How to Install Sink Strainer | Easy Steps To Follow

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The sink strainer can be installed on two occasions. They are:

  • When new
  • When replacing the old worn out strainer.

The sink strainer can easily get worn out. It may experience several blockages that necessitate it to be replaced. Some of the things that can cause it to be worn out include the environment and dirt.

When worn out, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. For the steps on how to install when new and to replace when worn out, then go through this article and find out more.

How to Install Sink Strainer

What is the purpose of a sink strainer in a sink?

Normally, the water that we use has a lot of chemicals and other harmful products. The tap water is contaminated and hence requires some cleaning before use.

A sink strainer is either a mesh sieve or a perforated metal sieve. It filters out or strains the solid matter in the water system.

There are several varieties of the same. Some are best for use in residential areas and also some are for industrial purposes.

How do you measure the sink strainer

How do you measure the sink strainer?

Before doing any installation, it is advisable that you take the correct measurement. Most kitchen drains measure about 3½ inches in diameter. The measurement applies when you take it across the center of the drain, from one point to the other.

In the drain mouth is the strainer that is bowl-shaped. It also matches this dimension. The piece sits inside the mouth of the drain mount and to seal it completely.

Steps To Follow When Installing The Strainer

Disconnect the pipe under the sink

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the bolt that joins the T-junction to the pipe. Disconnect the two and leave them separated. Do not remove the U-bend in place as the sewer may flow back to your floor.

Remove the nut below the basket strainer

From the bottom, remove the lowest nut. When the nut is out, it will make free the tailpiece and the top gasket. Put them apart as well.

Remove the nut below the basket strainer

Remove the large nut from the strainer top

Once you are done with removing this nut, you will have done the first part of the job. You will then be able to have access to the basket strainer.

Take off the basket strainer

Several loose smaller units tend to fall off at this point from the strainer. These parts come with the new strainer. So as you are purchasing your strainer, ensure that all the small parts are there.

This means that you can discards these parts with the old strainer without any problem. Discard the old basket itself too. This basket is to be lifted off from the sink top.

Thoroughly, clean the sinkhole

Before fixing the strainer, thoroughly lean the sinkholes from all the sides. Use a brush to scrub both the top and the bottom of the sink. Do not leave any dirt around the area where you will fix the strainer.

Use a sponge to dry it off before commencing the installation. Any dirt and moisture around this place will hinder the putty from forming a good bond. In turn, the strainer won’t hold well.

If the installation is a replacement, you will need to thoroughly scrub off the old putty. Use a putty knife for this purpose. A thinner can cause it to come out too. Read the safety instructions before using any chemicals.

Fix any holes in the sink id they happen to be there

Before installing the strainer to the sink, you must repair any holes in the sink. Neglecting these holes will cause your sink to leak all the time. Run a series of tests after doing the repairs to establish whether the holes have been fully repaired or not.

If however the holes a bigger or many in the sink, you will need to do the sink replacement. At this point, the sink is irreparable.

Dismantle the new strainer fully

Dismantle the new strainer fully

The new strainer comes fixed with all its parts and components. It is not possible to install it while fully assembled.

Apply the putty and press the strainer against it

This is meant to hold the strainer into its place. Apply little pressure so as not to distort the still wet putty. This will help to hold the strainer in its place before tightening to the sink with the screw.

Remove the excess putty

After screwing back, there is always that excess putty that comes out from the edges. You should scrap it off before it dries up. Use a putty knife for this purpose. Be careful not to leave visible scratches in your sink. Clean the basin properly to remove any remaining material.

Reattach with the bottom pipe and complete the rest of the plumbing

Once done screwing back, then it is time to reattach with the sewer pipe to make the work complete. Close the connections tightly to avoid dropping water when using it. Complete all the remaining plumbing works.

Reattach with the bottom pipe and complete the rest of the plumbing

It is necessary to apply plumbers’ putty when installing the sink drain?

Much depends on the type of strainer that you are installing. The modern types of strainers need silicon caulk instead. Most of the plumbers do not recommend it either. That does not mean that it is not a necessity. There are some strainers that you have to use the putty when installing.

Some of the modern sinks come with their own rubber gasket. That means that you will not require putty for the same. If the supplier does not include the gasket in the package, and the flange of the sink is not metallic, then you can use a silicone caulk.

Always refer to the user manual so that you can get the correct directions of the drain assembly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it advisable to have a sink strainer?

Yes, it is advisable that each household and also industries to install this product. Unpurified water is harmful to both the human body and also to the machinery. It is, therefore, necessary to have this product for our own health purposes.

What is the best sink strainer?

The decision mostly lies with the user. However, some of the best picks in this category are:

  • Levado 548-872 MP Basket Sink Strainer.
  • Sosuo 4.5” Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink Strainer.
  • Maxware Stainless Steel Sink Strainer.
  • Danco Universal Kitchen Sink Mesh Strainer.
  • Kone 3½” Kitchen Sink Strainer.

The list is long but those are the samples of the best types of sink strainers. You should, however, note that what is best for you might not be the same for another person. Choose the one that suits you to your satisfaction.

Are the kitchen sink strainers universal?

Yes, they are universal. Whether you are using a single or a double basin sink, the diameter of the hole is usually 3½ inches wide. Though they are available in a variety of finishes, you can easily match them with other kitchen fixtures. Such include the kitchen faucets and the cabinet pulls.

Any sink strainer can fit any kitchen. The guiding factor is the diameter of the hole that is universal across the world.


Fixing and or installing the strainer can be a complicated process. In some instances, you may need the services of a professional for a perfect job. Follow all the steps for the best results. Handle everything with care.

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