How to Repair a Utility Sink

Utility sink
Leandro Crespi / Stocksy United

There are many reasons homeowners install a utility sink. Some of the most common are washing out dirty clothes, rinsing muddy shoes or cleaning off your pet. With versatility comes a lot of use, and naturally, this will lead to wear and tear. Two of the most common problems with utility sinks are clogged drains and leaks.

A clogged drain can be caused by many factors, like dirt, mud and grime washing down the drain. All of this gunk going down your drain can lead to problems if it’s not cleaned out and maintained. A clogged drain is a common problem with utility sinks but can be repaired in a few simple steps, which are listed below.

A leaky utility sink is typically caused by a loose cartridge or stem that is placed inside your faucet. Over time, your faucet’s cartridge can be moved and twisted around inside, which will cause it to leak. A step-by-step guide can be found below.

Materials Required

Tools Required

  • Adjustable pipe wrench
  • Allen wrench
  • Slip joint pliers

How to Repair a Clogged Utility Sink Drain

Here is a simple guide to help you remove your old sink drain and replace it with a new drain. You can also take out your current drain and give it a thorough cleaning, which will help to remove any built-up gunk. If the build-up seems like too much, call a contractor to snake your drain and unclog it. According to ImproveNet, the average cost is $195.

  1. First, remove the stopper.
  2. Underneath your sink, loosen the lock nut. In some cases, you will need another tool to hold the centerpiece of your drain so you can properly loosen and remove the lock nut. Every sink is of a different size, shape, and design. Some sinks will have a lock ring that should be removed after you loosen and remove the lock nut. Also, remove any washers and gaskets underneath.
  3. After removing the lock nut and ring, take your existing drain out of your sink. Now, take your new drain assembly piece and your plumber’s putty or sealant and roll it out so it can wrap around your new drain.
  4. Once the putty is wrapped around the drain and is in place, take the drain assembly piece and place it back in your sink from the top side of the sink.
  5. With the drain back in place, put the washers, lock ring and lock nut back in place and tighten the nut to hold all of the pieces in place.
  6. Take your pliers and tighten the nut back on your central drain piece.
  7. Once this is all complete, you can take the excess putty off and throw it away. Now your drain is replaced and ready for use.

How to Repair a Leaky Utility Sink

  1. Unscrew the set screw of the faucet handle with your Allen wrench.
  2. Once the handle is removed, you will see the inside handle mechanisms, which will be different depending on the faucet. Many have either a Phillips head screw or a flat head screw.
  3. Unscrew the screw to loosen the lock nut of the handle mechanism.
  4. Remove all the handle parts and pieces. Next, you will see another lock nut that holds the spout in place.
  5. After removing the parts, pieces and lock nut, remove the locking clip. Beware that not all faucets will have a locking clip; some will have a locking nut, which was already removed.
  6. Now you’re ready to remove the cartridge or stem, which is what causes your leak. Your cartridge will look like a cylinder with holes parallel to one another, about 6.5” to 7.”
  7. Once the cartridge is taken out, match the cartridge holes back with your faucet and reinstall the cartridge to continue use without any leaks.

These repairs can seem overwhelming, but with these step-by-step guides, even a DIY beginner can tackle a utility sink repair! If you do have trouble along the way, contact a plumber to help, which according to Improvenet, costs about $278.