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How To Remove A Stuck Kitchen Sink Drain Flange

A kitchen sink drain flange usually gets stuck when a plumber’s putty hardens between the sink and the flange. It creates pressure that causes the flange to block the kitchen sink, making it harder for you to complete your everyday kitchen activities.

Before you learn how to remove a stuck kitchen drain flange, it is essential to understand the different drain flange types and how they work.

Drain Flange Types: Everything You Need to Know

Drain flanges are supporting elements in the daily functioning of your water system. While small, they play an essential part in preventing leaks and other sink malfunctions that could cause severe damage to your home.

The Sink Drain Flange

If you look at your kitchen sink, you will see a seam around the drain basket, also known as a sink flange gasket.

Over time, flanges are filled with dirt and grease and lose their function to create support for your water system fixtures. Once they start degrading, you will notice a water leak underneath the sink, inside the kitchen cabinet. If not replaced, this simple problem may cause severe damage and thousands of dollars in repairs.

For this reason, it is important to act quickly. Flanges are easy and cost-effective to replace. When you notice something’s wrong with the drain or see a small leakage inside the cabinetry, check the flange to see if it needs replacement.

Sometimes, it can be challenging to remove the old flange because it can glue to the pipe below.  The garbage disposal may also be in the way of the drain opening.

The Toilet Flange

The closet flange is on the toilet’s bottom, where the toilet connects to the drainpipe. Replacing a closet flange is a more complex process than a sink flange, but if you have the skills and tools to remove and install a toilet, it won’t be hard for you to change it.

The Bathroom Flange

You may also notice drain flanges in your bathroom shower or tub. Some confuse them with rubber gaskets. They also require regular replacements, especially when your rubber gaskets quickly deteriorate and cause leakage in the bathtub.

How Do You Remove a Stuck Kitchen Drain Flange?

Is your kitchen drain flange stuck?

Don’t worry. In most cases, there is no need to call in professional plumbers, because you can un-stuck or replace the flange by yourself.  It is a pretty straightforward home improvement project.

Before you start working, make sure to remove the items from your kitchen counter to clear space.

Here is what you need to remove the flange:

  • Work gloves
  • Putty knife
  • Groove Pliers
  • Chisel
  • Hamer
  • Penetrating oil

While it is not obligatory to turn off the water to remove the flange, we think it is a good idea to avoid any damage or accidents in the kitchen while you work.

Step 1: Remove the Locknut

After you’ve emptied the kitchen cabinet and cleaned the area, check to see if the locknut is off the drain basket. Use the pliers to remove the locknut. If the drain spins while you are removing the nut, secure the basket to avoid any damage.

Step 2: Spray Penetrating Oil

Apply oil around the sink waste flange. Let the oil soak for a couple of minutes as suggested by the manufacturer. Use the pliers to secure the drain basket while you are removing the retaining nut. If the nut is stuck, apply a penetrating oil again to loosen the area.

Step 3: Loosen the Plumber’s Putty

Use the putty knife to cut around the area between the sink and the flange if it is still stuck. By relieving the pressure, you will loosen the plumbers putty underneath the flange.

Step 4: Tap the Board with a Hammer

Go under the kitchen sink and hold a board against the drain’s bottom. Use the hammer to tap the board enough to loosen the plumbers’ putty and raise the sink drain flange and coupling enough to loosen the grip. 

Step 5: Insert a Knife Between the Kink and the Flange

While you tap on the wooden board, slide the utility knife further between the sink and the flange. It should additionally loosen the pressure on the flange and help you lift it. If it is necessary, use your fingers to lift the flange. Continue working until the flange is out of the sink. 

How to Avoid Kitchen Drain Flange Blockage

While your kitchen drain flange is usually stuck due to the hardening of plumber’s putty, a few other factors may lead to the same outcome.

Abusing your plumbing system and throwing food and waste down the drains may also lead to a failure in the drain pipes. That failure may also cause flange blockages.

When it comes to identifying a plumbing problem, it is usually easy to find the source. First, you may see a small leakage, notice low water pressure, or smell a strange odor. When something like this happens, it suggests you have a problem with your drain system.

Here is what not to put down your kitchen drain to avoid flange blockage: 

  • Coffee grounds
  • Eggshells
  • Oils, fat, and grease
  • Cotton balls
  • Medication
  • Paint

Even with the best intentions and habits, you may experience a clogged drain flange. Just follow our steps, and you’ll successfully solve the problem.

If you are having other issues with your kitchen sink, make sure to check out our blog. We provide instructions and guides to help you solve any common sink problem on your own.

For those interested in replacing kitchen faucets any time soon, check our recommendations and reviews to decide which type is best for you.

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