Asked on Jan 01, 2013

For quite a while, my kitchen sink strainer hasn't done a good job. I've been in this house since 1981 and for years it

by Louise
did just fine. Then, for some reason, it needed to be replaced, so I took the old one to the store and got a replacement. This was just the part that lifts out, NOT the entire part that fits into the sink hole. But it didn't work effectively. It would close up the hole too much when I wanted water to drain out. So over the years I've had to buy others, hoping they'd work better but none do. I have to cock it to one side a LOT to allow water to drain, but then if a dish or something else in the sink touches the little drain thingie, it closes up and I have to reach into the water again to try to open it enough so the water drains. WHAT is wrong here? Do I have to buy another sink to get a drain that works? I know this isn't a major life problem, but it annoys me to no end. The photo isn't mine, but looks similar and was found on Google.
  8 answers
  • Louise, there are many manufactures of sink drain and stopper assemblies. Most look exactly the same and are also designed to function the same way. But each one has just a slight difference then the other brands that are sold. One choice is to, assuming you have the old original stopper is to bring it to a local plumbing supply company for a match. I doubt that the one that is mounted into the sink was purchased at a local home center so the likelyhood of them even having the exact match there is very low. But normally when a home or kitchen is done many years ago the parts were purchased at the local plumbing house where your most likely able to get that part that fits properly from. The only other option you have is to replace the entire drain and strainer assembly so both parts match. It is not really that hard to do, but can be a bit tricky if you do not have the correct tool to loosen the large nut that holds the assembly to the sink bottom. The job is simply removing the tail pipe that is fastened to the bottom of the strainer, then just above that is a large nut. You can see this because there are threads for the nut exposed just before the sink bottom area. Loosen and remove that nut and the entire strainer comes right out. You reverse this whole action using some plumbers putty around the strainer and sink. Tighten up and replace the tail connection to the pipes and your done. An experienced plumber would take around 15 min to do this job. A home owner first time and assuming they had the tools. 45 min tops.
  • Louise Louise on Jan 01, 2013
    I have a friend who's an excellent, knows-how-to-do-everything handyman, so I'll see if he can do this for me. I don't have the original stopper. It's long gone. Thanks for the info!
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on Jan 02, 2013
    and a really nice Stainless complete drain assembly only runs about 20 bucks...We do not have a disposal and run both sink drains without the little basket things. I just scoop out any food bits when rinsing plates with my fingers. Little things that go down the drain will compost in the septic tank with the regular waste stream.
  • Louise Louise on Jan 02, 2013
    A friend said he uses one like the photo shown here and widens the part that goes into the hole (the sticky-out thing on the left here) so it takes more pressure to push it in and thus keeps the water in or lets it flow out if it's not pushed in more securely. That seems really simple and workable. What do you think?
  • This is a common type sold at the big box stores as a replacement strainer. The tab that sticks out of the bottom does keep the strainer from falling down into the opening and blocking the water flow and when pushed down it does hold it there to keep the water from leaking out. The key is does it really fit your style or not. If the angle and shape of the stopper as a whole does not match you strainer exactly it simply will not work or continue to allow water to leak out slowly. The $20 dollar part repair to a neighbor in my opinion would be the best way to save money. Even though the stopper may cost less, will it if it does not work and you cannot return it for a refund?
  • Louise Louise on Jan 02, 2013
    Yep, looks like I'll have to buy the $20 part, and that's not a bad deal at all. I got out my pliers and tried to widen the little piece and it didn't really make a difference. :-( Guess a trip to Lowe's is in order.
    • See 1 previous
    • Louise Louise on Jan 19, 2015
      @GrandmaCarol Speight Nothing yet. My "handyman" has become hard to get to do things. He's mostly retired and does this on the side and now has some issues with his back, so getting him here to do the bigger, more important things is what I concentrate on. BUT, I have a lead on two other guys whom I've been told do great work so I'm hoping one of them will be my new "go to" guy.
  • Betty Perrault Betty Perrault on Jan 24, 2015
    Louise, I took the strainer out of the sink so it would not be used as a stopper and put it in the alternate sink. I placed a cheap strainer in the sink to catch debris. Both sinks now have a strainer. When I actually want to plug that sink, I just switch the strainers. One dollar at any dollar store.
    • Louise Louise on Jan 25, 2015
      @Betty Perrault I've used many cheap strainers but none do a good job. If I have water in this particular sink and want to drain it, the stopper/strainer will close on its own and won't drain. If the stopper/strainer is in the sink and I'm doing work in both sinks, it won't drain whatever water goes into the sink and then I'm faced with a sink that's filling with water. This frustrates me to noooo end.
  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 14, 2015
    I found a strainer made to fit in the sink and it does a pretty good job until mashed out of shape and then small bits of food escape under it's rim, but all in all, it is pretty good. Now I just have to find a stopper to keep water n.