If you're removing a sink to replace it or to make some other changes to your kitchen cabinet, you have to remove the sink retaining clips that hold it to the countertop. That may be enough to free the sink from the countertop, but it may not, because the sink is usually secured with caulk or adhesive. Even though removing the clips may not be enough to free the sink, though, it's a necessary job.
Don't worry, though, because removing sink clips is easy, even though there are different types, as detailed at PlumbingSupply.com. If you're removing an undermount sink, though, remember to support it while you remove the clips. If it isn't held on by adhesive, it will drop as soon as you loosen the clips.
Before You Remove the Clips
Removing the sink clips is one of the last things you do when you remove a sink. Before you get to this step, you should make sure you've done the following:
- Disconnect and remove the P-trap.
- Remove the garbage disposal, if there is one.
- Turn off the water and unhook the faucet. It helps to remove the faucet, but this isn't completely necessary. Sometimes it's easier to loosen the faucet nuts after you've pulled out the sink.
After removing the P-trap and garbage disposal, you should have access to the entire perimeter of the sink from underneath the cabinet. Get a flashlight and count the number of clips you have to remove. Look carefully because if you miss one, the sink won't come out, and you could damage something by forcing it.
Sink Retaining Clips Screws/Nuts
Top-mount sinks and undermount sinks have different types of clips. When it comes to removing them, the procedure is basically the same. Drop-in bathroom sink clips, as well as drop-in kitchen sink clips, typically have Phillips screws holding them to the sink. Undermount sink clips are more likely to have wing nuts or hexagonal nuts.
Check which type of clips your sink has, then go under the sink with a screwdriver or wrench and a headlamp so you can see what you're doing. If you're removing a drop-in sink, back off the screw on each clip with a screwdriver until the clip drops down far enough to allow you to swing it out of the way. You can pull the clip off after you remove the sink.
To remove an undermount sink clip, back off the nut all the way and remove it as well as the clip. The post to which the clip was connected will remain attached to the underside of the countertop. If you need to remove the post, you can either unscrew it or cut it off with a hacksaw after the sink is out.
Sink Won't Come Out
After you've removed all the clips, the sink may still be bound to the countertop by adhesive. If the sink is a top-mount, it probably has a bead of caulk under the rim. Cut this by forcing a utility knife blade under the rim and using it to slice through the caulk around the perimeter of the sink.
Undermount sinks are sometimes held by epoxy adhesive, which is tougher to cut than caulk. It helps to heat it with a heat gun before tying to slice through it with a knife. Be sure to support the sink from underneath using a piece of wood, a bucket or a combination thereof so it doesn't drop to the bottom of the cabinet when you finally succeed in cutting through the adhesive.
Chris Deziel is a contractor, builder and general fix-it pro who has been active in the construction trades for 40 years. He has degrees in science and humanities and years of teaching experience. An avid craftsman and musician, Deziel began writing on home improvement topics in 2010. He worked as an expert consultant with eHow Now and Pro Referral -- a Home Depot site. A DIYer by nature, Deziel regularly shares tips and tricks for a better home and garden at Hunker.com.