When you hear water dripping from under the kitchen sink when it’s full of water, you’re most likely dealing with a broken sink drain flange. The flange is a flat collar that sits at the bottom of the sink, usually with a strainer-like grid attached to it. Most kitchen sink flanges are made of metal and can corrode over time. So, how to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange? Let’s Fiestagrill show you.
The Sink Drain Flange
The strainer-like grid designed to trap food waste is the main difference between a kitchen sink drain flange and a bathroom sink flange. However, there are various types of flanges you can find on kitchen sinks. Here’s how they differ from one another.
Standard kitchen sink flanges
These are the simplest flanges, consisting of a flat collar with a grid covering the drain. This flange type is uncomplicated and inexpensive. Most models are made of metal, although you can now find drain flanges made of plastic and coated with a polished finish.
Removing and replacing standard flanges is as simple as it gets. The main disadvantage is that food chunks can still find their way through the strain holes and clog the P-trap or drain pipe.
Flanges with strainer and basket
More performing than the standard type, these flanges have a small basket placed between the strainer and the drain. The basket catches food waste while letting the water pass through, preventing clogs. The strain and basket assembly are easy to remove and clean when needed.
Like the standard flanges, these are generally made of metal or plastic and are available in multiple finishes.
Drains with garbage disposal
Flanges with a garbage disposal are the best you can find. They don’t have a basket, allowing you to flush food waste down the drain. This waste ends up in a disposer installed under the sink, between the flange and the P-trap.
The flange doesn’t come with the disposer, so installing compatible parts is essential if you want this setup under the kitchen sink.
Most kitchen sink flanges have a standard size of 3-1/2 inches in diameter. This feature makes it easy to replace the flange when needed or switch from one flange type to another.
Why is Your Sink Drain Flange Stuck?
While changing a sink drain flange isn’t complicated, loosening a stuck flange can be time-consuming. Here are some of the reasons why your sink’s flange is stuck.
Flanges are usually threaded onto the drainpipe, but some plumbers may use putty to reinforce them. Putty can harden over time, creating a tight bond between the flange and the sink. You should be able to remove it with a pair of pliers.
Food seeped into the threads
Sometimes, a threaded flange may become slightly loose, and food waste could get into the threads. In time, waste can build up on the threads and stick to the flange.
Scale or rust damage
Like food waste, water can seep beneath the flange and into the threads. Water deposits can damage the metal, causing it to rust. Similarly, hard water can lead to scale deposits on the threads. In both cases, the flange may become stuck.
Tools Required for Removing Sink Flange
Removing a sink flange is easy, even though you might need some elbow grease if the flange is stuck. Here are the tools and materials you’ll need for the job.
- Penetrating lubricant
- Putty knife
- 10-inch tongue-and-groove pliers
- 16-inch tongue-and-groove pliers
- Pliers/ Hammer
- Pipe wrench
- Rubber gloves
How to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange?
How to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange? Follow the three easy steps below.
Step 1 – Prepare the work area
Before starting, clear the area below the sink of any stored items; this will give you ample space to move. If your kitchen sink has one, turn off the garbage disposer and shut off the main water valve. Although turning off the water is not necessary when removing or changing the drain flange, it will limit accidents.
Step 2 – Loosen the drainpipe
Use a flashlight to illuminate the plumbing beneath the sink and loosen the drainpipe with a pipe wrench.
Spray penetrating lubricant onto the threads on the bottom of the flange underneath the sink and let it soak in for the amount of time indicated by the manufacturer.
After the time has passed, keep the pipe still with the pipe wrench and use the 10-inch tongue-and-groove pliers to turn the coupling connecting the pipe to the flange counterclockwise to loosen it.
If the flange turns with your movement instead of loosening, try inserting the pliers’ handles into the drain and open the flange from above. When open, carefully remove the drainpipe from the flange.
Step 3 – Unfasten and remove the flange
The flange is connected to the sink with nuts (older models may use nuts and bolts) (older models may use nuts and bolts). To remove it, use the 16-inch tongue-and-groove pliers and turn it counterclockwise. If it doesn’t move, spray penetrating lubricant onto the nut and let it soak into the thread before trying again.
Some plumbers fix the flanges with plumber’s putty. If yours is fixed with putty and stuck, you should also use a putty knife to remove as much hardened putty as possible before unscrewing the flange.
If it still doesn’t move, tap the flange’s edge under the kitchen sink with a hammer. This action should raise the flange enough to loosen the grip. Once unfastened, the flange should be easy to lift from the sink, but you can use a pair of pliers to pull out a particularly stubborn flange.
