How to replace kitchen sink traps

Written by g.k. bayne
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Using too much corrosive drain cleaner--and age--can deteriorate the sink trap below the kitchen basin and cause a leak. Not fixing a leak right away can bring on huge problems over time, such as a rotted floor. Follow these tips to quickly replace a sink trap or S-trap.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Plastic bucket
  • Channel locks or plumber's piers
  • New kitchen sink trap or S-trap

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  1. 1

    Place the plastic bucket under the kitchen sink trap. The trap or S-trap is the portion of the drain that looks like the letter "S."

  2. 2

    Use the channel locks or plumber's pliers to loosen the two large drain nuts on either end of the trap piping. Use your hands to remove the nuts, which slide onto the drain pipes to hold the trap in place. A little water will remain in the trap, as the purpose of this device is to keep sewer gas from exiting into the home from the kitchen sink drain.

  3. 3

    Lay the old trap in the plastic bucket and remove it from under the sink. Remove the new S-trap from the plastic bag and inspect the parts. You should have a complete assembly that resembles what you removed and two new plastic nuts with two plastic seal washers.

  4. 4

    Remove the old nuts and plastic seal washers from the drain pipe and replace them with the new ones. Note the angled side or slope on the outside of the plastic seal washer. This slope should fit snugly into the new trap fitting. The flat-side end of the washer seal should be against the inside of the nut and the sloping thin side will fit into the trap.

  5. 5

    Install the new sink trap onto the existing drain pipes. Use your hands to start the large nuts onto the drainpipe and S-trap threads. Use the pliers to tighten the nuts to a snug fit. Do not over-tighten as you may strip the threads.

  6. 6

    Run the water to fill the trap and test for leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • Have a towel handy to wipe any up spills or messes that may come from the drainpipe.

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