What are the Basic Tools Needed When Replacing a Sink Strainer Basket

Man with a wrench working on plumbing beneath a sink.
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 10-100

You’ve got a rusty sink strainer basket in your kitchen sink that’s leaking, and you need to know what tools you’ll need to replace it. This article will give you a list of basic tools which you will need to accomplish this project. It’s important to remember that with the plethora of makers of under sink disposals there might be tools you’ll need but aren’t listed here. Another item to remember is to unplug the disposal before removing it. Also, remember to turn off the water to both hot and cold sides of the tap, just in case.

Disposal Removal

Sink Strainer Baskets on Amazon

Most under sink garbage disposals can be removed simply by twisting the locking collar counter clockwise after unplugging the unit.

Pipe or Monkey Wrenches

using a pipe wrench beneath a sink

You will need two of these as you will have to hold the upper collar while turning the locking ring counter-clockwise. If the installation is very old, this may take quite a bit of effort.

Channel Lock or Large Slip-Joint Pliers

These can be used in lieu of the pipe wrenches as they will weigh about 1/3 of the pipe wrenches and be much easier to handle and use.

Spray Lubricant

You may need to use something like WD-40 on the locking parts if the installation is very old. This will especially be true if the sink strainer basket has been leaking for any length of time.

Utility Knife

You will need this to break the seal between the sink strainer and the sink created by the plumber’s putty and age.

Putty Knife

This will be used to help lift the old sink strainer basket out after breaking the seal.

Plumber’s Putty

You will need this to create a seal between the sink and the new sink strainer basket as you install the new one.

Porcelain Touch-up Paint

white kitchen sink with drain

You will need to repair any cracks or breaks in the porcelain of the sink before installing the new sink strainer basket. The areas being patched will need to be completely dry and stay dry until the touchup paint fully dries.

Scotchbrite Scrubbing Pad

You will need at least one of these in order to thoroughly clean the drain rim on the sink after removing the old sink strainer basket. Steel wool can be used, as long as much care is taken in order to not scratch or chip the weakened porcelain coating at the bottom of the sink.

Tip: It’s also highly recommended that you wear safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying porcelain chips or pieces of old plumber’s putty.

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