How To Install A Kitchen Sink Drain

Replacing your sink is a step-by-step process. In today’s post, we’ll discuss the method for installing a kitchen sink drain. This process should be relatively easy for anyone with DIY plumbing skills. If you’ve never done your own plumbing before, we recommend starting with a project that’s a little more basic, like replacing the faucet or inner parts of your toilet.

To get started, you should understand the anatomy of your kitchen drain. It consists of:

  • Sink basket
  • Tail piece (the long straight part that comes out of your sink)
  • P-trap (the curvy part that hooks up to the tail piece)
  • Drain pipe (the piece that attaches to the P-trap and then goes into the wall)

You’ll start this project by installing the sink basket, then you’ll move onto the drain pipes. A word to the wise: we recommend dry fitting everything before puttying and tightening everything into place. As you follow these step-by-step instructions, keep that in mind.

Install the Sink Basket


  • Sink basket and all its parts (rubber washer, friction ring, nut)
  • Plumber’s putty
  • Basket wrench
  • Needle-nose pliers

Installation Process:

  1. Make a rope of plumber’s putty and push it in the underside of the sink basket.
  2. Drop the sink basket with plumber’s putty into the bottom of the sink.
  3. Depress the sink basket into the bottom of the sink. Push it down hard so that the putty gushes out the sides of the basket.
  4. Place the rubber washer that came with the sink basket up onto the underside of the sink where the basket projects out the bottom of the sink hole. Place the cardboard friction ring on the rubber washer.
  5. Thread the nut onto the bottom of the sink basket, locking the washer and cardboard friction ring into place.
  6. Use the basket wrench to tighten the nut even further. If the sink basket turns in its hole while you do this, use the needle-nose pliers to grip the basket and stop it from turning.
  7. Use your fingers to wipe away any excess plumber’s putty.

Installing Drain Pipes


  • Tail piece
  • Fitting trap adapter
  • P-trap with clean-out
  • Straight pieces, cut down to size with a hacksaw
  • Washers for each connection between pipes
  • Slip nuts for each connection


  1. Place the tail piece washer on the top of the tail piece pipe, then slide the slip nut onto the tail piece from the bottom. Thread the slip nut onto the bottom of the sink basket.
  2. Slip the fitting trap adapter onto the bottom of the tail piece. Tighten the trap adapter.
  3. Place the straight piece into the drain in the wall and use the slip nut to attach the straight pipe to the drain.
  4. Place the P-trap in between the tail piece coming out of the sink and the straight piece going into the drain. Use the slip nut at either end to attach the pieces, and put a washer at either end of the P-trap.
  5. Tighten the tail pipe, P-trap and the drain pipe by hand until you’re sure that they fit together, then tighten them with a wrench.


Below are a couple videos that we find helpful. First, basket installation:

And then kitchen sink drain pipe installation:

If you’re feeling stuck and not sure what to do, call Terry’s Plumbing. This is the stuff we live for and we’d be happy to do this in your home.