Our house is 10 years old, which seems to be the magic age when things start to break or need attention. The latest thing to go was our garbage disposer. A hole had rusted through the side, and when we ran our dishwasher on Saturday night, water leaked all over the base cabinets under the sink and flooded the kitchen floor.
On Sunday, as I removed the rusty disposer, I thought it would be a good time to replace the sink and faucet too. My wife and I had been talking about it for a while since we had a cheap stainless steel sink and didn’t like the way it looked. We decided to go for the upgrade, so we trekked to the local home center and upgraded to a cast iron sink and a new faucet. I’d forgotten how heavy those cast iron sinks are—it’s one of the few products I let someone help me carry.
I was fortunate removing the old sink—no problems. I was worried that the shutoff valves would leak or be stuck open since they hadn’t been turned in years, but they turned off just fine. The new sink was deeper and the drain baskets were in different locations than those on my old sink, so I had to rearrange the drainpipe configurations. When that was done, I installed the new faucet in the new sink, set it in the hole in the countertop and started making the drain connections. My drainpipes were plastic, so I could reuse most of them. But I needed a longer waste arm to run from the disposer to the drain pipe, so I had to head back to the home center for a new part.
As the Great Goofs editor for The Family Handyman, I’ve received about a dozen letters over the past year from readers who didn’t know they were supposed to remove the knockout plug from the disposer before attaching it to the dishwasher hose. The result was that the dishwasher couldn’t drain. So I made darn sure to remove the plug before the installation.
When everything was in place, I had the hold-my-breath moment of turning the water back on and checking all the connections for leaks. One of the P-trap connections gave me some grief, but I solved that problem with the help of my slip-joint pliers. In the end, I spent about $475 for the sink, faucet, disposer and parts. And the whole job took just four hours, including my unanticipated second trip to the home center. The new sink made an enormous difference in the look of our kitchen and gave us an upgrade that we desperately needed.
--Brett Martin, associate editor
Here’s our old disposer with a hole rusted through the side.
This is our stainless sink that we wanted to replace.
Here’s what the project looked like after I removed the old sink.
This shows the new disposer hooked up under the new sink.
Here’s an after photo with the new sink and faucet installed.