How to Remove and Install a Kitchen Sink Strainer
By: Danny Lipford
Tools and Materials Needed to Install a Sink Strainer
Depending on how your sink strainer attaches to the sink, the tools needed include:
- Sink strainer
- Plumber’s putty
- Pipe wrench and/or strainer locknut wrench
- Needle nose pliers or basket strainer wrench
Plumber’s putty, which has the consistency of modeling clay, is used to provide a waterproof seal between the sink and strainer.
Different sink strainers use different methods of attaching securely to the sink, and the tools needed may vary depending on the method used. The most common strainer to sink attachments are:
- Bell Washer Attachment Sink Strainer: These strainers have a large cup shaped metal bell washer that fits over the bottom of the strainer and presses against a rubber washer on the bottom of the sink. The bell is held in place by a nut that threads onto the strainer drain which is tightened using a pipe wrench or large adjustable wrench.
- Locknut Attachment Sink Strainer: These strainers have a large ring type locknut that threads directly onto the strainer housing which presses against a friction washer and rubber washer against the bottom of the sink. Tightening the locknut requires either a large pipe wrench or better yet a special locknut wrench.
- Locknut Strainer with Screw Attachment: Some strainers have a locknut with screws threaded into the bottom of the locknut. To install, you tighten the locknut up against the sink bottom by hand and then tighten the screws to apply more pressure without the need for a pipe wrench or locknut wrench.
When installing a new sink, it’s much easier to attach the sink strainer(s) before setting the sink with the sink turned upside down.
The type of sink strainer we will be installing has a locknut attachment. Read on for step-by-step instructions on how to install it.