Do Vessel Sinks Drain Well?

Are you considering purchasing a vessel sink but worried that it won’t drain well? As a vessel sink is a costly investment you need to make sure that it will function as intended. Read on to find out if a vessel sink will drain well.

Most vessel sinks do drain well provided they either have an overflow or have the correct type of drain. The best drain for a vessel sink without an overflow would be a push pop-up drain instead of a grid drain also known as a strainer drain.

Do vessel sinks drain well

In this blog post, we will discuss why it’s best to choose a vessel sink with an overflow or one with a pop-up drain. We will also discuss how to fix a vessel sink that is not draining well so read on for detailed information.

Do Vessel Sinks Drain Well?

Do Vessel Sinks Drain Well?

A vessel sink is a sink that is placed on top of the vanity countertop. Vessel sinks are a popular choice for many modern and contemporary-looking bathrooms.

One issue we occasionally hear is that a vessel sink drains slowly. A blocked drain will prevent water from draining properly. But why does the vessel sink drain slowly even when the drain is clear? The majority of vessel sinks don’t have an overflow drain which prevents more air from entering the drain which assists in faster drainage.

The main culprit for vessel sinks that take a long time to drain seems to be the grid drain or also known as the strainer drain. This happens because the water “sticks” to the grid. The small holes in the grid cause a problem with the water’s surface tension which prevents it from escaping fast enough.

You will observe that despite the grid’s small holes, water does not escape fast enough through them. A push pop-up drain appears to function more effectively due to the water and air mixing before entering the drain.

The ideal solution is to choose a push pop-up style drain rather than a grid strainer drain. Even while air may still become stuck in the drain, the issue will be much less, and you’ll probably avoid having a lot of water in the sink that is slowly draining.

The difference between a grid drain and a pop-up drain is how the drain functions. Pop-up drains can be closed so that the sink can fill with water. Grid drains are by design always open and cant be closed to fill the sink.

Why Its Best To Choose A Vessel Sink With Overflow?

If the drain gets clogged or if the vessel sink drains slowly and the water is left running the sink will overflow. Sinks with overflows give another level of protection. It also offers additional venting and airflow, which contributes to the creation of suction and accelerates the flow of water down the drain.

For instance, if you turn a water bottle upside down, the water will only drain from it so quickly. If you turned the same bottle upside down and pierced it, the water would drain far more quickly. It’s interesting to note that the design of most vessel sinks prevents them from having an overflow feature.

Even while an overflow is not required for a sink to work properly, having one still might be a valuable safety precaution. By choosing a vessel sink with an overflow, you also have the greatest choices for drainage, since either a grid or pop-up drain can be used.

Our Top 10 Vessel Sink Buying Guide and Reviews Can Be Found Here.

How To Fix A Vessel Sink That Does Not Drain Well?

How To Fix A Vessel Sink That Does Not Drain Well

Option 1

  • If you are purchasing a new vessel sink make sure that it comes with an overflow, or purchase one with a pop-up style drain instead of a grid strainer drain. If you have already purchased the vessel sink without an overflow and it came with a grid drain then you can easily change the drain to the recommended push pop-up drain.

Option 2

  • If you have a vessel sink without an overflow and a grid drain then you can carefully drill out the grid holes as large as you can without damaging the grid strainer. The wider holes will allow more water to flow through them and may allow some air to escape faster before being obstructed by the water on top, improving the vessel sink drainage.

Option 3

  • Install a Dishwasher branch tailpiece and a “old work gang box”. The poor draining issue arises because the drain cover “pushes” back on the water that is collecting in the bowl due to positive air pressure that is caught in the pipe between the p-trap and the drain. Allowing that air to escape will make the water drain quickly.

Option 4

  • It is a good idea to modify the faucet so that the water flow to your faucet is considerably reduced. This will reduce splashing in your vessel sink and enable a bit faster emptying. This can be done by installing an inexpensive faucet flow restrictor. Faucet flow restrictors are tiny disk-shaped units that limit the amount of water that flows from the faucet.


You may love or hate vessel sinks and they are not for everyone. By arming yourself with the correct information and tools, you may prevent making a design choice you’ll later regret. Nevertheless, whether you like them or not, vessel sinks are a style that will likely continue for a very long time.

If you are considering purchasing a vessel sink but are worried that it won’t drain well then no need to worry just follow the tips in the post and get one with an overflow or a push pop-up drain. If you already have a vessel sink that is not draining well then you can follow the steps mentioned above to easily improve the drainage.

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