How to Plumb a Bathroom Vanity Sink Drain

Written by amelia allonsy
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After the rough-in plumbing stage is complete, you are ready to plumb the vanity fixture drain. Vanity drains, also known as pop-up drains, are relatively painless to install; anyone with the right tools and a good set of directions can install one. They are an 1 1/4-inch drain designed for use on bathroom vanities and/or sinks as the primary drain for water.

Skill level:
Moderately Challenging

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Things you need

  • 12-inch groove joint pliers (channel locks)
  • 8-inch adjustable wrench (crescent wrench)
  • Flat screwdriver
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • 100 per cent pure silicone sealant
  • Teflon tape and/or Teflon thread sealant

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Instructions

    Installation Preparation

  1. 1

    Determine that all of the sealing surfaces are free of dirt and chemicals by wiping down all of the seating areas (connection points) on the vanity top or sink with a mild cleaner such as dish washing detergent. Avoid using harsh abrasives or abrasive cleaners which can scratch the vanity top or sink.

  2. 2

    Unthread the waste plug and seat ring on top of the pop-up assembly.

  3. 3

    Remove the drain plug and the pop-up ring and seat from the assembly housing.

  4. 4

    Back the locknut by reversing the threads all the way down the pop-up assembly housing until it reaches the end of the threads or bottoms out.

  5. 5

    Slide the metal washer, followed by the rubber gasket, down on top of the nut.

  6. 6

    Apply silicone sealant to the top of the rubber gasket and the underside of the waste plug ring and seat.

    Under-sink Installation

  1. 1

    Insert the pop-up assembly housing from the bottom up into the drain hole in vanity sink top. Align the horizontal rod hole to the rear of the faucet to assure proper alignment of the lift rod and horizontal rod.

  2. 2

    Apply Teflon tape or thread sealant to the threads on the top of the pop-up assembly, then carefully thread the waste plug seat and ring to the assembly.

  3. 3

    Pull down on the assembly to seat the ring to the sink top and tighten the nut against the washer; at the same time, tighten the rubber gasket to the bottom of the sink or vanity top. Avoid over-tightening on brass and chrome pop-ups which can crack or break the sink or vanity top. Also avoid over-tightening plastic pop-ups as this can crack or break the plastic nut.

    Drain Plug Installation

  1. 1

    Insert the drain plug into the drain; align the drain plug hold-down tab with the horizontal rod hole.

  2. 2

    Remove the nut from the horizontal rod housing from the back of the pop-up housing. Approach from underneath the sink.

  3. 3

    Insert the horizontal rod into the housing and through the hold-down tab on the drain plug.

  4. 4

    Tighten the horizontal rod nut and make sure that the drain plug opens and closes by moving the rod up and down.

    Strap Rod Installation

  1. 1

    Insert the lift rod into the faucet from the top of the sink.

  2. 2

    Push the horizontal rod down and insert the lift rod into the strap, then tighten the screw.

  3. 3

    Insert the horizontal rod into the nearest hole in the lift rod strap, making any adjustments to the lift rod height by loosening the screw in the strap rod and lifting or lowering the lift rod to the desired height. While adjusting, make sure that the lift rod opens and closes the drain plug fully.

  4. 4

    Secure the strap rod to the horizontal rod using the spring clip by sliding one end of the spring clip onto the horizontal rod, then the strap rod, followed by the other end of the spring clip. Squeeze slightly to align the holes with the rod.

    Drain Installation

  1. 1

    Connect the p-trap to the pop-up tailpiece using a 1 1/4-inch nut and bevelled washer, making sure the bevelled side always faces the opposite way of the nut.

  2. 2

    Slide the nut and washer onto the tailpiece. Apply Teflon sealant to the inside of the trap and slide the trap onto the tailpiece. Tighten the nut only hand-tight for now.

  3. 3

    Remove the long-ended elbow from the top of the p-trap by loosening the nut on the top. Slide a 1 1/2-by-1 1/4 inch nut and bevelled washer onto the long end of the elbow.

  4. 4

    Apply thread sealant to bevelled washer and insert the elbow into the adaptor extruding from the wall; hand tighten the nut.

  5. 5

    Apply thread sealant to the lower bevel on the trap, align both ends of the trap, and hand-tighten the nut.

  6. 6

    Go back and tighten the nuts from Steps 2, 4 and 5 with channel locks. Again, avoiding overtightening.

    Testing and Inspection

  1. 1

    Pull up on the lift rod, fully closing the drain plug, and fill the vanity or sink with water up to the overflow in the bowl (three small holes at the top of bowl).

  2. 2

    Let water stand 10 to 15 minutes while looking for any leaks around the sealing points of the pop-up assembly and sink bowl or vanity top.

  3. 3

    Push down on the pop rod to fully open the drain and drain the water. Check for possible leaks in the trap system.

  4. 4

    Repeat this process (Steps 1-3) 3 to 4 times to ensure that there are no leaks.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use plumber's putty in place of the silicone sealant. Some vanity top and faucet manufacturers' warranties will be voided if putty is used.
  • Refer to the product manual that came with your faucet for installation details specific to your faucet type.

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