes. Unfortunately, unless you are a trained professional, all of your efforts might be in vain. Most people don't realize it, but it is possible to damage your plumbing by making a few missteps. If you use the wrong chemicals or you push a little too hard, you might end up dealing with damaged pipes or your clogging problem could get worse. Fortunately, you might be able to use this blog to help you to keep your plumbing flowing smoothly.

How To Replace A Standard Kitchen Sink Drain Trap


The drain trap in your kitchen sink does more than prevent spoons from going down the pipes. A drain trap is designed to keep a small protective bubble of water under your sink to prevent sewer gases from coming up your pipes and into the kitchen. Damage to the trap can allow those gases to come into the room or cause the protective water to start leaking out.

Replacing a drain trap doesn't require a plumber if you have strong do-it-yourself experience and an eye towards safety. Note that you should only undertake this task if you have a P-trap sink rather than an S-trap sink. If you don't know what those terms mean, call plumbers to replace the trap.

Things You Need:

  • New drain trap assembly
  • Bucket
  • Wrench or pliers 
  • Paper towels
  • Screwdriver

Step 1: Prepare for the Replacement

Any time you plan to replace a sink assembly, you should start by turning off the water completely. You can do that at either the shut-off valve directly under the sink or at your home's main water supply. Place a bucket under the sink for later because residual water will still leak out.

Next, read the directions that came with your new drain trap assembly. The directions will give you a better idea of how the parts of the drain trap go together so when you go to remove the old drain trap, you essentially just work in the opposite direction of the instructions.

Step 2: Take Out the Old Drain Trap

Climb under the sink and look at the rear end of the drain trap assembly. You should see a tailpipe – or a long piece of straight pipe – near the end of the assembly. Start removing all of the parts above this pipe.

Use a wrench or pliers to loosen the locknut at the top of the tailpipe. Gently push the now free end of the drain trap assembly off to the side enough that you can shove a wad of paper towel into the top of the pipe. This is just a precautionary measure to keep any sewer gases from leaking out with you under the sink.

Trace up the drain trap assembly until you find a large flat washer. Loosen and remove the washer with your wrench or pliers. Pull off the rubber gasket above the washer and you are now left with the main assembly.

Check for any screws holding the strainer basket into the bottom of the sink. Remove the screws and finish pulling out the drain trap assembly.

Step 3: Install New Drain Trap

Skim the instructions for the new trap once more before installing, but it will basically happen in the opposite order of what you just did. Start by securing the strainer basket to the sink and move down until you get to the locknut on the tailpipe. Make sure you remove the paper towels before you fasten the locknut.

Don't forget to turn your water supply back on before you try to use your sink. Click for more information.


16 June 2015