How to change a kitchen sink gasket

Written by cat mccabe
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How to change a kitchen sink gasket
Gaskets are simple rubber rings (joints image by Claudio Calcagno from

Kitchen sink gaskets form a tight seal that prevents water from leaking as it flows between pipes. These gaskets, or O-rings, are seated inside screw-on nuts where the sink strainer basket is attached to the drain pipe. Over time, the rubber in the gasket will become brittle and less flexible from constant exposure to water and cleaning products. Often, the first indication that the gasket needs to be replaced is a steady drip under the sink. A new gasket, a wrench and five minutes are all you'll need to solve the problem.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Cardboard friction ring

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  1. 1

    Loosen the locknut by turning it counterclockwise with an adjustable wrench. The locknut is directly under the sink, just above the strainer basket.

  2. 2

    Pull the rubber gasket and old friction ring off the locknut. It may come away in pieces, or you may have to peel it off, depending on how deteriorated it is. Discard it.

  3. 3

    Set the new gasket on the top of the locknut. Insert the cardboard friction ring so that it sits between the gasket and the locknut. Screw the locknut, gasket and friction ring back onto the strainer basket by turning it clockwise until it forms a seal. Tighten the locknut down with the adjustable wrench.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep plumber's putty handy in case you need to reset the strainer basket in the sink. Chances are good that if the gasket is brittle and old, the putty is, too.
  • If the whole strainer assembly begins to turn when you try to loosen the locknut, you'll need an assistant to hold it the strainer firmly in place while you turn the locknut.

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