How to Replace a Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer Without Any Skills?

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Do you have a leaking kitchen sink drain? Are you thinking of calling a plumber to fix your kitchen strainer? Well, you need not. This article will tell you how to remove the sink strainer and install a new one, all by yourself.

The kitchen sink comes in use at least 2-3 times a day in every household. It is a funnel-shaped object of metal, tightly fixed to the sink from above and below.

With the frequent flow of water, even the most expensive kitchen strainer is bound to leak or rust.

Your next step would be calling a plumber right? Not when you can do it yourself. Yes, it is no rocket science, and you can easily do it by yourself within an hour. Read on to know how to replace a kitchen sink basket strainer without any skills.


Tools and Materials Required

Before getting to the exciting part of replacing the sink basket strainer, you must get prepared with the required objects.

  • Plumber’s putty
  • Locking pliers
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Rotary tool
  • Screwdriver
  • Slip joint pliers
  • A new set of sink strainer


How to Remove Sink Strainer?

Once you have all the pre-requisites ready, it is time for the show!

Separate the Drain Pipe

Step 1: Loosen the nut that holds the strainer and the drainpipe together.

Sink strainers are usually made of metal, whereas the pipe is of PVC. You will find a PVC or metal coupling nut, connecting the pipe and the strainer. Use a pair of slip-joint pliers to loosen the nut. Once it is loose, you can remove it with your hands.

Note: If the nut is of metal, you will need to use the adjustable wrench to unscrew it.

Step 2: Hold the spinning strainer in its place.

While removing the pipe, you may find that the basket strainer is spinning around. To have a hassle-free removal process, you will need to hold the strainer in place. Insert a pair of pliers from above into the strainer grate. It will stabilize the entire strainer.

Note: You can hold the plier from one hand while removing the nut from the other. Alternatively, get your partner or a kid to hold the pliers in place while you unscrew the nut.

Detach the Sink Strainer

Step 1: Loosen the locknut strainer with an adjustable wrench

Use a large wrench to loosen the locknut that is holding the strainer tight. Turn the nut anti-clockwise until the nut loosens. Once it is loose enough, you can continue removing it by hand. Do this until the strainer unthreads and slips down.

Note: If you have a strainer with screws attached to hold the locknut in place, unscrew it with a screwdriver. Once you remove the screws, you can loosen the locknut with your hand.

cat in front of faucet

Step 2: Remove the nut at the bottom of the strainer

Use your wrench to unfasten the nut at the bottom of the strainer. Once you have unlocked the nut, pull out the bell-shaped housing below the strainer.

Note: If the housing is tight in its place, hit its top part lightly with a screwdriver or a plier. It will loosen up in a few tries, after which you can easily slip it off.

Step 3: Take off the strainer from the top of the sink

You might need to shake and twist the strainer a little before completely pulling it off. This is because the strainer is fixed to the sink with the plumber’s putty.

Once it is loose enough, push the strainer upward from the bottom of the sink with one hand. Use your other hand to pull it out from the above.

Note: If the strainer has a thick layer of rust around, it will be slightly more challenging to remove. You can use a rubber mallet to pry up the strainer.


How to Install a New Kitchen Sink Basket Strainer?

After successfully removing the strainer, scrape out the plumber’s putty that may be left on the rim. Do not scratch too hard as it may ruin the stainless steel finish. Using a plastic putty knife may help.

Step 1: Apply a generous layer of the plumber’s putty around the rim of the sink.

Take a generous amount of the putty and roll it like a stick between your hands. Continue to soften the putty until it gets as loose as playing clay. Spread the softened putty evenly at the top of the sink opening. You can make sure that it sticks well by pressing it around the edges of the rim.

Step 2: Place the new strainer

After correctly applying the plumber’s putty, place the new sink strainer in place. Press the strainer downward such that it properly sticks to the sink. You can remove the excess putty with a plastic putty knife or a cloth piece.

Step 3: Secure the nuts and rings

To make sure that the strainer stays in place, it is essential to secure it from below the sink. Fix the rubber gasket, locknut, and bell housing at the bottom of the strainer. Use a wrench to tighten each of the nuts firmly.

Step 4: Re-connect the Drainpipe

Replace the PVC drain pipe with a PVC nut or a metal nut by twisting it in the clockwise direction. The former can be easily tightened by hand, whereas the latter will require a wrench.

Test for Leaks

First, fill the sink with water. Release the water at one go so that the pressure is heavy. Check for leaks by running tissue all around the strainer-pipe joint. If you find a leak, it may be due to a faulty putty. In that case, you may have to re-install the strainer.


Before you start with the entire process of removal and installation, locate the source of the leakage. It is possible that instead of the sink strainer, your drainage pipe is leaking. Once you’re sure that the leakage is from the joint, go ahead with replacing the sink strainer.

Thoroughly read this step-by-step process of how to remove the sink strainer and install a new one. It will assure you of your unidentified skills. Moreover, you need not call a plumber. Save yourself some extra bucks!

Thank you for reading!

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