How to install bathroom sink drain pipes

Written by jay p. whickson
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How to install bathroom sink drain pipes
(water in a sink image by terex from

If you've just changed the sink in your bathroom or find that the old plumbing leaks, you need to install bathroom sink drain pipes. Many of the drain pipes used in homes are PVC pipe, but if they're exposed, chrome is normally the material of choice because it looks more attractive. You connect the two types of plumbing with different types of washers, but the procedure is the same for both.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Drain parts
  • Drain stopper
  • Plumbers putty
  • Screwdrivers
  • Groove-joint pliers

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  1. 1

    Shop for the appropriate type of trap and sink stopper. If you have plumbing that comes out of the wall, then a P-trap is the type of trap you'll need. The P-trap is the common type of trap found in most bathrooms. The antiquated S-trap isn't acceptable for plumbing anymore because it often loses the water seal when the water siphons off and causes sewer gases to rise through the pipes. PVC traps often come in kits at a somewhat more inexpensive cost. If your pipes show, use chrome for the traps.

  2. 2

    Roll plumbers putty into a snake, and put it around the underside of the drain flange. Insert the flange into the hole in the sink. First, slide on a large gasket. Then slide on the nut, and tighten it down to hold the stopper in place. Have another person hold the upper section of the assembly in place as you tighten the nut. Use two screwdrivers inserted into the opening in the strainer to do this. It's easiest if you tighten the nut by hand first and then use groove-joint pliers to complete the job. Don't over-tighten.

  3. 3

    Put on the tailpiece. If you have a stopper that uses linkage to raise it, you'll have an additional piece to put on the pipe before you insert the tailpiece. This piece contains the ball and linkage that moves the arm. Line it up so that the opening for the linkage is pointed toward the wall, then put on the tailpiece.

  4. 4

    Check to see if you need an additional length of pipe for the P-trap to fit. Hold the P-trap up to the tailpiece and at the level where it inserts into the wall. The tailpiece should fit into the P-trap and into the wall pipe, and have enough pipe to tighten it down.

  5. 5

    Tighten the female adaptor down on the drain stub out from the wall. Slide the nut onto the tailpiece and the plastic compression nut afterward. Put the nut on the other end of the P-trap that fits into the wall.

  6. 6

    Insert the P-trap into the female adaptor as you also put the tailpiece into the other end. Hand-tighten the end in the wall, and then do the same with the nut on the tailpiece. Tighten it firmly by hand, but don't over-tighten.

  7. 7

    Complete the installation of the pop-up assembly if you have that type of stopper by putting the clip around the slotted piece from the faucet and inserting the rod through the left hole in the clip, then the slot, and finally, the hole in the right side of the clip. Insert the ball end into the hole, and tighten it. Test for leaks. If you find any, loosen, reposition and re-tighten the area.

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