How do you replace the metal drain ring in a bathroom sink?

In both bathrooms the drain ring has corroded and I’m afraid it will begin to leak. Is there a way to replace the rings without replacing the sinks? If so, what tools are needed and how long of a job is it? Or, do I have to call a plumber for this?

2 Responses to “How do you replace the metal drain ring in a bathroom sink?”

  1. Ef Ervescence Says:

    This is not a difficult job at all.

    You need limited tools and no experience. A pair of large pliers may be all you need. A special wrench made to fit plumbing items is available at the hardware store, plubing section, if absolutely necessary. It will cost ten dollars or less.

    The job should take only a few minutes, but allow a half hour if you have never done it.

    Under the sink is a drain pipe which should have a "P" or "J" shaped junction. It usually consists of two pieces. At the middle point of this junction is a collar which allows the part to be separated. It can often be turned by hand, but a wrench or large pair of pliers will do it nicely.

    Just beneath the sink is a tube that fits into the top of the junction, and there is another collar on top of the junction that keeps it in place, as well as keeping water inside. There is a seal inside this that fits against the pipe.

    You can put a bucket or other container under the junction, then loosen the junction first and separate it and catch any water that is released..

    Now loosen the ring at the top and then drop the junction away from the tube.

    That leaves you with the part you want to replace sitting clear at the bottom of the sink..

    Directly under the sink is a large collar that fits against the sink, and keeps the part in place. Sometimes it is made of plastic, and is fairly easy to turn, but often it is white metal which corrodes, and can be more difficult to remove. Both types fit into place by screw action. Ypu will probably need the pliers or the special wrench to loosen it.
    (The wrench is an expandable thing that can fit many sizes)

    You can turn that away and release the upper part. Remove everything.

    A new drain will come with a sealing gasket to prevent water from leaking around the drain, and it will have a new ring to fit under the sink. It will probably have a downtube attached, but sometimes the down tube will be a separate part that screws up onto the drain. If it is the latter, put a drop of oil or vaseline on it before assembly. This makes for a better fit, and makes it easier to remove later.

    Clean all the sink surface, and dry it. The new drain will have a small gasket to fit under the drain head, and a large one that fits against the sink from underneath.

    Put the small seal around the new drain and drop it into place. Add the retainer ring and large gasket under the sink and tighten securely.

    Reposition all the pipes, seals, and the junction, ensure they are all snug and have no leaks.

    All done.

  2. David H Says:

    The drain ring is actually a flanged pipe that fits down through a hole in the bottom of the sink, sealed/glued in place with Silicone and fastened in place with a large nut on the underside. This job might be easier if you remove the sink – in fact, the way it fits back together may require it but I’m not sure. It’s not hard to do, doesn’t really require many tools, and might take you a couple of hours if you have never done it before.

    Your biggest problem will be the condition of the pipe underneath the drain ring. If this is rusted or corroded, you will have quite a time removing the nut.

    The stopper that fits into the drainpipe is also a little tricky – it is operated by pulling up on a little handle on the sink – this connects to a lever that lifts and drops the stopper from the bottom. You’ll need to disassemble that also.

    Basically, you have to get to the underside of the sink and disconnect the drainpipe from the trap (that’s also a large nut – older ones are brass, newer ones are copper). Next, remove the stopper assembly, then unscrew the nut holding the drainpipe in place and push that up from the bottom. You need to clean the Silicone residue from the sink, and give that a pretty thorough cleaning.

    That’s really it – your new ring should come in a kit with a new stopper; you would essentially reverse the above directions. You’d want to put the ring in first, seat it with new Silicone, and tighten the nut on the underside – then let the silicone dry before going further.

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