Sink Pipe Basics

A sink pipe is one of the most essential parts of the entire sink assembly. Without the pipe going from the bottom of the sink to the drain, water will simply run out all over the cabinets and floor. When talking about sink pipes there are some basics that you should know about.

Different Types of Sink Pipe

There are two basic types of pipe that are used in a sink. For years, many people used galvanized metal pipes as their main drainage system. This type of pipe is not in use much anymore as it can rust on the inside, and is hard to work with. Today, many new homes, and home renovators, are using PVC pipes for their sinks and other fixtures. This type of pipe does not rust and are easy to work with. 

Working with Sink Pipes

When replacing your sink pipes you should use PVC pipes. Working with a PVC pipe is much easier than galvanized steel. You can cut the sink pipe with a hacksaw very quickly. Since a sink pipe drain is generally 1 1/4 inch or 1 1/2 inch diameter, cutting these pipes is easily done. You will need to clean the cut with some PVC cleaner and then cement the couplings together with PVC cement. It is a multi-step process to join the PVC pipes together, but quite easy once you have done it a few times. 

Basic Installation of Sink Pipe

Installing a sink pipe is mostly done through the use of different couplings and adapters. If you are renovating your home, and using PVC to replace the steel, you will need to use couplings with threads on the end and compression nuts. You can then screw it onto the bottom of the sink for a solid drain pipe. 

Sink Pipe Components

To make up a sink pipe for the drain you will have a few different components. There is the 1 1/4 inch pipe with an adapter that fits the sink style. There is also a P-Trap that must be connected to the straight pipe. Along with the P-Trap some people will install a clean out trap that can be unscrewed in the event that a clog happens in the pipe. 

Unclogging Sink Pipe

When you are using your sink, there is the inevitable problem of it becoming clogged with food, hair, or other debris. Once the sink pipe is clogged you will need to get rid of it before any water will be able to drain. Removing the clog from a sink pipe can be done a few different ways. First, you can use some commercial chemicals that eat through the clog, but are sometimes harmful to the water supply. Next, you can plunge the clog or use a drain snake. If the clog is really tough then you can easily remove the sink pipe to clean it out manually. 

Sink Pipe Length

In order to give your waste water an opportunity to drain properly you should have at least 6 to 10 inches of straight drain pipe before you use an elbow to lead the water out to the main drain pipe and vent.