I am experiencing a water leak from some sort of waste trap piece below my bathroom sink. This piece sits directly above the U trap.

Here's a photo.

enter image description here

This trap looks unusual, in that it seems a bit different from most of the wider traps. Any pointers on what the name/make of this piece is, or where what replacement part to look for?


I've unscrewed and detached mostly everything but am having a hell of a time trying to actually remove the popup drain assembly. I've updated my post above to show whats going on. I've tried the pliers trick to stop the pop up flange from moving but no luck so far.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  1. Am I doing something wrong?
  2. Should i be trying to unscrew the tail piece mount or the tail piece itself?
  3. If not, are there any tools/strategies that I may not be using that would help loosen the gridlock?

enter image description here

I feel like I must be doing something wrong. The channel lock pliers I cannot hold fast enough and are stripping the grooves a bit.

Is this the correct strategy?

  • At this point I'd have a channel-lock pliers on the threaded portion and a large adjustable on the nut. It'll go.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:17
  • @isherwood i updated the post following your direction. can you confirm from the picture above if this form is correct. I want to be sure before upgrading channel lock pliers and applying more force.
    – Glenn
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:49
  • That's it. Time to get rowdy with it. Plan B is a hacksaw.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:52
  • That piece in your third picture that you cannot get to unscrew is probably corroded in place. I’ve had to deal with that before and I just had to use a pair of pliers and mangle it by folding at all inwards enough to were I could Pull it down through the sink opening or use a pair of dykes to cut through it
    – Alaska Man
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 21:35
  • 1
    For those reading this that may be having the same problem I did: After trying just about everything (even using lime-away to try to dissolve mineral build up) - I ended up going with plan B - the hacksaw. Picked up one from Ace for (~ $8) with a new replacement pop up drain pipe (~ $20). Was really much easier just to saw the damn thing off, and replace it with a new one. I'll probably have to also replace the P trap as well. This was all a good learning experience.
    – Glenn
    Commented Jun 23, 2020 at 0:02

3 Answers 3


You need a spud wrench to hold the upper drain flange (which is threaded to the lower drain assembly) so you can unscrew the drain from the flange.

Cheap ones (which are hard to hold) look like this: enter image description here

Good ones (which are easy to hold with a large wrench) look like this: enter image description here

And like it or not, you need a helper to either hold from above or turn from below whilst you are doing either.

NOTE- there are many tools colloquially called "spud wrench", these are plumbers' spud wrenches.

NOTE- I have substituted for a spud wrench in a pinch by sliding my ChannelLock plier handles down into the strainer from above, as a holding tool.

NOTE- sometimes none of this works, that's when I use a mini-hacksaw to cut relief slots around that upper drain flange and break it off.


The trap looks standard to me. What you're pointing at is just a drain assembly nut, but replacing that won't fix your leak. I'd replace the entire popup drain assembly. They aren't that expensive and you'll have nice shiny parts on top.

This diagram gives you a better idea what's involved. Your part is labeled "Lock Nut".

enter image description here



That's the tail-piece of the drain. It appears that yours has a rubber gasket under the bowl, and that the gasket has failed.

  • Put a bucket under the trap (that's called a "P-trap", BTW, not a "U-trap")

    • I'm not sure what you mean by "unusual" and "wider", this looks reasonable from this angle. If it's working, don't worry about it.
  • Unscrew the two connections on the P.

    • They should be hand tight, though you may need a pair of pliers to loosen them - gunk build up can make them really tight.
    • If pliers are necessary, wrap a rag around the nuts to protect them from the plier jaws.
    • Wait for all the water to drain out. Shouldn't be long, but it may drip for a minute or two.
    • Take this opportunity to give the trap a good cleaning. Get all the scum, hair, etc. out now while you've got easy access to both ends.
  • Disconnect the drain plunger at the back, near the wall

    • These have different attachment methods - you'll need to figure yours out or provide close up pics if you can't
  • Unscrew the tail piece from the strainer filter inside.

    • If you can't get it lose by holding the strainer and having a helper unscrew the pipe (again with a rag and pliers if necessary) they make wrenches that are designed to hold the strainer.
  • Take the tail piece and gasket/washer to your local plumber's supply store (support your local businesses) or big-box and get a replacement.

    • If necessary/desired, you can replace the tail piece with a brand new one, but then it will be all nice and shiny while everything else looks a bit used, making it stand out.
  • Installation is reverse of removal.

    • Remember all those nuts should really only be hand-tightened until they stop leaking.
  • Thanks for your help! I've unscrewed and detached mostly everything but am having a hell of a time trying to actually remove the popup drain assembly. I've updated my post above to show whats going on. I've tried the pliers trick to stop the pop up flange from moving but no luck so far.
    – Glenn
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:02
  • The tail piece is actually below the drain assembly. It's just the stub of pipe that connects to the trap. Sometimes it's integral and sometimes it's separate.
    – isherwood
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 19:12

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