Many people feel very uncertain about tackling home improvement projects on their own. In many cases, this is a good thing.
Tasks involving gas or electrical work are best left to professionals for the sake of safety.
However, many jobs are well within the skillset of the average homeowner with a minimal amount of instruction and the tools that most Americans should normally have around the house.
Installing a new kitchen sink and hooking up the plumbing would many times fall into this category.
Unless modifications to the existing countertops or plumbing are needed, installing a kitchen sink requires no specialized tools or skills and can be accomplished by most people in a day or less.
A Few Words of Advice
A few bits of advice before digging into the process of installing a sink itself.
As with most projects around the house, it is best to start early just in case any snags develop you will have time to deal with them without going into panic mode. Extra time is the one thing you can't run out and buy.
Make a list of all the materials and tools required, check it twice and make sure they are available. This avoids nasty surprises later.
Familiarize yourself with the process before you begin and have all your tools and materials staged and readily accessible. This helps assure the work will flow smoothly and be enjoyable instead of frustrating.
Be prepared to replace all fittings and gaskets. Old ones can become brittle with time and may not be serviceable once removed.
If you are on a tight budget look for sink faucet combos. These will normally save you $100 or more.
YouTube is a create place for the DIYers to get information - be sure to follow our YouTube page as we grow our collection of "how to" videos.
Before You Begin Installing A Sink, Remove the Old One
Measure your existing sink and take photos of its plumbing hookups. These are invaluable when you go shopping for your new fixtures. Remember you can enlarge the hole in your cabinet top but not make it smaller.
Make sure your work area is safe. This means turning off the water and killing the power to the garbage disposal and electrical outlets around the sink. You should also clear any clutter from underneath the sink and make sure no chemicals like cleaning products remain in the area.
After you have turned off the water, open the kitchen faucet to allow the water to drain down. If you have a lower faucet in a bathroom or outside opening it will help clear the lines and minimize the mess in your work area.
Using a bucket to catch any resulting water, disconnect the water lines from the faucet, carefully drain and remove the P-Trap from the old sink and detach the dishwasher drain and take out the garbage disposal according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Looking up you should see the clips holding the old sink. Remove these with the appropriate tool and then take a putty knife and run it around the rim of your old sink to loosen it from the countertop.
Now pushing from the bottom leverage your old sink up out of place and remove it. If you have one of the older cast-iron type sinks, you may need to have some extra muscle on hand to help. These can be beast.
Using your putty knife, a scrub pad and whatever cleansers you need, remove the old caulk and anything else necessary to have a clean surface to mount your new sink too.
Installing A New Kitchen Sink
Before you do anything else read the installation instructions that came with your new kitchen sink and test fit it to make sure it is the proper size. If it doesn't fit properly you may want to buy another or call in a professional. It depends on your skillset.
Once you are sure your new kitchen sink is properly sized, install the mounting clips making sure to turn then in toward the bowl. It saves time and trouble if you go ahead and mount the faucet, sprayer and drain strainer before actually mounting the sink. Plumber's putty should be used on the strainer.
Next, attach the rubber gaskets and threaded flange to the sink drain and if you have garbage disposal install the mounting brackets.
Apply a small bead of silicone sealant to the countertop along the edges of the opening. You can apply to the edges of the basin itself but this is a messier procedure.
Slowly lower the new sink into place and press gently to seal the edges.
Under the sink swing the mounting clips into place and tighten being careful not to overtighten. Overtightening can damage the basin or countertops.
Reconnect your faucet supply lines being sure to use new gaskets if not totally new line assemblies. Flexible supply lines are recommended. Tighten just beyond finger tight making sure not to strip the threads.
Now, following the manufacturer's instructions, reinstall the garbage disposal and reattach the dishwasher drain lines.
Reattach the disposal drain line to the sink drain and reinstall the P-trap.
Making sure that your faucet is open to avoid water hammering, turn the water supply on and check for leaks. It is important to make sure air has had a chance to flush from your lines as it can cause pressure spikes and damage your plumbing.
If you have leaks back up and deal with them if not then congratulations, you have just installed a new kitchen sink.
When to Call A Pro
Replacing a kitchen sink is a fairly straightforward operation provided everything is up to spec and fits properly.
There are however times when it should be left to the professionals. If you are wanting a different size sink installed, are going from a single to a double basin or vice versa or if you have an older home like many in Franklin MA, it is better to have a professional plumber take on the project.
In the Franklin MA area, G&C Plumbing and Heating stands ready to serve you with over 75 years of combined experience in the plumbing industry. Family owned and operated we are more than just service providers we are your neighbors.