Do you notice a leak right under your sink? That is one indicator that you need to replace your sink strainer as soon as possible. A slight leak under the sink is usually caused by a poor seal where the sink and the strainer body come together.
Fixing a leaky sink strainer is a fairly easy job to do. This task can be done in an hour or less using just a few plumbing tools and supplies which you can buy at a really cheap price. The things you will need are pliers, a new sink strainer which is identical with the one being replaced, a plumber’s putty and a putty knife. In case you don’t know what a plumber’s putty is, it is an elastic substance used to make waterproof seals around faucets and drains. If you wish to reuse an old strainer, you don’t need to buy a new one, all you need to do is just remove the old strainer and reinstall it.
So, how do you reinstall a sink strainer to stop that leak once and for all? Read on to know the steps:
1. Remove the tailpiece of the drain pipe
The strainer body is connected to a tailpiece with a slip nut. Start by loosening the slip nut using an adjustable wrench. To loosen the nut turn it counterclockwise. Once it is already loose, unscrew it by hand, then remove the tailpiece from the strainer.
2. Unscrew the strainer locknut
To unscrew a strainer locknut, turn it counterclockwise using a wrench. You can either purchase a special wrench designed to fit on locknuts or you can also use a large pipe wrench. This could get a little tricky, sometimes. You can also use a screwdriver together with a hammer . Place a screwdriver on the lugs and tap it with a hammer. After the locknut has been removed, pull the strainer out from the sink.
3. Scrape off old putty and clean the strainer opening
Remove the hardened putty around the strainer opening in the sink with the use of a putty knife. Clean it thoroughly with a scouring pad soaked with paint thinner. If you’re reusing the old strainer, scrape the putty around it, as well and clean it thoroughly. If you’re replacing the strainer, make sure to wipe the underside of the new strainer with cloth or paper towel.
4. Apply plumber’s putty
Make a rope of putty and place it on the opening of the sink. Insert the strainer in the opening and press it down firmly. After inserting the strainer, you will notice that some putty might squeeze out around the strainer opening, remove those excess putty.
5. Reinstall drain pipes
Finally, place everything back in position. Reinstall them in the opposite order of how they were removed. Screw on the lock nut until the strainer is tightly locked into the sink. Do not overtighten. After which, reinstall the drain pipe tailpiece using a wrench. When everything is back into place, test if there are leaks. To test it, turn on the water.