How to Fix a Dripping Drain on a Bathroom Sink
A dripping drain causes damage to the area beneath the drain and to anything that is stored under the sink. Correcting the problem requires diagnosing where the drip is originating. Drips originate from either the tailpiece or the drain trap, also known as the P-trap. The tailpiece is the visible portion of the drain inside the sink. The drain trap is the U-shaped pipe that extends under the sink. Locating the drip prior to starting the project is necessary to ensure the proper material is gathered.
- Open the cabinet door under the sink. Remove all items from the area for easy access to the drain trap and tail pipe. Place a folded bath towel or a bucket directly under the drain trap.
- Disconnect the drain trap from the tailpiece. The drain trap will drop slightly underneath the bottom of the tailpiece. Two possibilities exist to remove the drain trap. Loosen the slip nuts, located around the connection point of each section of drain trap, on PVC pipe with your hand or use a channel lock on a metal drain trap.
- Disconnect the drain control if one is present. A drain control is present in most bathroom sinks. Loosen the screw that holds the rod with a wrench. Remove the pivot rod from the drain then from the drain stopper. Remove both the pivot rod and the drain stopper from the drain opening.
- Unscrew the slip nut holding the tailpiece in place. Remove the tailpiece from the sink basin.
- Peel or scrape the plumber’s caulk from the rim of the tail pipe and the drain indentation in the sink basin.
- Apply a 1/8-inch layer of plumber’s caulk inside the drain indentation in the sink basin.
- Insert the tailpiece into the opening so the flat rim is on top. Slide the slip nut over the bottom of the tailpiece. Move the slip nut into position and secure.
- Reconnect the drain control.
- Slide the drain trap washer and slip nut on the tailpiece. Slide the drain trap onto the tailpiece. Tighten the slip nut using the same method as removal.
- Allow the plumber’s putty to dry two hours. Run water through the drain to check for leaks. Tighten the slip nut further if needed. Repeat Steps 1 through 10 if the leak still persists at the tail pipe.