How to Open the Trap Behind a Pedestal Sink

Updated February 21, 2017

Pedestal sinks typically conceal the drain trap, the angled portion of pipe that leads from the sink to the drainage system for the home. The trap prevents noxious sewer gases that build up in the drainage system from venting back into your home. Unfortunately, it can also catch objects and debris that may block the drain, causing it to back up. Removing the trap will allow you to clean it and get the sink flowing again without damaging it.

Look behind the pedestal of the sink for the trap. It is usually concealed within a hollow in the back of the pedestal.

Place a towel in the pedestal under the trap and a bucket under the trap behind the pedestal to catch any water that may spill.

Unscrew the clean-out plug in the bottom of the trap, if the trap has one, with the adjustable wrench. Set the plug aside. Allow the water to drain into the bucket.

Adjust the wrench or pliers to fit around the locking collar closest to the wall and turn it counterclockwise to loosen the collar, if it is made of metal. If the locking collar is plastic, loosen it by hand.

Drain any remaining water into the bucket. Slide the locking collar and compression ring back onto the trap pipe. Push the trap back away from the wall to separate the trap from the wall pipe.

Place the wrench or pliers on the top locking collar within the pedestal. Loosen this collar in the same manner as you did the first. Slide the locking collar and compression ring onto the down pipe from the sink drain.

Wiggle the trap to loosen it from the down pipe. Pull the trap downward, carefully, to remove it completely. Remove the trap from the pedestal. The trap is now free and ready for cleaning.


Porcelain is fragile and will chip or break if not treated carefully. Do not force the compression ring within the pedestal, if it will not move easily. Instead, call a professional to handle this job.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Adjustable pliers
  • Towel
  • Bucket
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