This guest blog is written by Damian Wolf, an experienced DIYer and blogger.
Most of us have found ourselves in a situation which requires a bit of manual work. Items and facilities that are in daily usage are bound to wear off sooner or later; replacing certain parts is imminent. Something you can do on your own, without the need to call for professional help, is replacing old parts on your sink. You should be able to do it in a couple of hours, and the material required isn’t expensive. Simply go through these steps.
Preparation and Tools
The tools you will need include a pipe wrench, matching screwdriver, a knife and a flashlight. As for material, depending on the breakdown, you may need a new gasket, rubber seals, plumbers’ putty, and maybe a bit of drive oil. When you have found and prepared all of the tools, clear out the space under the sink. It is usually filled with various items, such as bags, detergent and cleaners. You are going to need space, so leave nothing inside. If you haven’t found out what is causing the trouble, now is the time. There are only a few things that can malfunction: rubber seal under the gasket, a burst drain, or the connection between the wall and the tube is loose. See if water has made any damage to the surrounding wood while you are there. You will notice the change in structure and surface, for it will be bubby and bumpy. In this case, replacement is necessary.
Performing the Job
First and foremost, remove the garbage disposal system if you have one. Now, take a screwdriver and unwind the bolt that holds the gasket on top. With the other hand, support the tube (it will fall off once released). If the bolt won’t move, and it happens quite often, apply some penetrating oil to loosen it. Once unscrewed, take out the other end of the tube from the wall, and dispose of the water inside elsewhere. Using the knife or a screwdriver, remove the old rubber seal. You will notice that it is brittle and fragile, and it also crumbles when you press it. Throw it away, and using a wire brush, clean out the hole of the sink, in order to remove traces of the old putty and rubber. Check the joint within the wall. If it is loose, it would be wise to fix it, to prevent it from detaching. See if the tube requires cleaning (fat and other food debris and leftovers can create layers inside, reducing the amount of water which can pass). Once it is cleaned, you can start replacing the parts you removed.
Finishing and Cleaning Up
Next, apply putty around the hole in the sink, and install a new rubber seal. Using a screwdriver, tighten the screw holding the tube. Be careful not to over-tight, because once the rubber wears out, it will work as a cement, and you will be unable to unwind it next time. Put the other end of the drainage tube back in the wall, and clean up the extra putty which can appear after tightening the bolt. Reconnect the garbage disposal system, and let water flow to see if everything is alright. If a problem persists, it is highly recommended that you call a professional plumber, because water damage can be far more expensive than it initially appears to be.
Some general piece of advice is to be careful not to hurt yourself. Be extra careful around the garbage disposal unit, because accidently switching it on in the middle of the job can cause injury. Also, getting wet is quite possible, so as a matter of precaution, find the main valve and shut off the water supply. You don’t want to mop water from all over the kitchen, right?
Damian Wolf is a writer and a passionate home improvement DIYer. He loves to write about personal DIY projects and give tips on different methods for fixing common malfunctions at home. Recently, Damian started to volunteer as an emergency plumber in his neighborhood.