Monday, January 28, 2013

SixThings to Remember When Replacing a Sink

As you can see in this photo, my kitchen sink was in pretty lousy shape.  Those are actual stains that no amount of scrubbing or bleaching would get out.  It was probably the original sink, ca. 1984, and it did not age well.  Since we're selling the house this year (and I'm tired of looking at this nastiness), I decided to change it out.  I debated getting it refinished, but that was $350 minimum, and then I have to "be gentle" with it.  *eyeroll.*  I think you can tell, we are not the kind of people to coddle a sink.

Now, I'm an intelligent, handy woman, who lived with a father who constantly changed things in our house from wiring to plumbing, even tearing out walls, installing fireplaces, etc.  I also had three teenage boys at home. How hard could a sink be?  Three days later, I discovered that it's not hard, but the devil is in the details, so today, I present you with six tips for changing a sink.

#1.  Plan an extra hour and $5 in gas for trips to the hardware store.  I don't care if you got everything in the instructions and all the stuff the handy helper at Lowe's recommends.  You.  Will. Go. Back.  Oh, and get the strip-type plumber's putty.  It works nicer, my dad told me.  (I had to make do with the tub stuff because I was NOT going back to the store another time!)

#2  Why won't that drain come off?  There's a ring holding it on.  Took me half an hour to figure that our and pry it off.  It was not mentioned in any of my self-help books or instructions I could find online. YouTube videos blithely say, "Once you've removed the drain..."  Good thing I have so much hair, or I might be bald.  (Note:  No follicles went down the drain for this repair.)

#3  Support your disposal.  This handy trash can kept me from having to disconnect the whole thing.

#4  Are your drains as nasty looking as the sink?  No need to buy new ones--salt and a toothbrush will scrub them until they look new.

#5  No matter how well you plan, something will go wrong.  Yep.  We got the sink in.  Connected garbage disposal, made sure the putty was in place...and then we realized that despite the reassurances that sinks drainage holes are standard, they were in fact nothing of the sort.  Fortunately, pvc pipe is cheap and easy to cut.  However, that leads to Number six...

#6 take the parts you need replacements for to a PLUMBING store, (not a standard hardware store) and make sure you get the EXACT MATCH to the parts you need.  I took my stuff to Lowe's, found what I thought were updated replacements (at the recommendation of the sales manager) and came home to find they did not fit.  For ten minutes, I tried to make them fit.  Once again, back to Lowe's to return the part...and the sales manager says, "Are you sure it didn't fit?"  In addition, the PVC pipe they gave me was the right overall shape, but had a flat link where mine was angled...which meant that it leaked when I put it in.

So, my half-day project in all, too three days, and a little help from a friend who has had experience replacing sinks before.  (He discovered the cause of the leak and fixed it for me--bless you, John!)  Still, overall, the job was done by me and my boys, something to be proud of, and the end result is a fabulous looking sink.

1 comment:

Milani said...

Glad you discovered about the ring on your own. But one good indication that the drain wouldn’t come off is that the ring, which holds it, isn’t corroded yet. But once it starts to rust, replace it immediately to avoid leaks. That would require regular inspection to know.