Replacing a Sink

This may seem obvious to some, but I need to know what to expect: I am planning on replacing some sinks in my house that have literally rusted out from our hard water. With the water problem solved, this should be easy enough, but: What holds the sink in place? I should mention my sinks overlap the countertop instead of being countersunk. Is glue or epoxy placed under the rim of the existing sink, perhaps? Is there a caulk around the extreme edge at the rim/counter interface?
(FYI: The house is 1988 construction.)

If caulk, I assume a puddy knife would be simple enough to loosen the existing sink (once all plumbing is disconnected). If glue, how does one proceed without tearing up the counter’s finish?.

All in all, could it ever be as simple as slipping out of place each of the old sinks and slipping into place each of the new sinks? Neah, it couldn’t be THAT simple, could it?

I’d appreciate hearing the Striaght [Plumbing] Dope on this (pun intended). :slight_smile:

Once the plumbing is disconnected it should just lift out. The only thing you might have to do is run a putty knife under it to cut the caulk.
Which answers your second question, no epoxy or anything. You can run a bead of caulk around the opening to sort of keep it in place if you want, then connect your plumbing and then caulk around the edge of the sink. Between the caulk and the drain lines, it shouldn’t move.

There could be some clips under the sink also.
If it is put down with an adhesive in place of caulking, a heat gun/propane torch may be needed.
And you are probably correct to assume that nothing will fit without trouble. i swear, products are changed just so everything has to be replaced, as in valve kits for faucet’s and such.

a stainless steel or ceramic steel kitchen sink will probably have tabs holding it down with screws. All sinks should be mounted with caulk. A one-piece sink top found in bathrooms should only be held down with caulk.

Ok, I looked under the sink, and there are four tabs held down by screws. (FYI: The sink materials are ceramic on top of steel.) However, when looking under the sink, the water supply lines rise up from the shut-off valve and “disappear” from view into a “shrouding” (for lack of the proper term) against the underside of the sink. Should I attempt to loosen the nut where the supply line meets the shut-off valve? (Remember, the hardware has been undisturbed since 1988), or is there a way to disconnect the supply line on the underside of the faucet (shrouded from view)?

If it matters, the faucet mixes hot and cold with one handle (i.e., a diverter?). There are two screws on the underside of the faucet, but will removing these screws get me anywhere?

Those faucets usually have copper tubes running below them that the supply lines attach to. Unscrewing the supply lines allows for the sink to be lifted out.

Thanks. This confirms what I just saw in a short video on About.com. I must confess I am used to fixing toilet tank parts and disconnecting the water supply line at the tank…not at the shut-off valve.

You have a steel sink, you should consider upgrading to a cast iron sink. Much nicer quality.
Anyway, unless people where you live install sinks way different then they do here, beside the tabs, the underside of the sink lip will have plumbers putty and you will probably have caulk around the other edge.
To remove the sink:
Turn off the water, if the angle stops (little faucets under the sink) won’t turn the water all the way off, you will have to do this outside. I make it a habit of upgrading my angle stops to the 1/4 turn ball valve type every time I take an old one off. $10 well spent as I know that these will seal in 5 years when I have to work on the faucet.
Disconnect the drain lines from the sink, and if equipped, remove the garbage disposal. Remove the sink strainer(s) with a screwdriver and a hammer. Don’t forget lefty loosey.
Remove the tabs
Run a putty knife around the edge of the sink to break it loose.
Reach into the holes where the sink strainers were and lift out.
Installation:
You will need:
A tub of plumbers putty
Caulk
Sink
Sink strainers
new drain lines, gaskets etc.
Faucet
water lines
YMMV, but I would not even think about reusing any of the items from your old installation.

Procedure:
first lift the sink into position and make sure it fits. If OK, pull it out and:
Install your new faucet on your sink, don’t forget plumber’s putty under the gasket.
Attach the water lines Tighten
Run a snake of plumber’s putty around the hole for the sink.
Put your hands in the sink strainer holes and lift the sink into position.
install tabs from bottom.
Hook up fresh water
Hook up drain.
Turn on water and check for leaks.
Run water and check for leaks.
Check again in several hours and again the next day.

It’s much easier to remove the plumbing at the shutoff, unless you’re a fan of climbing under the sink on your back and holding a flashlight in your mouth. Also, it’s a lot easier to mount the faucet and supply lines into the new sink before you set it in the counter.

I forgot to add Use plumber’s putty around the sink strainer(s) when you install them.

Is this like the insert that is sometimes sent out after the book is published?:smiley:

Also, if your sink has a disposal, it’s a lot easier to install the drain portion of that if you can get a second set of hands. Just someone to hold down the top part while you put the metal ring on the bottom makes life a lot easier.

To clarify, this is a bathroom sink so no disposal. The replacement sink is made of vitreous china. Now, how does a drain line connect to the new sink? The new drain hole is totally smooth! There is no threading of any kind like the old sink (of course, this could be an “accessory” only a plumber would know to buy separately). From off the old sink’s drain hole appears to be, what might be called, a nipple connection - a short, straight piece of pipe threaded on both ends. At the end closest to the sink’s drain, there is a large (but thin) nut (perhaps called a flange nut?) to hold this nipple connection. To help you picture this, the P-trap would connect at the other end of this “nipple” connection. I am not exactly sure what the flange nut is grabbing onto other than the threads of the nipple connection. Perhaps it is a press fit? (It is a chrome piece of pipe, not PCV, so it can’t be a PVC-friendly glue, or such.)

Note: Since the old sink had steel underneath ceramic, perhaps the steel underbody was already threaded at the drain hole to accept a drain pipe?

Anyway, the new sink just has a smooth hole (when viewed from the under side of the drain hole), how does a pipe connect to this? Was there a kit I should have bought with this sink? Do I need to remove the existing “nipple connection” from the old sink? How would this (or practically anything else) mate up to a smooth drain hole? Help! I got the old sink out with no clue how to proceed! Thanks, y’all!

Actually, exploring further online, it appears I need a “Speed Connect Drain [kit]” by American Std (or equivalent). This should have all I need to connect the drain and lock all its parts in place. Who ever thought so much of a drain and that it should have so many dang parts??? …It’s just a hole, right? :wink: This is yet another application of Yogi Berra’s “It’s Never Over Til It’s Over!” :smiley:

I think they are called tails.

The basic plumbing theory here is that you need to know how to make the shit run down hill.

Ah, it is a “tail piece” !

Oh yeah, you typically buy the drain separately from the sink. The old drain will probably work with the new sink. If you buy a new drain just make sure it’s for a bathroom sink. It’s set up differently then a kitchen sink (besides the diameter difference) to deal with the overflow/vent at the front of the sink.

This piece

would connect to a trap at the bottom and this at the top. you can see how this drain has the part you see in the sink at the top and then the gap right below it. That gap has a hole that accepts the water from the overflow hole on the sink. If you look in your new sink you’ll see what I mean.
The part canivorousplant linked to would connect to the trap if the drain isn’t long enough to reach it…like an extension.

A couple thoughts. Make sure you know where the whole-house water shutoff is. I’ve had under sink shut-offs start leaking when I tried to use them. Also, try to do this during hours when you’d expect plumbers fees would be lower, just in case.