I am putting in two drains in my bathroom vanity. The tailpiece is 1 ¼" and the drain outlet is 1 ½". In both drains, the trap is touching the white shelf in the vanity, so I can't lower that without cutting into my new vanity.

I had no problem aligning the first drain and it has been working well. Completed photo:

Completed drain

However, on the second drain, with the trap at 90°, it's about 1.5" away from the tailpiece. Here's where I ended up:

Tailpiece not aligning

Without the extension:

Without extension

I'm trying to figure out how to make this work without using one of those flexible tailpieces. I am very much an amateur and got lucky with the first one, so any help is appreciated!


2 Answers 2


Install a 22-1/2 or 45 degree elbow on the pipe protruding from the wall, then a short length of PVC, then a threaded adapter. This gets the plumbing much closer to where it needs to be and gives you more alignment flexibility with your trap. You could swing the trap directly behind the tailpiece, recovering some storage space.

The black section in the photo from this answer shows what I mean.

enter image description here

You can probably accomplish the same thing with compression fittings, but I prefer cement-welded plumbing wherever possible for reliability.

  • Thanks so much. A few questions... Will the elbow be threaded on neither, one, or each side? And I assume angle it toward the tailpiece? And then does the threaded adapter connect the short PVC to the tailpiece? I will probably either use compression fittings or would have someone come in to weld.
    – MrPeanut
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:42
  • Everything is as you have it now, except you'll essentially split the short pipe near the wall and put an elbow in there.
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:43
  • Okay, this is very helpful. One last question... I can't quite picture what I'll be looking for with the elbow. The one side will thread onto the wall pipe (with a compression fitting) and the other side will be threaded so that it looks like the existing wall pipe, right?
    – MrPeanut
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:58
  • This is what I have done in the past it will work well + for reclaiming the space.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 14:58
  • Nothing is threaded except the trap. We're talking about conventional welded PVC connections here. Don't forget the purple primer (which does stain everything permanently, so take precautions).
    – isherwood
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:57

The trap swings in an arc but one needs three independent adjustments to get the trap to line up exactly with the tailpiece. If it is out of alignment even by a little then it will leak as it is tightened.

A slip joint where the 1-1/4" tubing slips inside 1-1/2" tubing is a common solution. This slip joint gives a linear in-and-out movement and a rotation which when combined with the arc of the trap allow perfect alignment.

  • Any chance you are able to share a photo or link of an example slip joint that you are referring to?
    – MrPeanut
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 19:46
  • I think the picture in the answer of @isherwood shows such a slip joint where the white tubing slips inside the black tubing. Commented Feb 6, 2019 at 2:40

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