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Drain Installation Guide

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Plumbing > Drain Installation Guide
Drain Installation Guide

Home improvement projects that involve plumbing may be a little unsettling, with the mess and the possibility of error. If you find the idea of hiring a plumber even scarier, take heart. Even with novice-level plumbing skills, you can probably install a new drain yourself.


As you’re contemplating your plumbing task, get additional information from the UW Extension website. You’ll find handy information about drain cleaners, septic systems and much more. The more you learn, the better prepared you will be to maintain and update your plumbing systems.


An extensive drain installation guide will be your key to plumbing project success. With time and effort, your new drain will soon run smoothly.

  1. 1.Gather Tools and Materials

    Even with novice-level plumbing skills, you can probably install a new drain yourself.

    Before you begin installing the new drain, gather everything you may need for a smooth and hassle-free task. You may need an adjustable wrench, Phillips-head screwdriver, flat-head screwdriver, pliers, thread seal tape, plumber’s putty and a flashlight. You’ll also need your drain kit, complete with a pivot rod.

  2. 2.Prepare for Installation

    Tackle your plumbing project during a time when your local home improvement store is open so you can make any impromptu trips for unexpected tools or materials. If you’re a novice, expect to spend at least three hours installing the new drain.


    Turn off the water supply before you begin your plumbing project. After turning off the water supply, turn on the faucet to ensure that the water supply is off and to eliminate water pressure.


    Clean the inside of the sink to make it spotless and then dry it completely before you begin. Place some plumber’s putty under the seat of the drain and place it down into the drain opening from the top. This is the part of the drain that you’ll see as you use the sink.

  3. 3.Installing the Drain Body and Drain Plug

    Grab your flashlight and get ready to install the drain body. From under the sink, thread the mounting nut, the washer and the gasket onto the drain body. Place thread seal tape tightly around the top threads of the drain body.


    Line up the drain body under the sink and screw it onto the seat from below but don’t tighten it completely yet. Position the pivot rod opening on the drain body so that it’s facing the back of the sink and then finish tightening the mounting nut to the seat. Connect the tailpiece of the drain with the drain body and tighten carefully to finish the pipe assembly.


    Insert the drain plug into the drain from the top of the drain by just dropping it in. Screw the pivot rod seat onto the pivot rod opening on the drain body. Place the pivot rod into the seat and then insert it through the drain plug hole – this enables operation of the drain plug to raise and lower it. Insert the pivot nut on the pivot rod and tighten it snugly. Insert the end of the lift rod into the lift rod strap – hold it there tightly with the lift rod strap screw. Finally, connect the lift rod strap and the pivot rod with the spring clip included with the kit.

  4. 4.Testing

    Turn the water supply back on and get ready to test. Turn the faucet on and assess your drain to make sure it’s running correctly. If you detect any leaks, turn the water supply back off and carefully adjust the pipe connections to make sure they’re tight enough. With a little effort and luck, your new drain should soon be running smoothly.

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