Plumbing Tips

How To Change A Kitchen Sink

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Stephen Pond, 647th Civil Engineer Squadron plumber, installs a sinks for a science lab at Gahuku Primary School in Papua New Guinea.

The kitchen is where you and your family do your cooking, and preparing food is time consuming. Plumbing fittings are installed in such a way to make your kitchen as efficient and useful as possible, so you don't spend any more time cooking than you have to.

But kitchen needs can change over time, and if you have an older home, it might be time to upgrade. Sinks are one of the first things to upgrade, as they come in different sizes and shapes to suit different kinds of spaces and families. A new sink in your kitchen can add more water efficiency, better features, and improve your kitchen's layout.

When choosing a kitchen sink, it's best to get advice from a professional plumber about the best brands and features for your home. Settling for low quality sinks is not recommended — you might save costs now, but they can end up costing you a lot more money in the long run. Read reviews before you purchase a new sink, and buy one that comes with a warranty so that you can be confident about the quality and after-sales service. Kitchen sinks are something you use every day, so durability is a top factor.

Removing An Old Sink

Determine How Difficult The Sink Installation Will Be

Plumber installing a kitchen sink

You don't want to remove your existing sink before you know how difficult it will be to install your new sink and how long it will take. If you run into problems with the new sink after your old sink is already removed, you could be without water in your kitchen for days or even weeks.

First of all, consider whether the proportions of the new sink match the old one. If the new sink is larger in size, you must recut the counter surface to the proper size so that the new sink fits seamlessly. Measure the space available for the sink so that there are no mistakes.

The sink material can affect the amount of labor or work involved. A ceramic sink is heavier than a stainless steel sink, and you will need more helping hands to install it.

The difficulty of installation also depends on the location of your cold and hot water feed. Even if you're experienced with plumbing, you might need specialist tools like a tube spanner to make them work. If you're not confident in handling these tasks, it's best to hire a sink installation expert. There is a web of pipes and valves under kitchen sinks, and most of the time the nuts are hidden by the sink basin, making installation tricky. This is when to call an expert!

Taking Out The Old Kitchen Sink

There are two very essential steps you need to take before you remove your old sink:

  1. Turn off the cold and hot water supply to the sink.
  2. Disconnect the waste pipe.

Once these steps are done, it should be easy to remove the sink. If your sink is heavy, get assistance from others to help you lift it.

Fitting A New Sink

A plumber installing a double basin kitchen sinkThe first thing you need to do before installing the new sink is clean the counter surface and remove any old silicon or scum.

The next most important thing to determine is whether the hole is big enough for your new sink or not. You shouldn't have to force the sink in the slot, and it shouldn't be loose. It should fit comfortably to avoid any leaking issues. If you force a sink into a counter, the materials can get damaged, and you might have to replace both the sink and your counter.

If you find the hole too small, turn the new sink upside down over the hole and mark the counter around the sink's perimeter. This makes it easy for you to cut a new hole in the exact right size. Once the hole is cut, mock up the sink that you are planning to fit prior to sealing, and everything should slot together fine.

There are many different types of kitchen taps, so you can pick whichever one you like. Because sinks don’t come preconfigured with tap holes, you'll need to call a plumber to do that. It's especially important to call a professional plumber if you're fitting a new ceramic sink in your kitchen. If an inexperienced person does it, the ceramic can crack, ruining your new sink.

After all these steps are done, you can fit and seal the sink in place, let it set, and enjoy your new kitchen fixture.