Here we describe how to remove a kitchen sink. In the previous post, I described the problems caused by a faucet that had leaked water under the sink and allowed mold to start growing. I had to remove our drop-in style kitchen sink to see how bad the mold was.
I took about two minutes to feel sorry for myself for having to fix what ever problems I was going to find. First thing was to turn off the water, disconnect all the plumbing and then pull out the sink.
Steps for Removing the Sink
- Shut off the water at shut-off valves
- Disconnect drain pipes
- Remove garbage disposal
- Disconnect water supply to faucet
- Remove the sink
Step 1. Shut off Water at Shutoff Valves
Turning off the water to a sink that has shutoff valves is simple. Under our sink there are three shutoff valves. Two were attached to the hot water supply on the left and one cold water supply on the right (Fig. 1). One hot water supply goes to the hot water side of the sink and the other goes to the dishwasher. Your sink may have only one shutoff for both the sink and the dishwasher.
We have two different kinds of shutoff valves. The hot water valve is turn just like any other faucet to turn off the water. Turn clockwise to stop water, just like you turn a jar or milk jug cap clockwise to close (“righty tighty and lefty loosey”). This type of valve has to be turned all the way until it stops turning. With valves pointing in several different directions, it can be confusing, but turn clockwise as if you were facing the faucet. The cold water turn off is a 1/4 turn type valve, and turns 90 degrees counter clockwise to open and clock wise to close. You can tell the valve is closed in the photo because the long part of the knob is 90 degrees to the pipe, if the valve were open, the long part of the knob would be parallel with the pipe.
Emergency Water Turnoff – Does Your Family Know Where It Is?
Everyone should know where the turn off valves are and how to use them. Even the older kids should know, so if there is a water emergency, they can turn off the water first and then get help, which might prevent any real damage. Show them where the turn off valves are for the toilets and the washing machine too.
Many older homes do not have turn off valves for every sink and toilet, so you will have to turn off the water for the entire house. Everyone should know where the main turn off valve is too. Sometimes there is a special tool required to reach the valve and everyone needs to know where that is as well and how to use it.
While you are at it, everyone should learn where and how to turn off the gas as well.
Step 2. Disconnect Drain Pipes
Most drain pipes that are hidden under the sink today are made from PVC, but some pipes may be chrome. The compression rings on PVC pipe may be removed by hand, but you can use channel lock pliers (AKA tongue and grove pliers) if needed. You should protect the chrome compression rings with an old rag to prevent scratches from the pliers. Make sure to put a bucket or pan under the trap to catch the water that is in the trap when you remove sink drain.
How to remove a garbage disposal was explained in detail in a separate post for easier reading.
Step 4. Disconnect Water Supply to Faucet
There are several types of water supply hoses, but they all basically unscrew to disconnect them. The water supply can be disconnected by using a crescent wrench (or pliers) either above the shutoff valve (Fig 1), where it is easiest to reach, or where it connects to the faucet farther up. Since this is your clean drinking water supply, cover the ends of the open supply lines with something (I used paper towels and rubber band) to keep the dust, dirt, paint etc out while you are working.
Step 5. Remove the Sink
Some sinks are held into place with bolts that are holding pressure plates underneath the counter top. If so, start by removing these bolts and plates. Most Drop-in or “self-rimming” sinks are held in place by their weight and by putty or caulking. The edge of the sink will have to be carefully pried up away from the counter top. If silicon caulk was used to seal the sink, it will be difficult to pry up.
I used a putty knife to slide under one edge of the sink. It was difficult because silicon caulk had been previously used. After I was able to wedge up a corner between the counter top and the sink about 1/4 inch, I slid wood shims into the space. I slowly worked my way around the sink, adding shims as I went until the sink released from the counter top.
I removed the sink with the faucet still attached. I could see mold was growing on most of the back side of the counter top (Fig. 3). All the mold appears to be on the surface and the area is not too large. My next steps were to determine how to kill the mold and then replace the faulty faucet and reinstall the sink.
We will explain how to remove any mold and re-installation of the sink in our next posts.