Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink

Build an Outdoor Sink (Part Three) – Installing the Drain

It has been a year since I built the outdoor sink and connected the faucet for it. I am crazy about the sink and faucet – they came in so handy over the summer for quick paint cleanups, washing flower pots, or even for getting a quick drink of water! Now, it is time to install the drain for the outdoor sink so I don’t have to use a bucket that eventually overflows and spills on my feet!

Installing a drain for an outdoor sink is a crucial part of the construction process. With the proper tools and a knowledge of where to drain it, you can easily get your outdoor sink up and running in no time. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to ensure that your outdoor sink is properly drained.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink


  • 1-1/2″ PVC Compression Fitting
  • 1 – 22° PVC Elbow (I used Schedule 40)
  • 1 – 45° PVC Elbow (Schedule 40)
  • 1-1/2″ PVC Pipe in the desired length (again, Schedule 40)
  • Pipe Solvent
  • Hole saw (<– affiliate link!)

The drain on my sink has to travel from the sink across a walkway, and drain into rocks around the front of my house (where I actually started a drainage path several years ago!). I started by cutting a hole in the shelf of the sink base directly below the drain. I used a large hole saw and my drill.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Hole in Shelf

Next, I dug a channel from under the sink and across the walkway. I angled the channel so that it was more shallow where the bend of the pipe would be, and deeper where the drain pipe will end. This will help it drain better even though there really shouldn’t be any issues with clogging.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Channel

(Let me make a quick note about the drain and the frost depth of the ground – there wouldn’t be any freezing issues with this drain because water will not remain in the drain line so the channel will not have to be dug below the frost depth of the ground.)

I installed the compression fitting on the sink drain.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Compression Fitting

I didn’t want the bend in the drain (from the vertical pipe to the horizontal length on the ground) to be a sharp 90°. The drain will need to angle away from the sink. A 10″ piece of pipe between a 45° elbow and a 22° elbow will do the job perfectly, creating a subtle bend. Once the bend was created, I measured from the compression fitting to the 45° elbow and cut a piece of pipe to fit.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Bend


I added the remaining piece of pipe to the end of the 22° elbow, cutting a 45° angle at the end of the pipe.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Connected

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Angled End

All of the PVC pieces should be dry-fit before using the solvent, just make sure everything is good. I assembled the elbow pieces and laid them in the channel. After making a few adjustments, I used the solvent to secure the pipes to the bend.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Dry Fit

I did a few “test runs” with buckets filled with rainwater and am thrilled with the way the sink drains! I refilled the channel, tamping the dirt firmly around the pipe, and replaced the rocks around the end of the drain.

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Pipe End

Install a Drain on an Outdoor Sink_Filled In

I am so happy to finally have time to install the drain for the outdoor sink! Now all I have to do is replace the washers in the faucet valves so that the faucet doesn’t drip when I forget to turn the water off! The entire project, from start to finish, was easy and inexpensive – just the way I like it!

Originally posted 2015-03-17 08:00:50.


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