clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Strainer

Ask This Old House plumbing expert Richard Trethewey finds a rusty sink strainer in the kitchen and shows a homeowner how to replace it.


  1. Loosen the pvc nut connecting the strainer to the drainage pipe with a pair of adjustable pliers. Then continue by hand.
  2. Loosen the metal nut connected to the strainer with the pliers and then again by hand.
  3. If strainer is rusted into place, use a rubber mallet to pop the strainer up and out of the sink drainage hole. (Richard uses a propane torch to melt it out of place, this method should probably be left to professionals.)
  4. Once the old sink strainer is removed, take some plumber’s putty and roll it out into a one-foot length. This will be used to wrap a seal around the base of the new sink strainer.
  5. Place the sink strainer with the plumber’s putty attached into the drainage hole in the sink and press down hard.
  6. If possible, have a second set of hands hold the sink strainer in place with two screwdrivers as you hand-tighten up the metal nut to hold the sink strainer in place underneath the sink.
  7. Finish tightening the metal nut with channel locks.
  8. With the strainer in place, reconnect pvc piping and place a top groove gasket in between the end of the strainer and the start of the pvc pipe.
  9. Hand-tighten the connection.
  10. If applicable, place a second compression gasket on the bottom portion of the pvc pipe to reconnect it to the drain line.
  11. Hand-tighten the pvc nut.
  12. Snug up both pvc nuts with channel locks, be careful not to make them too tight.
  13. Remove the excess plumber’s putty in the sink with your hands.