Removing a bathroom vanity can be a formidable job, especially if it's tiled or otherwise built in. The first step in the demolition --- removing the plumbing --- is the least complicated. Whether the vanity has one sink or two, disconnecting the water supply and drain pipes is straightforward. If you are going to replace the vanity with a new one, you can leave the plumbing pipes stubbing out of the wall, but if you aren't, it isn't hard to cap them behind the wall and cover them over.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Slip-lock pliers
- Old rag
- Drywall saw
- ABS cap
- ABS cement
- Pipe cutter
- 2-1/2-inch copper caps
- Soldering supplies
Turn off the angle stops under the vanity. They are the two shut-off valves sticking out from the wall connected to the hot and cold water supply lines. Open the faucet and let the water drain out.
Remove the faucet supply tubes from the angle stops by unscrewing the connectors with slip-lock pliers. Unscrew the other ends of the tubes from the faucet stems in the same way and remove the supply tubes.
Unscrew the compression nut on the end of the drain tailpiece, which is the pipe sticking down from the drain, and pull off the P-trap. You can sometimes loosen this nut by hand, but if you can't, use slip-lock pliers. Unscrew the compression nut on the end of the drainpipe sticking out of the wall and pull out the P-trap. Keeping the P-trap upright so water doesn't spill out, remove it from under the sink.
Stuff a rag into the drain stub-out if you plan on using it again. The rag will block sewer gases.
Cut out the drywall around the drain and water pipes with a drywall saw if you want to cap the pipes and hide them behind the wall. Remove a rectangular piece, rather than one with an irregular shape, so it will be easier to replace it when you are done with the pipes.
Cut off the drain stub-out with a handsaw so that the opening is behind the wall. Leave at least an inch of pipe sticking out from the fitting, and glue on an ABS, or black plastic cap, with ABS cement.
Turn off the shut-off valve that controls the faucet supply lines. Open the angle stops and catch the water that drains out in a bucket. Cut the copper pipes to which the angle stops are attached behind the wall with a pipe cutter, again leaving at least an inch of pipe sticking out from the fittings.
Spread flux on the ends of the pipes and on the insides of two copper caps, slide the caps onto the pipes, and solder them on with lead-free solder. When the solder cools, turn on the water and check for leaks.
Tips and warnings
- Once the pipes are disconnected, you should be able to lift off the sink, and then proceed with the rest of the vanity removal.
- If your copper caps leak even slightly, redo the solder connections before you cover the wall. A leaking water fitting behind a finished wall can damage the wood in the wall and the floor.
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