If it’s time for your old sink to go, you might be in need of a bit of kitchen plumbing advice. Stick around, and we will guide you through installing a sink and a kitchen plumbing system for it without having to call a plumber.
Needed Tools and Equipment
The toolset required for the plumbing installation job will vastly vary depending on whether you are installing a completely new unit or replacing one.
Generally, you will need the following:
- Tape measurer;
- Adjustable wrench or pliers;
- Straight edge.
And, in case you need to do some cutting, you will need:
Materials required for your kitchen plumbing include:
- Drainpipes and fittings package;
Generally, it’s best to avoid the financial stress of buying all these tools and instead borrow them from a friend or neighbour or, better, simply call experts who will bring their own equipment to do the job.
Measure the Kitchen Sink’s Layout
If you are switching your old sink, get its and the plumbing system’s dimensions with the tape measurer. Use that as a guide for buying new ones. When installing your kitchen or bathroom plumbing, you can do so yourself if you’ve got the experience or contact licensed plumbers instead.
Going from a single bowl to a double bowl sink upgrade, a sink with larger dimensions or adding one to a new counter will require you to do some measuring and cutting before that.
To install it properly, first, you must ensure that it is centred above the cabinet on your counter. If you have a template of your new sink, centre it above the cabinet and use the marker to trace around it.
If you don’t have a template, turn it upside down, centre it above your cabinet and lay some tape around its edges. Use the straight edge to help you get the proper lines and then the marker to trace the sink’s dimensions over the tape. Measure the length of its lip. Mark the length inward from the sink’s boundary mark on the tape. Then, round off the lip-line edges with the marker since they will make the installation sturdier. Use the lip-line as a reference and cut out or widen the opening for your new sink to fit into the counter with a jigsaw.
Once you have your sink opening, set your sink into it to test how it fits and the layout of your plumbing system.
Check the Drain Outlet Height
If you have chosen a sink and pipe setup similar to the old one, the drain outlet height would be just about right. If you have chosen a deeper sink, you might have to lower your drain outlet or come up with another solution to fit the new plumbing system.
Your drain outlet should be low enough to accommodate a 1/4 inch slope per foot of your trap arm towards it, and a deeper sink could leave no room for it, calling for re-adjustment and plumbing repair of the outlet.
Proper drain outlet height is essential so your kitchen plumbing system will drain properly. If your trap arm is even, has a massive slope or slopes towards the U bend instead of the drain outlet, you might face many sewage issues, amongst which a plumbing emergency like backed-up sewage.
Your drain outlet should not measure more than 16 inches in height from the counter base. This threshold can vary if your counter is not of standard size, giving you smaller or bigger margins.
Once you ensure that your drain outlet is at a proper height allowing a 1/4 inches downward slope of the trap arm, you can start carefully assembling your new kitchen plumbing system.
Install the Garbage Disposal and Strainer
These devices are essential to any kitchen and when you want to make your plumbing system more efficient and cost-effective. That’s due to them being able to break down the excess waste so that it won’t cause clogs, which are the reason behind major problems with your pipes.
Garbage disposals are heavy and space-demanding, so installing yours beforehand will be more time-efficient and convenient. Before you set and seal the new sink in the counter opening, make sure first to install the garbage disposal.
Screw the mounting ring into place with the screwdriver or just screw the flange in and attach the disposal if its model allows it. Then set the new sink in place and connect the dishwasher drain pipe, if any, to the disposal.
Now add a bit of the plumber’s putty on the bottom of the strainer, then fit it into the other bowl. Remove excess putty on the top and bottom parts, add a washer and a gasket beneath and screw in the nut. Use the pliers to tighten the nut.
Install the Drain Tailpiece
To your newly installed strainer, vertically attach the tailpiece from your plumbing package while also adding a washer and a gasket and then screw it a bit into place.
You want to leave your plumbing elements a bit loose for now, offering you wiggle room to adjust them all into one another later easily. Add the tee-piece connector to your tailpiece pipe and slightly tighten it as well.
For reference, grab the continuous waste pipe from the plumbing package, slightly screw one end into the garbage disposal, and fix the other next to the tee-piece connector. This will allow you to decide how much you need to shorten the tailpiece and the continuous waste pipe to fit together properly.
Shorten the tailpiece and re-install it to the strainer while adding the tee-piece connector to it. You should leave the tailpiece a tad longer with the tee-piece attached to it, so the continuous waste pipe would have a slight downward slope when connected to them.
Install the Continuous Waste Pipe
Since you have already measured the continuous waste pipe, you can now cut it to size and attach it to the garbage disposal and the tee-piece connector vertically. Once again, ensure it is sloped downwards from the garbage disposal towards the connector.
Connect the Drain Trap
Now attach the trap arm to the drain outlet on the wall. Add a gasket, a washer, and a slip nut, while leaving it loose.
Finally, to the lower end of the tee-piece connector, attach the U-curve pipe, with the longer end going into the connector and the shorter end going into the trap arm.
You can now start tightening all connections while ensuring to preserve the slopes for the waste pipe from the garbage disposal and the trap arm.
Check for Leaks
Once your new kitchen plumbing and sink are set up, you should test it for leaks. Put a bucket under the new installation when you test it for the first time, just in case.
Open the water supply line valve and the faucets and let the water run for a while. Use a flashlight to track if there is any dripping or streaming water.
You could also add more pressure to the plumbing by using a drain stopper to fill up the sinks a bit and then release the water.
Sometimes new plumbing installations can leak a bit which can be easily corrected by sufficient tightening or adding a plumber’s tape to some of the connections.
If your new kitchen plumbing system persists in leaking, hiring a professional plumber might be the best course of action to locate the problem and apply a proper plumbing fix.
With this, you are pretty much ready to tackle your kitchen and bathroom plumbing systems and replace them as needed. If you want more free time on your hands, consider calling professional plumbers so that they can do it for you with ease!
Lastly, remember that replacing your old setup with a newer one can add value to your home, so doing this job properly is essential.