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Removing a Belfast sink with a traditional, weir type, overflow without removing your worktop..

Belfast sink weir overflow underside of Belfast sink Belfast waste outlet close up

A Belfast sink with a weir overflow. The weir is usually to the right but can be to the left and even to the rear of the sink.

If you look at the underside of a Belfast sink it will have a protruding waste outlet to incorporate the channel to take overflow water from the overflow to the trap.

On most base units, this will have required a cut out in the base to accommodate the waste outlet.  If you are lucky there will be a bit of play in the cut.

There may be occasions where you wish to change your Belfast sink or change your taps. Due to the protruding waste outlet on a weir type Belfast sink, the sink cannot simply be cut free of sealant and slid out. You may also have solid surface worktops such as granite which would be risky and costly to remove and re-fit. There is a method of achieving this, the degree of difficulty will depend on your base unit and how it is fitted.

Belfast sink base unit with plinth Belfast Base unit with legs Belfast Base unit with solid legs

If your units were not bespoke made and you have a plinth that runs along the base then you most likely have units which are supported by adjustable plastic legs. It is usually easier to remove a Belfast sink with this type of unit.


Slice around the seal of the silicone with a craft knife.

Remove the doors if possible.

Remove the waste, the trap and any other plumbing to ensure there is working space.

Remove any screws or fastenings attaching the Belfast unit to adjacent units. Screws are usually inserted from inside the adjacent units. Sometimes there may be dowels or other hidden fixings, these will have to be sawn using a pad saw or multi tool type saw.

Gain access to the legs by removing the plinth.

Pack the base unit to support the weight.

Turn the base of the adjustable legs anti-clockwise to loosen them and then remove the legs by using a short screwdriver to remove the screws.

Carefully remove packing as required and lower the base unit approx 60mm.

You should now be able to lift the Belfast sink and carefully slide it out.

This will also give you access to the retaining nuts on the tap should you wish to remove them.

Re-fit sink by following the reverse order.

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If your Base unit has leg supports that run the entire height of the unit or if your base is bespoke made then you obviously cannot remove the legs to lower the unit.


If your unit has a sink support shelf with joints in line with the sink as in the photo, then the shelf can be removed. you will not be able to gain access to any screws or fittings so you will have to use a panel saw or preferable a multi tool saw to saw through the fixings to the support shelf.


Your Belfast unit may not have a solid base but two thinner supporting shelves.


Tips !!

If there are any brackets attached from the sink base to the worktop then remove them first.


Remember to supprt the support shelf with packing first.


Cut a line through any paint or varnish with a craft knife to stop any blowing of the finish.


There will be no fixings at the very front of the support shelf, so if you saw from the rear of the unit towards the front the shelf, it can be removed without any noticable damage to the visible part of the support shelf or unit.


In the unlikely event your support shelf is jointed horizontally, you may have to saw through all fixings and remove the whole base unit.

Joint line

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If your sink is not fitted with a weir type overflow then fitting the sink is much more straightforward.  You can fit the sink first, then attach the taps to the worktop, apply sealant to sink rim and finally lower the worktop into position.


This does however create some fitting problems. Firstly it is difficult to position and fit a solid surface worktop once the taps have been attached and secondly it is difficulty to accurately work out the final position of the sink prior to the worktop being fitted. This applies especially to ceramic butler sink which are rarely dimensionally accurate or exactly square.



It is much easier to fit the worktop first, fit the taps in place, slide in the sink,  apply sealant, pack up the sink until it mates well with the worktop and then clean off excess silicone sealant.

Tip !! A car scissor jack makes an ideal tool for lowering and raising the unit. Don't forget to place a piece of wood between the jack and the unit to save any damage from the jack.