After chipping the edge of the bathroom basin of the apartment I'm renting, I've attempted to install a replacement in order to save costs. This is my first plumbing project!

Chipped original basin (The original basin)

I speculate that the plumbing here is quite old - the piping is metal and there is a separate cold and hot tap as opposed to a mixer. The apartment complex also appears to be built in the 1970s.

I've managed to turn off the water at the apartment's main, disconnect the supply lines, disconnect the drainage pipe, and pull the basin off. Luckily, the new basin fits in the wall brackets of the original basin!

New basin placed in position (The new basin)

My Problem

The new basin sits approximately ~5cm (~2 inches) above the drainage pipe.

enter image description here (Gap between sink and drain pipe)

What is the most practical solution for me to bridge this gap? Is it better for me to replace the entire drain pipe & sink trap, or is it possible for me to source a pvc adapter that fits perfectly into this gap?

Drain pipe (The drain pipe)

Additionally, the drain pipe looks pretty gangster - there is some string which I assume was acting as a substitute for irregular threading, or to prevent leaking?

Manky old drain pipe (Manky old drain pipe)

  • 3
    The string looks to be wicking, which at one point was wound into the threads of plumbing connections to make them watertight. It's largely been supplanted by nylon tape or a chemical "dope." (Largely because it occasionally gets replaced in old work/preservation situations.) Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 0:50
  • 1
    I see you're replacing the separate hot and cold taps with a mixer tap. That may not be an appropriate replacement, since the hot and cold water circuits may need to remain separated. (The cold water being of drinking quality while the hot water isn't).
    – SQB
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 7:54
  • Excellent point @SQB, I didn't even consider that a possibility. For our particular circumstances, the sink is in the bathroom, so the only time water from this tap is consumed is when rinsing our mouthes after brushing our teeth. The hot water system appears to be modern and sits in a closet next to the bathroom. I showed the finished product (as seen in answer below) to the landlord and got the thumbs up, so hopefully if this was an issue they would have flagged it. Commented Aug 11, 2018 at 11:32

2 Answers 2


You should measure the diameter of the pipe (both inside and outside diameter recommended) and then check if similar plumbing supplies in your area are available. You could even take piece "A" with you when you go shopping around.

enter image description here

What you want to look for is a piece similar to part "A" that comes on two pieces that fit together with a slip joint type of coupling. The following picture is an idea of what you want. The slip joint in the area indicated has a larger diameter so that the upper tail piece from the bottom of the sink can be cut to the right length but still slide in and out of the expanded area for final length adjustment.

enter image description here

  • Looks great Michael - thanks for the explanation and going to the effort of annotating some images. I'll head to my local hardware store this evening (in Australia, it's a place called Bunnings) with the drain pipe (w/ trap and all) and hunt down a piece with a slip joint. Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 5:02
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    @AllanofSydney if you could also take the threaded part from your basin, you'd very likely to get a missing piece that fits into both ends - just ask the consultants at Bunnings.
    – Kromster
    Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 5:15
  • @Kromster Good idea, will do! Commented Jul 23, 2018 at 5:16

I've accept the answer above provided by Michael because I believe it far more elegant in comparison to what I actually ended up doing.

After receiving Michael's answer I attempted to remove the P-trap & drain pipe, but was unsuccessful. So, I decided my best solution was to just bridge the gap in any way possible.

After visiting the plumbing store I returned with the following equipment:

bounty from a visit to the plumbing store

Left to right, these are:

  • A brass adapter that I believe connects a 40mm pipe to a 32mm pipe (the drain being 32mm).
  • Next is the PVC pipe extension, much longer that my gap, but possible to be cut to size.
  • On the end of it I have an adapter that will connect the faucet (32mm) to the extension pipe (40mm).
  • Finally is the original faucet to be threaded through the basin (32mm).

Faucet & Drain pipe with adapters

Here's our gap now with adapters fitted, without the extension point. From here, I measured the gap and marked up the pipe to prepare it for cutting to size. This was tricky because of length lost to adapters & overlap of pipe and adapters.

Marking the pipe Cutting the pipe Gluing the pipe

And finally, the finished project - far from pretty, but it does the job. Had to use plenty of plumbers tape at each point of connection (which I think numbered at least four).

Finished product

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