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DIY Guide to Replacing a Kitchen Sink Strainer

Replacing a kitchen sink strainer may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little know-how, it can be a straightforward DIY project. Whether you’re dealing with a leaky strainer or simply want to upgrade your kitchen sink, this comprehensive guide will walk you through the process step by step. From gathering the necessary tools to installing the new strainer, we’ll cover everything you need to know to successfully replace your kitchen sink strainer.

Gather the Necessary Tools

Before you begin replacing your kitchen sink strainer, it’s important to gather all the necessary tools. Having everything on hand will make the process much smoother and prevent any unnecessary delays. Here are the tools you’ll need:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Screwdriver (flathead or Phillips, depending on your sink)
  • Bucket or container to catch water
  • New kitchen sink strainer

Once you have all the tools ready, you can move on to the next step.

Prepare the Work Area

Before you start removing the old kitchen sink strainer, it’s important to prepare the work area. This will help prevent any damage to your sink or surrounding surfaces. Follow these steps to prepare the work area:

  1. Clear out the area under the sink. Remove any cleaning supplies, pipes, or other items that may be in the way.
  2. Place a bucket or container under the sink to catch any water that may leak during the process.
  3. Turn off the water supply to the sink. Locate the shut-off valves under the sink and turn them clockwise to shut off the water.
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Once you’ve prepared the work area, you’re ready to start removing the old kitchen sink strainer.

Remove the Old Kitchen Sink Strainer

Removing the old kitchen sink strainer can be a bit tricky, but with the right technique, it can be done easily. Follow these steps to remove the old strainer:

  1. Locate the locknut underneath the sink. This is the large nut that holds the strainer in place.
  2. Using an adjustable wrench, loosen the locknut by turning it counterclockwise. It may require some force, so be prepared to apply pressure.
  3. Once the locknut is loose, you can remove it by hand. Be careful not to drop it into the sink or down the drain.
  4. With the locknut removed, you can now lift the old strainer out of the sink. It may require some twisting and pulling to loosen it.
  5. Once the old strainer is removed, clean the area around the sink opening to remove any debris or old plumber’s putty.

Now that you’ve successfully removed the old kitchen sink strainer, it’s time to install the new one.

Install the New Kitchen Sink Strainer

Installing a new kitchen sink strainer is relatively straightforward, but it’s important to follow the correct steps to ensure a proper fit. Here’s how to install the new strainer:

  1. Apply plumber’s putty to the underside of the new strainer. Roll a small amount of putty between your hands to create a thin rope, then press it onto the bottom of the strainer.
  2. Insert the new strainer into the sink opening, making sure it sits flush against the sink surface.
  3. From underneath the sink, place the rubber gasket and cardboard friction ring onto the strainer. These components help create a watertight seal.
  4. Screw the locknut onto the strainer from underneath the sink. Use an adjustable wrench to tighten it securely.
  5. Wipe away any excess plumber’s putty that may have squeezed out during the installation.
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With the new kitchen sink strainer installed, you’re almost done. All that’s left is to reconnect the plumbing and test for any leaks.

Reconnect the Plumbing and Test for Leaks

Now that you’ve installed the new kitchen sink strainer, it’s time to reconnect the plumbing and test for any leaks. Follow these steps to complete the process:

  1. Reattach the P-trap and any other pipes that were disconnected during the removal process. Make sure all connections are tight and secure.
  2. Turn on the water supply to the sink by turning the shut-off valves counterclockwise.
  3. Check for any leaks around the new strainer and the connections. If you notice any leaks, tighten the affected connections or replace any faulty parts.
  4. Run water through the sink to ensure everything is working properly. Check for any leaks or unusual noises.

If everything looks and sounds good, congratulations! You’ve successfully replaced your kitchen sink strainer. Enjoy your newly upgraded sink and the peace of mind that comes with knowing you completed the project yourself.


Replacing a kitchen sink strainer may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools and a little know-how, it can be a straightforward DIY project. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can confidently remove the old strainer, install a new one, and reconnect the plumbing without any issues. Remember to gather all the necessary tools, prepare the work area, and take your time during each step. With a little patience and attention to detail, you’ll have a fully functional and leak-free kitchen sink in no time.

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