How to Replace a Leaking Steel Sink Trap with a Plastic Trap


Sink traps are designed to prevent possible clogging agents from traveling further into your drain pipes. They are also useful in catching valuable small items that are accidentally dropped into sink drains.

However, in addition to these useful functions, they also trap dirt and other materials to keep them from forming a thick wet sludge that may sit in the bottom of the trap indefinitely.

Unfortunately, steel will rust when exposed to wet conditions over an extended period. This may lead to a small hole developing in the bottom of the trap and a subsequent leak whenever water passes through the trap.

The solution to both the current leak and future rust issues is replacing your steel trap with a PVC plastic trap.

What you will need to replace your sink trap

A residential sink trap

  • Residential sink traps are universal, so you don't need to look for a specific size. It is shaped like the letter "J". You will see both residential and commercial traps in your local home improvement store, usually side-by-side.
  • Check the trap to ensure that it is 1 1/4 inches in diameter, rather than 1 1/2 inches, which is a commercial size. Customers will sometimes pick up a commercial trap and unintentionally place it in the residential bin at the store.

Teflon tape

  • This is not really tape, but a thin white plastic ribbon used to seal pipe threads. You can find it in the same section as the trap.

An adjustable wrench or pliers

Rags or paper towels and a bucket

Removing the leaking sink trap

Place paper towels or rags below the sink trap and keep the bucket within reach. Using your adjustable wrench or pliers, you will begin by removing the compression nut at the top end of the trap. Grasp the trap and hold it upright before removing the second nut at the shorter end of the trap. It will likely be filled with dirty water and sludge. 

After removing the second nut, place the old trap in the bucket. Unless something valuable has fallen into the sink drain recently, you can empty the drain of water and throw it away. 

Installing the PVC sink trap

Slide the top of the trap over the drain pipe that descends from the sink. You will then wrap teflon tape in a clockwise direction around the threads at the short end of the trap. When all the threads are covered, reattach the threaded nut and tighten it securely with the wrench or pliers. The top of the sink trap has no threads, so lower the compression nut and tighten it securely with your wrench or pliers.

Clean up your mess and say goodbye to your leak. If you have further questions about plumbing repairs, contact a local plumber.


12 November 2015

Replacing an Older Plumbing System

I absolutely love the beauty, charm, and character of an older home. When my husband retires from his job, I would like to purchase an older house in the mountains and transform it into a quaint inn. While older homes are beautiful, they do sometimes contain hidden issues. One of these problems is faulty plumbing. Rusty pipes and poor water pressure are common in an older abode. If you just purchased a charming older place, consider immediately replacing the plumbing system in the home. In doing so, you might be able to save yourself from major issues in the future. On this blog, you will discover the many benefits of replacing an older plumbing system.