The sink is one of the most used fixtures in the home and a proper installation of one of our quality cement basins will save you from having to replace your sink for a lifetime. If you are considering undertaking a DIY sink replacement project, you’ve come to the right place.
Unfortunately, many things can go wrong when you embark on a solo adventure of trying to replace a household sink. A simple mistake can turn a relatively quick and easy job into one that can take all day or worse, span over an entire week if you’ve really messed it up. To help ensure your sink replacement is a success, we’ve created a list entailing 9 pitfalls of sink replacement in Australia. Ready to get the job done right? Simply keep on reading if you want to avoid a number of frustrating, costly and time consuming mistakes.
1. Not Turning Off Your Water Supply
This one may seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people accidentally forget to turn off their water supply when replacing a sink. In fact, any plumbing task must begin with shutting off your water supply. Failing to do so will result in water rushing into your pipes and causing an inconvenient flood-like mess. To turn off your supply, simply locate your water metre, find the on/off valve and turn your water supply off.
2. Whipping Out The Drain Cleaner
Most people have good intentions when they whip out drain cleaner prior to sink replacement. After all, you need to unblock your pipes before installing a new sink…right? Although this is true, the recommended method of removing sink clogs is to use a snake or a barbed drain cleaning tool. Alternatively, you can simply remove the P-trap and pour out the clog. Avoid using drain cleaner as it can create a host of problems that may leave you having to call in a professional plumber at the end of the day.
3. Using Incorrect Tools
Using incorrect tools when replacing your sink can lead to a variety of plumbing problems and messed up fittings. Generally speaking, you will need professional grade wrenches, hand augers, basin wrenches, and other specialised tools for a successful sink installation. We always recommend heading to your local Bunnings to source these tools before attempting to replace your home sink.
4. Inaccurate Measurements
The last thing you want is to remove an old sink only to realise that your new sink simply does not fit the gaping cavity that you’re staring at. If your sink is too big or too small, you may have to modify your drain line which will require you to break into a wall. No thanks! To ensure you don’t encounter this hassle, measuring your space before installing your sink is essential.
Tip: Measure the dimensions of your cabinet or countertop as well as the depth you have available for your sink. Installation should be smooth sailing if you properly cover this aspect.
5. Not Choosing The Right Parts
Precision is key when replacing any sink. Unfortunately, you can’t simply opt for a “close enough” option if you don’t have the right one. Doing so can lead to clogs, poor connections, leaks or a sink that won’t drain. Always choose high quality parts and avoid sourcing cheaper options or knock-offs. As a DIY project, we recommend only stainless steel parts that will prevent premature maintenance tasks in the near future.
6. Using Too Much Muscle
Many people are under the false impression that the tighter your fittings, the better. Unfortunately, using too much muscle can lead to cracks and strains from the extra pressure. Overtightening a connection can result in warping and subsequently lead to leaks. Additionally, when water flows through those overtightened pipes, they may expand and crack.
7. Caulk VS Putty
Many people choose to seal their new kitchen or bathroom sinks with putty. While this isn’t wrong by any means, it is definitely outdated. In 2022, there are better alternatives when sealing your sink including caulk or even 100% silicone. Caulk or silicone creates a stronger waterproof and weatherproof seal.
8. Swollen Countertop
“Swollen countertop” may sound like something out of a horror movie, but it actually just refers to the particles in your countertop being soaked with water. If your old sink leaks around the rim, there may be a chance that your counter is indeed swollen. The last thing you want is to install your beautiful new sink into a damaged countertop, so be sure to check for this early on. Crumbling particle boards will not provide a solid base for your sink and will prevent it from sitting flush.
9. Not Venting Your Sink
Last but not least, don’t forget to vent your sink. Without venting, negative pressure caused by the flow of draining water can potentially suck water out of the drain trap resulting in sewer gases, vermin and pests entering the. Vents allow air into your drain pipes to help keep the drain flowing properly.
Installing a new sink is a relatively easy task as long as you have the right tools and have done your fair share of research. We hope that these 9 common pitfalls of sink replacement help you avoid costly mistakes during your DIY sink replacement. All the best!