Modern-day plumbing systems are a modern marvel of society. This system relies on the proper function of many parts, which over time, are bound to break or malfunction. Malfunctioning bathroom sink drain parts can lead to headaches such as blockages and leaks.
In this guide, we will cover all there is to know about 5 important bathroom sink drain parts and the different types of bathroom sinks. We will also explore common bathroom sink problems and how to fix them. Let’s get started.
5 Bathroom Sink Drain Parts You Should Know
If you need to order new bathroom sink drain parts, you must know the names and functions of these parts. Let’s take a look at 5 bathroom sink drain parts that you should know.
The drain pipe is one of the most important bathroom sink drain parts. The drain pipe goes out through the wall, or down the floor, and connects to the rest of the main drain pipes of the home or business. This is the specific section of the pipe that is checked for blockages by using a “snake” to unclog the pipe. Although varying in size, most drain pipe’s for bathroom sinks are one-and-a-half in diameter on average.
Shut-off valves are installed for each major fixture of a typical home. These valves make it easier to stop the water supply in isolated areas that require repairs. You cannot make a repair or install bathroom sink drain parts with water spewing all over the place. Shut-off valves can come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose.
These valves usually come in pairs with one controlling hot water and the other controlling the cold water supply. It is a good idea to replace these valves when making repairs to other parts due to their age. Older shut-off valves can malfunction and fail to properly shut off the water supply.
A trap is installed in every home or business to hold water and keep sewer gas smells from leaking into the structure. The most common type of trap used in bathroom sinks is a P-trap. This type of trap is the easiest to replace or install. The two main components of a P-trap are the U-bend and the trap arm. The U-bend, shaped like a ‘U’, has one side that is larger than the other. The trap arm is the straight length of the pipe that connects the drain pipe and the U-bend. This is one of the most important bathroom sink drain parts that can be thought of as a common safety feature.
Water Supply Lines
Water supply lines, usually composed of plastic, wire mesh, or chromed copper, connect to the shut-off valves and are responsible for moving water to the faucet. These supply lines should be regularly checked for leaks as they tend to wear down with age.
This feature’s main role is convenience. It is made of parts that are visible above as wells as parts that are located underneath the sink. The pieces under the sink are the pop-up tailpiece and the horizontal rod which moves the stopper up and down in the sink. When you are clearing a blocked sink, you will want to remove this horizontal rod in order to remove the debris that is blocking the drain’s stopper.
Different Types Of Bathroom Sinks
Now that we’ve learned about several important bathroom sink drain parts, let’s explore some of the many types of bathroom sinks. These can include pedestal sinks, wall mounted sinks, free-standing vanities, under-mount sinks, vessel sinks and vanities, and vanity cabinets. Let’s take a closer look at each.
Pedestal sinks, also known as free-standing sinks, are known for their small size which requires very little space. Pedestal sinks come in a variety of designs and can fit in almost any size bathroom. Pedestal sinks are well known for their ability to fit into any bathroom theme.
Wall Mounted Sinks
Wall mounted sinks are also praised for their ability to fit into smaller bathrooms. However, wall-mounted sinks also have some drawbacks. These drawbacks can include a lack of durability and may be vulnerable to forcible impacts.
Free Standing Vanities
Freestanding vanities are a combination of pedestal sinks and vanities. While a traditional pedestal sink may lack in space for your bathroom essentials, free-standing vanities offer plenty of space. Freestanding vanities not only offer a stylish look of a pedestal sink, but they also offer the convenience of extra storage as well.
Under-mount sinks are known for being stylish and posh but often have contemporary designs. Under-mount sinks can be more expensive to install because they are required to be installed onto a hard surface such as granite or marble. This type of sink also requires a large amount of space.
Vessel Sink and Vanity
Vessel sinks and vanities are an expensive and large compared to other types sinks and vanities. They are modern alternatives to traditional sinks and vanities. These types of sinks require a certain theme of a bathroom in order to fit in with the elements properly.
Vanity cabinets are the second most popular type of bathroom sink. You get all the utilities of a vanity while still saving space. These cabinets come in a variety of colors and designs that can mesh well with any bathroom theme.
Common Bathroom Sink Problems & How To Fix Them
Lifespan of a Faucet
Most bathroom sink faucets are well engineered and can last for a decade or more. When it is time for faucets to be replaced there are generally a few warning signs. These signs can include:
- The finish on the faucet is beginning to wear away, and the handle is discolored or cracked
- The internal parts of the faucet are so worn that replacement washers, clips, screws, O rings, and valve assemblies can no longer solve the problems
- The threads on the spout or aerator begin to corrode or wear, thus making aerator replacement way too difficult
If every time you turn on the faucet and you hear a horrible screeching noise, it’s all a matter of rubber. When rubber washers in the faucet begin to age, they make a particular sound when water passes over them. These rubber washers can be fixed with a kit that can be found at any hardware store.
When the threads of the faucet become worn, it can lead to a squeaky faucet handle. The easiest way to fix this is by removing the faucet handle and coat the threads of the handle stem with plumber’s grease. Then, simply reassemble the faucet.
Free Flow of Water
A clogged aerator is the most common culprit for a weak faucet stream. Simply remove the aerator and flush any lime or mineral deposits until the screen is clear. In cases where it is not possible to remove these deposits, the aerator must be replaced.
Poor Drain Seal
When running water for a bath, many stoppers do not provide a good enough seal to hold the water in the tub. In order to correct this, unscrew the round overflow plate from the end of the tub. Gently pull on the plate until the linage assembly slips out from behind the tub. Turn the threaded rod found in the linkage two or three revolutions to lengthen the linkage assembly. Replace the overflow plate. This should prevent the water from leaking out too quickly.
How to Fix a Bathroom Sink That Won’t Drain
The first step in unclogging a bathroom sink is to check the sink plunger for foreign objects. Foreign objects such as hair and toothpaste can block these plungers. If clearing the plunger does not solve the issue, then it is time to move on to the second step. The second step is to use a drain cleaner. Make sure to follow the instructions on the bottle of the particular cleaner you are using.
If these two steps fail to drain the sink, the next steps are to use a plunger or a drain snake. This may take a few attempts, but it should eventually resolve the issue. If the sink is still not able to drain, then the clog is deep in the pipes. You will need to disassemble the drain trap in order to manually remove the debris from the drain trap. If you are uncomfortable doing this, call in a plumber to do the job.
To Sum It All Up
Bathroom sink drain parts are essential for a well-running plumbing system. These parts are unknown to most until they fail. In order to buy the right replacement parts for your bathroom sink, you need to know what the major parts are called. There are many types of bathroom sinks and vanities that each provide their unique features and drawbacks. There are many easy repairs that can be made to the bathroom sink that can make it run more smoothly and efficiently.