My kitchen sink has a good size drain pipe heading into the basement and out:

drain pipes

And what I assume is a pretty normal connection from the drain to the sink:

underside of sink

But when you look at the drain in the sink, the way it's all put together, the actual holes through which water can drain are quite limited:

drain from top

I can't help but think that if this were set up better, the sink would drain faster and possibly get clogged less often. Is there a different tailpiece or other part that I can get that has a wider diameter? Or are these so standardized that what I've got is all I can get?


I realize my original post didn't really capture my question accurately. So yes, I always have a strainer:


and my question is not about the crossbars in the standard strainer (I've labeled "YES" in the image below), but rather the piping that lies right beneath the strainer and seems to impinge on the drain (labeled "NO" in this image):

Good drain bad drain


The black "stack" is a 2" pipe at floor level, but it shrinks as it goes up. The white pipe that branches off to the sink is 1 1/2" as suspected:

Pipe sizes

  • I'd take a look at a real vent (even if it has to be a complicated island vent) rather than an AAV way ahead of worrying about the strainer basket holes. While at it I'd look at getting the appears to be 1-1/2" pipe upgraded to 2" pipe, if possible.
    – Ecnerwal
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 3:42
  • 2
    You mention the sink getting clogged often. What kind of clog, and what do you have to do to clear the clog? How slow is the drain that it's a problem for you? How long to drain a full sink?
    – BowlOfRed
    Commented Nov 18, 2020 at 7:04
  • 1
    I'd remove the pipe from the sink and trap and make sure it's installed right. It looks like a compression washer or something is between your sink drain and the top of that pipe. There's also some sealant on the bottom of the pipe going into the trap that shouldn't be needed if done correctly.
    – JACK
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 20:11
  • @Ecnerwal Upgrading to a 2" pipe would be lovely but looks like major surgery, I would have to cut off the black "stack" and redo the whole thing. But I will keep that in mind, it might be worth it. Regarding the AAV, I would love to ditch the stupid thing and didn't know about island vents, but at this point (the kitchen is finished, the sink is up against an exterior wall, and the outside of the wall has vinyl siding) it seems like an island vent isn't possible? Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 22:08
  • If the sink's against a wall, there's no need for an AAV or an island vent. It should have had a "normal" vent pipe running straight up the wall and through the roof. Possibly running up the eves to exit behind the ridge if the kitchen is on the front of the house and "hiding" it behind the ridge is preferred for aesthetics.
    – FreeMan
    Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 23:23

2 Answers 2


The sink drain you show in the picture is a standard kitchen drain that meets code. Its only purpose is to drain water. Based on your post it seems that you are getting clogs in your drain at the mouth of the drain as shown in your picture. It may not drain fast enough for you but it is doing what it's designed to do, trap large debris before it passes down the drain resulting in a potentially costly repair. To make the openings any larger could result in a blockage issue.
It's also a good idea to use the strainer that fits in the drain. It's much easier to clean out the strainer than to have to call a plumber.

  • I've edited my question, I think I didn't explain myself very well and I've added some additional photos Commented Nov 27, 2020 at 19:18

Looks like the tailpiece washer is too small and blocking the drain.

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