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I'd like to remove the L-shaped elbow that appears in the figure below.

underneath kitchen-sink

I'm able to twist by hand only the lower of the two rings locking the L-shaped elbow in place.

  1. Is it safe to seek a tool to disassemble with a bit more torque?
  2. What is the name of this black ring and/or the tool that would be used to turn it. Notice there are two extra-large projecting tabs that would be broken if an ordinary wrench is used to grip.

I'm assuming that the sluggishness is due to blockage in this (left) side since there are two sides and the flow in the other side is swift.

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    Which way are you turning it? Anticlockwise looking from below? Or anticlockwise looking from above? – Solar Mike May 5 at 15:47
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    Channel lock pliers will work on those; also a strap wrench. With channel locks you could grip 90 deg from the large tabs. You could try your hand with a rubber lid gripper. Why do you want to remove this piece? – Jim Stewart May 5 at 16:05
  • @JimStewart Many experiments with D-branded anti-clog have failed. It is now time to look inside. – Calaf May 5 at 17:10
  • @SolarMike From the one that I can turn, I gathered that it's just like a screw (clockwise to tighten; anti-cw to remove). I've assumed that there is no design reason for both ends to have a different orientation. Hence I'm trying to remove the other one also by turning anti-cw. Of course, I'm looking from the black pipe side, i.e. below. – Calaf May 5 at 17:12
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    @Calaf if you look up at that black ring you have to rotate it clockwise to undo it. IF you imagine yourself looking at that nut from above ie you have Superman's x-ray vision and can see through the sink, then you rotate it anticlockwise. – Solar Mike May 5 at 18:11
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The nut on the left is threading down onto the black elbow, you need to know this in order to turn it the correct direction. If you think that it is threading up onto the white one then you would be turning it the wrong way and tightening it.

Put your channel lock pliers on the nut so the handles are to the left and move the pliers handles to the right, this should loosen the nut.

  • What you're saying seems counter-intuitive. Why should the two nuts loosen in different screw directions? For the nut on the (bottom/) right I put the pliers at the bottom and move them to the top to loosen it. Likewise, for the nut of the (top/) left I would put the pliers on the right, and move them to the left to loosen. What am I missing? – Calaf May 5 at 18:06
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    The nuts loosen according to what they are threading onto. The black nut on the white pipe is treading down onto the threads on the black pipe. It is slip joint, the white pipe slips into the black one and the nut compresses a washer that is around the white one into a space between the white pipe and the black pipe. The white nut is threading up onto the basket so it will turn opposite of the black nut just below it. – Alaska Man May 5 at 18:21
  • Aha! That makes sense. I added some details to explain why I was confused. I also added a reasoning why this part is built asymmetrically. Please review and edit if needed. – Calaf May 5 at 19:07

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