How to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange that have a Kitchen Sink Strainer?
Kitchen sink flanges with a strainer basket are also easy to remove, but a few extra steps are needed. Start with clearing the area beneath the sink, then follow the steps below.
Step 1 – Remove the drain pipe tailpiece
Use a wrench and pliers to remove the drainpipe from the flange. Once the nut is loose, unscrew by hand and remove the drain from the strainer.
Step 2 – Remove the strainer lock nut
Kitchen sink strainers are fixed with lock nuts that are usually fastened with the help of a special wrench. Use the wrench that came with your strainer to unfasten the locknut by turning it counterclockwise. Alternatively, you can use a pair of needle-nose pliers.
Insert the pliers’ nose into the strain opening and turn the locknut. Once it’s loose, unscrew it by hand and remove the tailpiece and nylon washer.
Step 3 – Remove the drain flange
Follow the steps explained above to remove the drain flange from the sink. If a hardened plumber’s putty blocks it, use a putty knife and a hammer to loosen it, then use a pair of pliers to pull it out when it’s loose.
You can now decide whether to install a new strainer or reuse the existing one. Inspect the strainer you took out for damage; if you didn’t notice any flaws, the leak could have been caused by cracks in the putty. Clean the hardened putty, then apply new putty and install the strainer back in place.
5 Tips to Avoid on question How to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange
A stuck flange can be frustrating to remove if leaks happen, but there are ways to prevent it from getting stuck in the first place. Here are some tips and tricks:
Seal the flange with silicone instead of putty
The plumber’s putty creates a tight seal that prevents leaks, but it can harden in time and become a sort of cement. Silicone also provides a watertight seal, but it is easier to remove than putty. The only problem with silicone is that it can get yellow in time, and mold and mildew can grow under it, so you might have to change it every few years. You could also replace the putty with a rubber gasket or seal.
Don’t flush coffee grounds down the toilet
Coffee grounds can easily get into the thread and build up, making it hard to turn the flange when you want to unscrew it. Coffee grounds can also clog your whole plumbing system, so you should throw them away in the trash.
Don’t flush grease and oil down the kitchen sink
Liquids can also get into the thread, but they aren’t the only thing that can. Grease and oil can build up, and when they are mixed with household cleaners, they can become soap. You can’t use soap to clean your bathroom flange, but your pipes could also become blocked. It’s not good to flush grease and oil down the drain or into the toilet.
Seal the flange under the sink
Most plumbers don’t make sure that the tailpiece and drain pipe aren’t sealed. Unless the pieces are well secured with couplers, you don’t need to do anything to keep them safe. Because moisture can get into the thread from the bottom, a metal thread can start to rust. Rust can make it hard to get the drain flange out.
When you put the flange in, put plumber’s grease on the threads so they don’t get stuck.
Finally, a small amount of plumber’s grease should be put on the threads of the drain flange before you put it in. This will keep it from getting stuck over time.
FAQ about how to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange?
Can I use plumbers putty to fill in the gaps between the plastic flanges on my pipes?
Not at all. Plumber’s putty should not be used on plastic flanges because it can damage the flange’s plating and make it fall off. Plastic flanges usually come with rubber gaskets that can be used to replace putty.
How do you get a stuck sink drain nut out?
Drain flanges are sometimes hard to get off because of a stuck nut. How to remove it:
- Slip-joint pliers can be used to hold the sides of the nut and turn it the other way. Try to keep the pliers as steady as possible as you turn them to get more force.
- Once you’ve tried to turn the nut, spray some penetrating lubricant on it and wait for the amount
- of time the product says to do so.
- Make sure you’ve got both hands on it. Turn it counterclockwise first, then clockwise to get the nut loose. Heat might help if it still doesn’t move.
- Turn on a hairdryer to the hottest setting and point it at the nut to get the hot air. Make sure it gets warm for a while. Then use the pliers to turn the nut. Tap on it with a hammer if it doesn’t move. Then use heat and turn it around.
There is only one way to get rid of the drain nut that doesn’t work: use the tools to break it off.
You’ll need a new nut to put the flange back in place after you fix the leak.
Conclusion on how to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange
This post from Fiestagrill.net showed you how to remove a stuck kitchen sink drain flange. It’s easy to get rid of a drain flange that’s been stuck, but you might need to use a lot of force. However, most people should be able to fix a flange leak on their own. Drain flanges can leak. Have you ever had to fix them? How did you get them off? Here is where you can tell us what you think, how you did it, and what you learned.