How to Remove a Kitchen Sink

To remove a kitchen sink that is glued down, disconnect the drain tap and water supply tubes, cut through the caulk, and lift the sink up and out.
Written by Bellina Gaskey
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
To remove a kitchen sink that is glued down, you’ll need to disconnect the drain tap and water supply tubes, cut through the caulk, and lift the sink up and out. You can complete roughly the same steps for both top-mounted and undermount kitchen sinks.
Maybe you need a new sink style to complement a revamped kitchen, or your sink has been around since your parents’ days and is developing rust or a crack. Luckily, removing a kitchen sink isn’t too difficult.
Here to walk you through the steps is a top-rated
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Why you may need to remove a kitchen sink

It may be time for your kitchen sink to go for multiple reasons. You may be redecorating, and your current sink design just doesn’t gel with the theme you’re choosing. 
Or, it may be the end of your sin’s lifespan. While acrylic sinks may last 50 years or more, enameled steel kitchen sinks may live less than 10 years. Porcelain sinks can crack.
Whatever reason your sink needs to be replaced, we’ve got you covered.
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How to remove kitchen sink 

Tools needed to remove a kitchen sink

To remove your kitchen sink, you’ll need the following equipment:
  • wrenches: pipe wrench and adjustable wrench
  • screwdriver
  • hammer
  • bucket
  • putty knife
  • old towel
  • work gloves
  • heat gun or hair dryer
This task may be difficult and take two to four hours. 
Pro Tip Take a picture of the plumbing set up just before you proceed. If something goes wrong, you can call an emergency plumber, who can use the photo as a reference. 

Types of kitchen sinks

There are two types of kitchen sinks: drop-in (or top-mounted) and undermount. You can perform the same steps for either one, but at the end, you’ll lift a top-mounted sink up and out, whereas you’ll lower an undermount sink and bring it out from the cabinet below. 
Pro Tip If you’re going to replace this sink with an undermount sink, make sure you have a granite or marble countertop for proper support.

Removing the sink

Here’s what you need to do:
  • Turn off the water supply and make sure it’s off by turning on the faucet. Also turn off electricity and gas if applicable
  • Take out the drain trap (or P-trap). Place a bucket beneath the drain trap to catch excess water, and loosen the slip nuts
  • Put a cloth/towel into the exposed drain trap hole to prevent sewer gases from entering the room
  • Disconnect the water supply lines. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the coupling nuts to separate the water supply tube from the faucet tailpiece
  • Disconnect other plumbing fixtures near the sink, like the hand sprayer and garbage disposal. Turn off the garbage disposal circuit breaker in the breaker box
  • If you have an undermount sink, take away the sink clips, which can be found underneath the countertop. Identify them and unscrew them with a screwdriver
  • Take a utility knife or straight edge and cut through the caulking between the sink and the countertop. If there are liquid nails in addition to caulk, use a hairdryer or heat gun to melt them until the sink is moveable 
  • Now it’s time to remove the sink. Push a top-mounted sink up from underneath and lift it out of the counter. For an undermount sink, remove the epoxy and other supports, then gently lower it and pull it out through the cabinet. You may need someone to help you, as the sink can be heavy
  • Scrape up any residual caulk and adhesive to clean up the kitchen surface before installing a new sink 
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How to replace a kitchen sink

To install a new kitchen sink, you’ll need the following equipment:
  • plumber’s putty
  • silicone sealant
  • flathead screwdriver
  • rubber hammer
  • adjustable wrench
Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:
  • Attach the sink clips
  • Add a ring of plumber’s putty lining the sink insertion area
  • Put in the new sink fixtures before installing the sink itself. Set up the faucet, straining basket, and garbage disposal
  • Run silicone sealant around the sink perimeter and lower the sink into the countertop
  • Tighten the sink clips with a flathead screwdriver
  • Connect the water lines and test to see if water is running
Pro Tip If you find a leak while you’re removing or replacing your kitchen sink, locate the leak and turn off the water. If you don’t think you can readjust the part, call a plumber.

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It may be time to replace your kitchen sink if there are visible problems, like rusting or cracking, or if you’ve had to get it repaired multiple times and the issue (leaking, clogging, etc.) recurs.
It depends on the sink material. Acrylic sinks last the longest, up to 50 years. Copper sinks will last 40-50 years, stainless steel will last up to 30, and porcelain and glass sinks can last around 20 years. Enameled steel has the shortest lifespan, around 10 years.
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