Plumbing DIY: How to install a sink on your own
When you own a home, a common problem you will run into is needing to replace your sinks. This can be due to having a cracked sink, leaky seals, or just an outdated model. Whatever the reason, with easy steps below, you will be able to replace your old sink in no time.
Before starting this project, there are a couple things you will need to do. Read all of the manufacture’s guidelines, warnings, and instructions. Follow any local building codes that may apply.
What you may need:
- Adjustable Wrench
- Drainpipes and fittings
- New Sink
- Pipe Wrench
- Putty knife and plumbers putty
- Safety Glasses
- Shop towels or cleaning rags
- Silicon sealant
- Sink Strainer
- Socket Wrench
- Tape Measure
- Utility Knife
Part 1 – Getting Ready
First, measure your old sink. If you buy a new sink with different dimensions, drain locations or additional features like built-in sprayers or garbage disposal, you may have to alter the opening in the countertop or adjust the plumbing underneath. Please note that attached garbage disposal units do not need to be replaced with your sink. Before you purchase a new one, consider repairing your clog and saving money. You can find instructions to do this here.
Pro tip: For better results, make a drawing or diagram of your old sink, with all of the measurement listed. Include the distance between the drain and the sink wall, as well as the depth of the sink. With this information, it will be easier to find a replacement sink that fits with your current plumbing/countertop arrangement.
Next, take a picture of your current plumbing setup. It will serve as a helpful reference if you get stuck later in the project.
Part 2 – Removing the Sink
First, turn off the hot and cold water lines that supply the sink. The valves to shut them off are mainly located underneath the countertop near the sink, or near your water heater. If you cannot find the individual line shutoffs, turn off the main water line to the house.
Next, turn on the sink faucet to remove any remaining water from the lines. Afterward, with a bucket ready to catch any fluid, disconnect the hot and cold supply lines from the sink with an adjustable wrench.
Pro tip: If you have a garbage disposal installed in your old sink, this is the time to turn it off. First, turn off the circuit the powers it, then unplug it.
Next, you will want to disconnect the P-trap and drainpipe assembly from underneath the sink. Have your bucket ready to catch any remaining water.
Pro Tip: If you have a dishwasher, disconnect its drain line now.
Pro tip: if you have a garbage disposal, follow the maker’s instructions to disconnect it now.
Next, find the metal clamps under the counter that hold your sink in place, loosen the screws that hold them in place, then move them out of the way of the counter.
Following that, you will need to cut away the caulk between the sink and counter with a utility knife.
Next, remove the old sink and set it aside.
Finally, use your putty knife to clean off any remaining putty
Part 3 – Replacing the Sink
First, set your new sink inside the opening in your countertop to make sure that it fits. If it doesn’t fit properly, you will need to adjust the opening in the countertop with a jig saw or router.
Once, you have a hole of the correct size in your countertop, attach the mounting clips to the underside of the sink. At this time, you will also want to install the faucet onto the sink.
Next, apply a small amount of plumber’s putty around the drain strainer, then press it firmly into the drain hole of the sink to install it.
Next, mount the rubber gaskets and threaded drain flange to the underside of the sink. Once this is secure, wipe away any excess putty.
Pro tip: If you have a garbage disposal, attach the mounting bracket for it now, following the maker’s instructions.
Next, apply a thin layer of silicone sealant to the underside of the sink where it meets the countertop.
Caution: Always wear gloves when using sealants or other hazardous materials.
Next, carefully lower the sink into the opening until it sits squarely.
Afterward, rotate the mounting clips towards the countertop and tighten them in place.
Now, reattach the hot and cold supply line to the connection pints on the faucet. Gently tighten them into place with an adjustable wrench.
Pro tip: if you have a garbage disposal, finish installing it now as per the manufacture’s guidelines.
Pro tip: if you have a dishwasher, reconnect its drain attachment now.
Connect the drain pipe to the underside of the sink, and the p-trap to the drain pipe afterwards.
Caution: if your old and new sinks had different positions of drains or other features, you may need to do some adjustments now to properly install it.
Next, apply a thin layer of silicone sealant around the edge of the sink where it meets the countertop. Wipe away any excess.
Pro tip: if you have a garbage disposal, you can reconnect its power supply now.
Part 4 – Check for Leaks and Review Your Work
Finally, turn back on the hot and cold water supplies. Turn on the water afterwards to check for any leaks. You may also want to walk away from the project for an hour or two. When you come back double check that there is no leakage from the spout or under your sink.
And with that, your new sink should be installed correctly.
Leo is a professional blogger and a plumber at ROT-Northridge. On his free time, he enjoys writing plumbing related tutorial and helping people solve problems.