How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Strainer: A Simple Hack to Make Life Easier

The floor under the sink is wet. Strange! You turn on the tap and run the water into the drain; no evidence of leakage. By continuing your research, like Sherlock Holmes in his kitchen, you will find that there is a leak only when the cap is put on; and the sink is filled with water. The strainer is therefore found guilty!
In the next few paragraphs, we will see what the problems are and how to replace a kitchen sink strainer.
But before that let’s have a look at what exactly is a strainer.

What Is A Strainer?

The strainer, also known as a collar or sleeve, is the accessory that connects the sinks to the return pipes. It is accompanied by elements such as one or two seals (rubber washer), an anti-friction washer, a lock nut and a union nut.

Besides, the strainer of the kitchen sink is equipped with a basket plug. This basket allows both to plug the hole of the drain and to collect the waste during the flow of water.

When Should The Strainer Be Replaced?

Some situations require us to replace the strainer. Either because:

  • The passage of time has left marks, stains, or rust on the strainer
  • There is a leak due to a breakage of the strainer
  • We want to replace the strainer of the sink with a mechanical plug.
  • Other situations can also lead us to replace one of the elements of its component. For example, if the basket is no longer waterproof, it can be changed to an identical or compatible model. If there is a leak under the sink, due to a seal, it will be enough to replace this seal.

Basic Checks

Before replacing the strainer, due to a leak, first, check whether the nuts are tightened enough. Sometimes a simple tightening solves the problem.

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Strainer?


  • Multiple pliers/pipe wrench/nut wrench/strap wrench
  • Plumbing putty
  • Putty knife
  • Masking tape (optional).

Strainer or seal assembly

Using multiple pliers, unscrew the union nuts under the sink. Please note, the multiple pliers have teeth which can damage the parts. Cover the teeth of the pliers with masking tape or protect the parts with a cloth.
When the nuts are unscrewed, release the drain pipe from the sink. Unscrew the locknut (metal washer that holds the strainer). The use of a nut wrench or a pipe wrench, a strap wrench is necessary. If the strainer turns at the same time as you unscrew it, prevent it from moving by holding it in place with pliers.

If you are alone to carry out the work, use long-nosed pliers and clamp it in the sink using a vice grip. If not, take advantage of this opportunity to forge ties with your entourage by asking for help from a neighbor.

Remove the anti-friction washer and the gasket (rubber seal). Exit the underside of the sink to reach the top.

Remove the strainer

At this point, under the strainer, you will find either a gasket or putty. In both cases, they must be removed. Clean the surface thoroughly, taking care not to damage it.

Installation of the new strainer

Depending on the model chosen, you will either have a gasket or a plumbing putty seal. Install the strainer on the joint, well centered in the sink. If you have putty, put the strainer in the putty.
Under the sink, install the gasket, the anti-friction washer and screw it against the nut. Make sure the strainer stays in place. Connect the return pipe and screw the union nuts. Remove the excess putty inside the sink.
Check the tightness of the new installation: Make the first check by letting the water run. Then, for a second, by plugging the drain hose. Fill the sink with a few inches of water and then remove the plug.

Replacement of a gasket

You will find gaskets sold separately on the market. To replace the worn seal, undo the installation of the strainer as described above. At the same time, it is easy to soak the strainer to give it a youthful look. Aside from the seals installed at the strainer collar, you can also replace the cap seal strainer.

Plumbing putty

The use of plumbing putty ensures tightness. It is not advisable to replace the plumbing putty by window putty. The components of these two products are specific to the use for which they are intended.

Some Tips to Remember

In all plumbing work, strength is not recommended. It is best to screw the parts tightly, check their tightness and tighten if necessary. When working on enameled surfaces, place your tools on a cloth so as not to scratch the surface. When you work under the sink or sink, wear safety glasses.

We hope now you know how to replace a kitchen sink strainer yourself. But we would like to recommend you to consult an expert in case you feel it difficult.

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