How to Remove a Stuck Bathroom Sink Drain Flange

How To Remove Bathroom Sink Drain Flange

When it comes to do-it-yourself projects around the house, many homeowners are intimidated by plumbing tasks. 

However, there are many plumbing projects that can be accomplished by a novice. All you need are the right tools and proper instructions. 

Bathroom sink drains malfunction from time to time. It’s not uncommon for a bathroom sink to leak or for the flange to crack or become corroded. 

In this article, we’ll provide you with a step-by-step guide to show you how to remove a bathroom sink drain flange without calling a professional.

Why Would The Drain Flange Need To Be Removed?

drain flange

Look into your bathroom sink and notice the round, probably metallic, flat piece of material in the middle of the sink. This is the flange. Or the top of it, at least. 

The bottom of the flange drops into the drain and serves the purpose of connecting the sink basin to the drain pipe beneath. 

There are several reasons that a homeowner may need to remove the flange from the bathroom sink drain. 

When properly installed, the flange is sealed with plumber’s putty and creates a water-tight connection. However, improper installation or damage over time may cause a leak. 

If your bathroom drain leaks or the flange is cracked or damaged, you’ll need to remove the flange and reseal it or replace it with a new one. 

Perhaps you’re considering a home improvement project and planning to replace your sink basin. If so, you’ll need to remove the drain flange to complete the project. 

Another reason you may need to remove the bathroom sink drain flange is if you’re replacing your bathroom faucet . Many faucets come with new flanges to match the faucet.  

What Are The Tools Required To Remove A Sink Drain Flange?

For removing a sink drain flange, you should have the following available.

2 Pair of Channel Lock Pliers: While it’s possible to use other pliers, channel locks are the best for the job. 

Plumber’s Putty: This is available at any hardware store or big-box store with a hardware department. 

Screwdriver: A flathead screwdriver is best. 

An Empty Bucket: You’ll need a bucket to catch any liquid left in the p-trap.

How Can You Remove The Bottom Of A Bathroom Sink Flange?

bottom of drain flange

The first thing you’ll need to do is to prepare your workspace. Make sure everything is removed from the cabinet under the bathroom sink so you have room to work. 

To begin, remove the drain stopper from the sink. A pop-up drain may be removed with a simple twist and pull. 

However, if the stopper is connected to a lever at the back of the faucet, you’ll need to disconnect it underneath the sink. Make sure the stopper is in the ‘up’ position and the lever is pushed down. 

To remove this kind of drain stopper, release the pull rod from the plunger rod by squeezing the clip that attaches the two. Now unscrew the nut on the back of the drain pipe and remove the plunger rod.

This will release the drain stopper up top so you can easily remove it with your hands. 

Once the drain stopper is removed, make sure the water supply is turned off. In the back of the cabinet, you should find a water valve that brings the water supply to the sink.

Be sure to close this valve completely.

Place your bucket under the p-trap to catch any water, and use a pair of pliers to unscrew the p-trap and separate it from the tailpiece. 

Near the bottom of the sink, you’ll find a lock nut that needs to be removed in order to release the drain assembly. Simply use pliers to unscrew the nut and plastic washer. 

Use a flat head screwdriver to break the seal of the rubber gasket nearest the sink basin. 

Once the nut, washer, and rubber gasket are removed, push up on the drain assembly to loosen the flange. Hold the drain assembly with one hand and the flange in the other as you pull up on the flange and down on the old drain to remove them both. 

If the sink drain flange is not loose enough to pull out easily, you may need to tap the bottom of the drain assembly with your pliers to loosen it. 

Now that you’ve successfully removed the bathroom sink drain flange, clean the drain hole to remove plumber’s putty or silicone caulk that may have been used to seal the flange. Penetrating oil is a product that will help remove any remaining residue. 

Once all these steps are complete, you’re ready to replace the old flange with a new one by simply following these steps in reverse. Be sure to seal the new drain flange with plumber’s putty for a tight seal. 


These simple steps may seem intimidating to a homeowner, but rest assured there is no reason to call a professional for this simple task. These same steps can be followed to remove the flange from the kitchen sink drain, so you’ve now learned two new skills. 

Whether you need to remove the bathroom sink drain flange due to a clog or the installation of a new faucet, use these steps to feel confident in your abilities to DIY the project.