I have a two basin stainless steel kitchen sink. Whoever installed it did not use or properly apply plumbers putty and both sides leak. I went to replace it with a new strainer but can not get the old one off.

I've tried grasping it with different tools to keep it from spinnig but the nut just will not budge. I believe it's plastic so I've considered trying to just cut into it with a chizel or even a hot knife.

Do I need a special tool to help me remove it without damaging the sink or the trap and other plumbing underneath?

  • Plumber's putty is not installed to seal against water. That's the job of gaskets and other types of seals.
    – isherwood
    Jan 12, 2023 at 20:14

2 Answers 2


I'm assuming you are referring to the large nut that compresses the drain basket to the sink. Grasp the tailpiece with some pump pliers and use a large wrench or second pair of pliers to turn the nut. If all else fails, cut the nut off and replace the tail piece and nut assembly.. Be sure to use some plumbers putty around the basket flange before you reinstall it into the basin. Tighten well so most of the putty squeezes out.


I tried everything to get my leaking sink strainer out. The nut holding strainer in place would not budge. It wasn't an old type,sort of thin and narrow. So I took a small sharp chisel & hammer to get it off. Only took a few wacks. Someone had used plumbers putty or glue on it! Hope this helps.

  • I assume you didn't want to reuse the nut.
    – HerrBag
    Aug 17, 2013 at 20:11

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