Bathroom Sink Plumbing

A slow draining bathroom sink will eventually become a no draining bathroom sink. The good news is it’s very easy to unclog that bathroom sink in about ten minutes. Follow the steps below to get your sink draining like new again.

Step 1: Tools’ You Need

You will need just a couple of basic tools to unclog a bathroom sink. The first tool is a pair of channel locks. These are a large pair of pliers with jaws that will expand to at least 4″. You could also use a pipe wrench if you have one, however if you need to purchase either one I would recommend the channel locks. They are a much more universal tool for most projects around the house. A pair of channel locks should cost under $10 and can be found at most hardware stores.

The other tools you will need can be found around the house. The first is a small bucket and a metal coat hanger or stiff piece of wire.

Step 2: Get Ready to Unclog that Bathroom Sink

First and most important is to clear everything out under the sink. You will need room to move around when disconnecting the drain lines. The next thing is to place the bucket under the drain pipe to catch any water that comes out. The last thing you should do is get a rag or paper towel handy to clean the gunk that you will inevitably run in to.

Step 3: Disconnect the Bathroom Sink Drain Line

When you look at the drain line coming from the bathroom sink, you will see it make a “U” shape at the bottom. This is called the pea trap. You should have a large plastic or metal nut on both or one side of the pea trap. Use your channel locks to loosen the nut and carefully remove the pea trap. You may get some water running out at this point but it shouldn’t be more than what is trapped in the pipe. Inspect and clean any debris in the pea trap.

Step 4: Disconnect stem pipe from Bathroom Sink

The stem pipe is the straight piece of pipe that comes directly out of the bottom of the sink. If you have a stopper in your bathroom sink you will need to remove this first. There should be a nut holding in the stopper ball. Loosen the nut and pull out the stem with the ball. Now pull out the stopper from the sink above and clean any debris. Now you can disconnect the stem pipe. Most stem pipes will have a threaded connection and shouldn’t be too tight. Try and loosen first by hand. If its too tight gently use the channel locks to loosen the pipe. Bathroom sink plumbing is fragile, so try not to put too much force on them to avoid cracking or bending the pipes and stripping the threads.

Step 5: Clean everything

Any bathroom sink clog will be either in the pea trap or stem pipe. Use your rag and a piece of coat hanger to clean out any debris in side these pipes. Now go to another sink and run hot water through the pieces of pipe and clean each part you took off.

Step 6: Put it all Back Together

Now reverse the order to put everything back. First put the stopper back in the sink. When inserting the ball stopper try and get the stem of the ball through the hole in the stopper above. Move the sink stopper slowly up and down until you feel it go in all the way. Secure it down with the nut and insert the other side into the stopper handle in the back.

When connecting the bathroom sink plumbing remember to be gentle. Most bathroom drain plumbing does not require thread tape or putty to seal, however you may use it if you would like. Use your hands to tighten the nuts back on and very gently tighten with the channel locks.

Step 7: Test the Bathroom Sink

The last step is to turn the water back on after everything is connected. Check for leaks and tighten pipes if you need to. Congratulations you just saved yourself the cost of a plumber and took one more step to becoming a professional DIY’er.

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Bathroom Sink

While it can be exciting to upgrade parts of your bathroom, you may be scared about it not being usable for a period of time. If you only have one bathroom in the home, this is even more of a concern. The good news is many projects don’t take more than a few hours to complete. One of them is the changing of the sink units.

This type of setup allows you to have an all in one change over that fits well and is efficient. It is also less expensive than buying separate items. You have to be careful when you mix and match as items may not fit like you thought they would. Then you have to send them back to be exchanged and the project will take significantly longer to complete.


Identify how much space you have before you shop for sink units. Take a good assessment of how things are currently set up. Is the current vanity too wide that you feel it limits space by the toilet? Is it too long and you feel it makes it harder to use the bath tub? Such factors can help you decide to get one that is shorter and slimmer so you have more open space in the bathroom.

On the other hand, you may feel that there is plenty of room to get one of the wider and longer sink units. This could give you more overall space for storage or to get a nice mirror display. Take your time to determine your measurements so you can get a product that fits in place nicely. Don’t worry if your size isn’t a common one as you can even have them customised.