How to Remove and Install a Kitchen Sink Strainer

Using sink strainer wrench to tighten locknut up on to sink strainer.
Using sink strainer wrench to tighten locknut up on to sink strainer.

Step #5: Attach Locknut to Strainer

Remove any excess putty from the bottom of the sink opening and strainer, then slide the rubber washer onto the strainer from underneath the sink, followed by the friction washer.

Thread the locknut onto the strainer (turn clockwise), being careful not to cross the threads, and hand tighten the nut as much as possible against the friction washer and gasket.

Insert either a special basket strainer wrench or needle nose pliers into the bottom of the strainer opening to keep the strainer from turning, and use a locknut wrench or large pipe wrench to tighten the locknut up against the sink.

Snug the locknut up tight but don’t over tighten, which could break the locknut or strip the strainer threads.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. I removed excess putty from the bottom of the sink opening and strainer. However as I tightened the locknut washer some putty eventually came out between the sink and the top of the rubber gasket… when I used less of the putty (an earlier attempt) there wasn’t enough and water eventually leaked from that area. This might fail, too. Frustrating.

    • Katherine,
      Plumber’s putty should squeeze out all around the sink strainer when you tighten up the locknut. A little of the putty may continue to ooze out for a time, but it can be easily wiped off.

  2. Yes, I understand the putty squeezing out around the top of the strainer, but should any come out under the sink, around the gasket(s)?

    • Katherine,
      Putty didn’t squeeze out around the gasket under the sink when I replaced mine, but it should still seal OK if it does.

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