How to Replace a Sink Pipe

A man is fixing a sink pipe with a wrench, with the words, how to replace a sink pipe

A leaking sink pipe can create a slew of problems for your home. Excess water can result in mold, a damaged sink cabinet, damaged materials, and a higher water bill. It is essential to get the faulty sink pipe replaced as soon as possible to reduce the amount of damage caused by the leak. If you are a hands-on person who would like to try replacing your own sink pipe, follow these steps:

Step 1: Preparing the Space

First, you will need to find a bucket that is small enough to fit under the curved portion of the P-traps (the curved sink pipe). This will help you catch any water that may come out when you are disassembling the pipes. Also, make sure you turn off the water valves to prevent someone from accidentally turning on the water while the drain is disassembled.

Then, you will need to inspect the dimensions of your pipe by taking measurements with a tape measure. This will enable you to buy the correct size parts for your sink and help make sure you cut the new pipes to the right size. You can buy these new materials from any hardware store.

Step 2: Dismantling the Pipes

Begin by unscrewing the P-trap connection from the sink’s tailpieces. The tailpieces are the pipes that extend down from the sink and the drain. You will need to grab each nut by hand and turn them counterclockwise to loosen them. If the nuts are too tight, you can use adjustable pliers to loosen them. If they still won’t budge, you may need to spray lubricate on the metal traps to loosen the threads.

Next, turn the disconnected connections upside down to drain the water into the bucket and then set these pieces aside. If the traps are connected to a common tee, unscrew the connections to the tee and remove this part as well. If there are any more pipes in the way, you can also disassemble them.

Step 3: The Drain Tailpieces

If you notice that the drain tailpieces are too short or corroded, you will need to remove them. Damaged drain tailpieces could be the source of your leak. To remove them, simply unscrew them from the drain by turning them counterclockwise with adjustable pliers.

Step 4: Install the New Pieces

You can now screw in the new tailpieces. Make sure they are long enough to extend to the top of the drainpipe in the wall. This will help ensure that the new tailpieces are not too short (this can create a gap resulting in a leak). If your drainpipe is under the floor, make sure to extend the new tailpieces 2 ft above the bottom of the cabinet. If necessary, adjust the size of your new tailpipes by cutting them with a hacksaw.

If you have to cut your pieces, you can match the new pipes with the ones you removed. Use a pipe that is the same diameter in size, which is typically 1 ¼ – 1 ½ inch. If you are working on a kitchen sink, you may want to consider using a PVC pipe because they do not have the same risk of corroding as a metal pipe does.

Step 5: Put your Sink Back Together

Reassemble your sink by connecting the compression fittings with the pipes and tightening the nuts by hand. Once you have this completed, you can install the new P-traps. Slide each trap up onto its respective tailpieces, tighten the nuts, and then swivel them to meet the pipe going to the drain. Reattach the end of the trap and tighten the nut.

Step 6: Test Your Sink

Plumber in a kitchen fixing a stopped up sink drainOnce you have finished assembling your pipes, you will want to test your sink pipes and drain. You can do this by filling your sink with water and then opening the drain to let the water filter out. This will help you ensure that the connection is tight and there are no further leaks. If a leak is occurring because the connection is too loose, you can tighten it by using adjustable pliers.

If you are still having problems with your sink or would rather a professional replace your pipes, contact the expert plumbers at HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler. We can help you with all of your plumbing and sprinkler needs. Give HEB Plumbing & Sprinkler a call today!