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How to Tighten Kitchen Sink Strainer? (Solved for Beginners)

If you are an expert, then you know the role of a kitchen sink strainer nut. A strainer connects the sink of your kitchen to the plumbing system. 

Thus, if your strainer nut is not tightly connected with the plumbing system, the water will not freely flow from the rubber gasket seal.

As a result, there will be a sudden leakage in the plumbing system which can create a messy and unhygienic situation in the kitchen.

But how to tighten a kitchen sink strainer? without any further ado let me answer it.

How to tighten kitchen sink strainer?

To tighten a sink strainer, clean the strainer’s threads first. Then, put the nut onto the strainer’s body, alter the place of the pipe wrench to put it in the side of the strainer nut, and at last rotate the wrench clockwise and tighten it. Now test the strainer nut and you are good to go.

What tools are used to tighten sink strainer?

To tighten your sink strainer, you need to grab some necessary tools. Before jumping right into the process, let us see the tools that we need: 

  • Screwdriver
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Hammer
  • Tongue-and-Groove Pliers
  • Adjustable wrench

These are the most essential tools for this job. Sometimes you might also need tools like Tubing Cutter, Compression Sleeve Puller, and Hacksaw.

7 easy steps to tighten a kitchen sink strainer

So, if you looking forward to tightening up your strainer nut, then here are 7 easy steps. Just follow them and you are good to go.

Step 1: Clean the strainer body properly

At first, you need to clean the body of the strainer threads with tissue paper. Make sure that the threads are spotless.

Otherwise, while you will be tightening up the strainer nut, the debris will interfere and you will face difficulty to pulling off the plan.

Step 2: Place the strainer body in its place

Now you need to make sure that the rubber gasket seal is in its proper position.

Once you have done that, grab the strainer nut and put it onto the body of the strainer.

Here you go, this will help you to place the strainer body in its right position that is at the bottom of the sink.

Step 3: Alter the pipe wrench

Now it is mandatory to fit the pipe wrench at the side of your strainer nut. To do that, slightly alter the place of the wrench and see the magic.

Step 4: Rotate the pipe wrench

Now to fix the tightness of your sink’s strainer nut, take the screwdriver and rotate the pipe wrench. Remember you have to rotate it clockwise.

Step 5: Do not over strengthen the strainer nut

Avoid overtightening the strainer nut or else you can cause severe damage to the strainer’s body. If that happens, you have to change the entire kitchen sink. 

Simply stop the rotating process after the strainer nut is against the foot of your sink. You must stop overdoing it and don’t have to be extra sure. 

Just follow the process or else you might face some serious repercussions.

Step 6: Test the strainer nut carefully

Now, check everything is okay or not. To do that connect the strainer with the plumbing system and start the water flow. 

If you find any leakage, then follow the process again and next time be more careful.

Before starting the process again, make sure that there is no water available in the pipeline.

But if everything is okay, then you have followed the steps correctly. So, congratulations. 

Step 7: Maintain the hygiene

Many of us do not follow this step properly which creates an unhygienic environment in the kitchen. 

After doing the entire process, your kitchen will be a complete mess. So, grab your cleaning equipment and don’t be lazy.

Put a little bit of effort to clean the inner part of your sink’s cabinet. Also, do not forget the pipeline as it is connecting the strainer with the plumbing system.

So, now, look at your kitchen sink. Aren’t you happy! It is shining bright like a diamond. 

You have done everything successfully. So, take a bow for the effort.

How tight should you tighten a sink strainer?

You might be concerned about how much tightness is enough to fix your loose sink strainer. 

If you are putting extra pressure to tighten the strainer, it can cause severe damage or leakage to the sink.

Then you won’t be left with any other option but to change the entire sink which is a heavy bet on your pocket.

How much is enough?

The United States Plastic Corporation says that tighten the strainer with your hand at first. Then, use a screwdriver and do the same thing 1 or highest 2 times. 

But you must not do it more than twice because you will end up cracking the body of the strainer.

Next, do not forget to run hot water for 5 to 6 minutes because of the extraction and contraction issues between the sink and the strainer.

After doing that, if you see a slight change in the nut positioning, you might have committed a mistake and you need to make it tighter.

 But if the nut is not moving even a little bit, you are all good. 

How much does it cost to tighten a sink strainer?

It will not cost you a ton to tighten your sink strainer. The entire process is quite easy, and you can do it by yourself. 

But if you are a perfectionist, then call an expert. The expert will make sure that everything is perfect, and you will get peace. 

If you are calling a plumber or an expert to do this, surely it will cost more along with the additional material cost. 

The cost varies from person to person or area to area. But, here, we will tell you the standard charge. A pro plumber will charge at least $171. 

But here comes the fun part if you’re willing to do the work by yourself and have some plumbing tools, then you can easily manage it within $30. 

So, do it by yourself as you can save up to 80%. This is the standard charge but a lower or a mediocre plumber can charge you a bit less.

How to stop a sink strainer from leaking?

It is fairly easy to stop a sink strainer from leaking. If you are facing any leaking issue, just follow a normal process.

  • Step 1: Unscrew the tailpiece and the nuts
  • Step 2: Remove the basket from its place
  • Step 3: Properly clean everything
  • Step 4: Clean the plumber’s putty
  • Step 5: Press the strainer tightly on the plumber’s putty
  • Step 6: Remove the extra putty.
  • Step 7: Gather all nuts and pipes in its place 
  • Step 8: tighten them properly.

Here you go everything works like magic.

How to fix a leaky basket strainer? 

Do you have a leaky basket strainer? If you own one, fix it as soon as possible. But don’t call a plumber. You can do it by yourself. just follow the 7 easy steps. 

Step 1: Unscrew the tailpiece

Just pick channel-style pliers and use it gently to remove the nuts from the tailpiece. 

After removing the nuts, you can easily separate the tailpiece from the strainer body.

Step 2: Unscrew the lock nut

Here you need a hammer or a spud wrench to do the job. 

With the spud wrench, completely unscrew the lock nut to remove the strainer basket from the sink. 

Sometimes you can face difficulty to remove the lock nut as it is jammed with rust. At that time, a hammer comes in handy.

Also, in some situations, due to severe rust, you might have to cut the lock nut to remove the basket.

Step 3: Use new plumber’s putty 

Now it’s time to remove the old plumber’s putty with a putty knife. If you are completely replacing the strainer body, then it is better. 

but if you are using the previous one, then make sure that there is no trace of the old plumber’s putty. Clean it properly and make it spotless. 

Remember, it is better to replace all the old materials with new. For example, washers and gaskets.

Step 4: Install the new/old basket strainer

Now what you need to do is that put the plumber’s putty at the opening of the sink.

Press the basket strainer tightly on the putty so that it is completely sealed.

Remove the extra putty with hands or a damp cloth. 

Yes, you have just installed the basket again.

Step 5: Install the gasket 

Put the gasket over the strainer body from the bottom of the sink with a metal or rubber ring.

Step 6: Tighten the locknut

Again, with the channel-style pliers tighten the nut.

Don’t do it with high intensity because it can create crack or leakage on the strainer body.

Step 7: Test the strainer basket

Start flowing hot water at least for 5 minutes. If the nut is not moving at all, it is perfectly sealed. 

If it is the other way around, then gently tighten the nut as there is room for leakage

Here you go. you know all the tricks. now do it by yourself and save your money.

If you are trying to fix your kitchen sink strainer, then you need to know how to do it properly. This guide is the answer to all your questions. 

Before jumping right into the process, read everything carefully and start moving forward with the proper plan. 

It will save your time and money because you will be able to the work efficiently without causing damage to the sink strainer.