How to Disconnect a Bathroom Sink (Top Mount / Under Mount)

Over time, your bathroom sink may get chipped, scratched, or stained.

In that case, you’ll need to disconnect your bathroom sink, remove it, and install a new one.

This process can take some time, so you must dedicate an entire day to it. You will also have to remove the faucet separately to completely replace the sink.

However, you can choose to reuse your existing one or replace it. With that said, here’s a guide on how to disconnect a bathroom sink.

Steps on How to Disconnect a Bathroom Sink

There are two major types of bathroom sinks. These include top-mount sinks and under-mount sinks.

Thus, removing them will require different methods.

That said, disconnecting the piping for both of them is the same process.

Therefore, this guide will first focus on disconnecting the bathroom sink and then explain how to remove each type separately.

Follow these steps.

Step 1. Turn Off the Water Supply

You can find the water shutoff valves in the cabinet under your bathroom sink.

There will be individual valves for the cold and hold water supply.

Close Both Hot and Cold Valves

Turn each valve counterclockwise until it won’t turn further. This should stop the water flow completely.

However, if the water still flows when the valves closed, they may be faulty.

In that case, it’s best to call a plumber to replace the valves.

You should only attempt to replace the valves if you have experience with plumbing.

Empty the Faucet Lines

You must eliminate all of the water in the faucet lines as well.

Turn on the faucet for both hot and cold water when the valves are off to empty the lines.

Step 2. Disconnect the P-Trap

P-traps come in metal and PVC. You can loosen the slip nut on it with your hands if the P-trap is made of PVC.

The slip nut connects to the underside of the bathroom drain.

You will have to use channel locks to loosen the slip nut on a metal P-trap.

Step 3. Remove the P-Trap

It’s not necessary to remove the P-trap to disconnect and remove your bathroom sink.

However, it’s recommended because it will allow you to keep away from the debris and possible damages.

Place a Bucket Under the P-Trap

Before you remove the P-trap, you should place a bucket or heavy towel underneath it. When you remove it, water and other materials trapped in it will spill.

So, you can prevent making a mess with this step.

Unscrew the Nut That Connects the Drain Line and P-Trap

You must use channel locks or your hand to remove the nut connecting the bottom of the P-trap to the drain line.

You can remove the P-trap then.

Step 4. Disconnect the Water Supply Lines

You must use a crescent wrench to unfasten the cold and hot water supply lines.

These are flexible lines that are connected to the shutoff valves at one point and the underside of the faucet at the other.

Look for the Right Nut Right Above the Shutoff Valves

You can disconnect the water supply lines right with the nuts just above the shutoff valves.

Turn the crescent wrench counterclockwise to loosen the nuts. You may be able to remove some nuts with your hand.

Check the Condition of the Water Supply Lines

When you disconnect the water supply lines, inspect each of them closely.

If the condition is good, you can reuse them even if you replace the kitchen sink.

Step 5. Measure the Dimensions of the Bathroom Sink

If you plan to reuse the countertop for your bathroom sink, you will need a replacement that fits into the cavity.

So, measure and note down the width, length, and depth of the bathroom sink.

It’s best to measure the dimensions of the countertop as well.

If you want a sink of a different size, you will have to replace the countertop as well.

Steps on Removing a Top-Mount Sink

Follow these steps if you wish to remove a top-mount sink.

Step 1. Remove the Clips Under Your Bathroom Sink

Many bathroom sinks have clips under them to create pressure connections against the counter’s underside.

Use a screwdriver or your hand to remove the clips if your sink has these clips.

Do Not Dispose of These Clips

Bathroom sinks typically include these clips if it requires them.

That said, don’t dispose of the old clips just yet. You can use them as spares in the future.

Step 2. Cut the Sealant Between the Countertop and Bathroom Sink

There will be sealant such as caulk between the countertop and bathroom sink to connect them.

Thus, use a utility knife to cut through the sealant along the rim of the sink.

Be Careful Not to Damage the Countertop

Make sure to run the knife carefully and slowly.

This way, you’ll prevent the knife from coming into contact with the countertop. Laminated wood countertops will get damaged with even small nicks.

That said, you don’t need to take precautions if you’re replacing the countertop.

Step 3. Remove the Bathroom Sink

Try to lift the bathroom sink upward if you can grip it well from above.

Keep the direction straight until the sink pops out of the cavity in the countertop.

Ask Someone to Help You Remove the Sink

If you can’t grip the bathroom sink properly, call a family member or friend to help you. Have them push the sink from underneath while you try and lift it from above.

You should also ask someone to help you if the sink is made of cast iron. This is because cast-iron bathroom sinks are relatively heavier than those made of other materials.

Step 4. Clear Off the Sealant on the Countertop

Keep the sink aside and look at the cavity on the countertop for residual sealant. Run a putty knife along the edges to remove the residual sealant.

You should then follow that by wiping the edges with a rag soaked in mineral spirits. Doing so will remove all traces of sealant.

As a result, you’ll have a clear surface to apply a fresh layer of sealant.

Steps on Removing an Under-Mount Sink

Follow these steps if you wish to remove an under-mount sink.

Step 1. Cut the Sealant Between the Countertop and Bathroom Sink

Use a utility knife to cut the sealant between the countertop and the bathroom sink. You’ll have to get the blade under the rim of the sink to remove it.

The sealant prevents water from getting between the underside of the countertop and the rim of the sink.

Don’t Damage the Countertop When Cutting the Sealant

Make sure that you don’t scratch the countertop opening’s lip.

So, try to work the blade gently and as slowly as possible.

Step 2. Remove the Holding Clips

When removing the holding clips on the underside of the bathroom sink, make sure to support the sink.

Have a Second Person Help You For This Process

It’s best to have someone help you to hold the sink. You may not be able to prevent it from falling if you support it with one hand.

Make sure to inform the person helping you when you’re removing the final clips.

The bathroom sink can fall as soon as the clips are removed. So, they will need to support it by lifting it completely.

Use the Appropriate Tools to Remove the Clips

Remove the clips that hold the bathroom sink against the underside of the countertop. There should be about 4 or 6 of these clips.

These clips may be held in place by epoxy or screws.

Use an appropriate screwdriver to unscrew the clips. However, you will need to pry the clips apart with a putty knife if they’re stuck with epoxy.

Try not to damage the countertop during this process.

Step 3. Remove the Bathroom Sink

You can now guide and remove your under-mounted bathroom sink with ease after removing the clips.

Guide the sink gently because the faucet will be attached to it.

Remove the Faucet If You Plan to Reuse It

You don’t have to change your faucet if you’re replacing your bathroom sink. However, it’s best to do so to match the design of the sink.

However, if you want to reuse the faucet (if it’s still in good condition), remove it from the sink. You should do the same if you’re reusing the drain.

Last Few Words

Removing your bathroom sink is only part of replacing it. However, it is an integral part.

You should always approach this process with care to minimize the risk of damage to items in your bathroom. s

Installing a new bathroom sink requires a good deal of finesse. So, it’s best to hire a professional to do that.

However, you can try your hand at it if you have some plumbing experience. If you are installing it yourself, you should make sure that you test for leaks after the installation.

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