How to Remove and Install a Kitchen Sink Strainer

Old leaking sink strainer in need of replacement.
Old leaking sink strainer in need of replacement.

Whether you’re fixing a leak in an existing sink strainer or putting in a new kitchen sink, you’ll need to install the sink strainer. Removing and installing a sink strainer is a fairly easy DIY plumbing project that can be accomplished in an hour or less using a few tools.

The strainer on a kitchen sink provides a waterproof connection between the sink and drain pipe and also serves to trap food to prevent it from clogging the drain.

Over time a leak may develop between the sink and strainer, necessitating the removal and reinstallation of the strainer, or the sink or strainer may become stained or discolored over time and need to be replaced.

Read on to find out more about how to remove and install a sink strainer in your kitchen.

8 COMMENTS

  1. I removed excess putty from the bottom of the sink opening and strainer. However as I tightened the locknut washer some putty eventually came out between the sink and the top of the rubber gasket… when I used less of the putty (an earlier attempt) there wasn’t enough and water eventually leaked from that area. This might fail, too. Frustrating.

    • Katherine,
      Plumber’s putty should squeeze out all around the sink strainer when you tighten up the locknut. A little of the putty may continue to ooze out for a time, but it can be easily wiped off.

  2. Yes, I understand the putty squeezing out around the top of the strainer, but should any come out under the sink, around the gasket(s)?

    • Katherine,
      Putty didn’t squeeze out around the gasket under the sink when I replaced mine, but it should still seal OK if it does.

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