Plumbing How-To Guide #1

When it comes to your home, there are many projects you can undertake around the house, including plumbing work. One of the most basic tasks that you can do is to replace a sink. The sink may be for the kitchen, bathroom, or laundry room, but the installation procedure is the same. 

Before you install a new sink, or any other plumbing fixture, you will need to gather your supplies and know where the water cut-off valve for your home is located. Usually it is at the point where the municipal water pipe enters your home. It is also a good idea to have an assistant to help you move the new sink. Generally, sinks are not heavy, but they can be large and unwieldy and it helps to have someone to support the opposite end of the sink when you move it. 

Before you begin, you should disconnect your old sink and remove it. You need to pull off the end of the p-trap from the underside of the drain. If the old or new sink is a model with the faucet and handles going through the sink, you need to remove those before taking off the old sink. Shut off the water to the house if you will remove the existing faucet. 

Removing the Old Faucet 
To pull off the old faucet, turn the water off. Unscrew the hot and cold water lines for the sink from the point where they each leave the water cut-off valves under the sink. The mounting bolts under the sink need to be removed with a specific basin wrench tool. You may need to lubricate the bolts to help loosen them before removal. If you follow this, you should be able to just lift the taps and faucet straight up from the top of the sink.

Freeing and Removing the Old Sink 
To loosen the sink from the counter, run a putty knife under the edge of the sink to help loosen the caulk. Unscrew the pipe as it leaves the sink's drain on the bottom to free the sink. You may need to do this in two places if you have a double sink. Have a friend help you to lift the sink straight up out of the counter and set it aside for disposal. Scrape up any remaining putty with a putty knife. 

Installing the New Sink 
Before you install your new sink into the old sink hole, you will need to surround the top edge of the counter around the hole with a bead of silicone caulk. This prevents water from leaking under the sink if it splashes onto the counter. Once the caulk bead is in place, gently lower the new sink into the hole with the help of a friend. Now all that is left to do is to connect the sink drain and faucet. 

Connecting the Drain 
Look at the bottom of the underside of the sink drain, and you will notice that it is threaded. You should replace the drain line by reversing the steps you followed to remove it from your old sink. To prevent leaks, use plumbers putty around the flange of the sink drain before attaching the drain pipe. You should also use silicone caulk to seal up the area after you have finished. 

Connecting the Faucet
To replace your old faucet or install a new one for your new sink, you need to start at the top. Place silicone around the openings for the taps and faucet on top of your sink before placing those parts into the holes. Reattach the water supply lines to the faucet and to their respective shut-off valves, being sure to connect the hot water to the left side and the cold water to the right. You will also need to tighten the mounting nuts for the faucet. 

Project Completion
Once you have finished the above procedure, turn the water back on for your home and test the faucet and drain. Look for any signs of leaks. If you notice any, dry the area and seal it with silicone caulk. 

Replacing an old sink can help to give your kitchen or bath a new look. There are many sink options available besides the standard stainless steel. You may want to consider decorative sink styles or colors to better match your kitchen or bathroom's decor. Installing a new sink to replace an old one is much easier than it is to install a sink where there never was one. Keep that in mind if you are remodeling your kitchen or bathroom.