Drain for Bathroom Sink

I'm a neophyte with plumbing, although I don't have a problem replacing faucets and the like. However, for some reason, I'm having a problem configuring drain pipes, of all things.
When I replaced the faucet in my bathroom, I saw that the prior drain tail was installed with a flexible PVC coupler:
http://goo.gl/mrQMd (Home Depot link)
As best as I can tell, the reason the coupler was used is that the PVC drain pipe coming out of the wall has an adapter or reducer on it that causes it to stick about an inch too far out of the wall. The P trap cannot be moved closer to the wall, so it will not line up with the tail. The coupler has failed (cracked from age) and I want to replace the pipes with the correct parts.
What size drain pipe is coming out of the wall? 2"? Is the reducer converting from 2" to 1-1/2"? The coupler above indicates that it is 1-1/2" and 1-1/4". What pipes are 1-1/4"? The tail seems like it is smaller than the drain pipe. It's hard to get the coupler to grab the tail tightly. It looks like there is a beveled washer that adapts the larger coupler to the smaller tail.
I think my solution is going to be to saw the drain off flush with the wall, open up the wall a little, and cement a new reducer onto the drain. The challenges are 1) I don't understand the pipe sizes to make sure I have the right parts, and 2) the hardware store is 15 miles away in normally heavy traffic.
Any educational clarification that you can provide about pipe sizes and piping techniques will be appreciated.
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Pipe size is the inside diameter. That and a ruler should suffice. And if you're cutting off a piece, take it with you.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Start Googling Youtube. Picture is worth thousand words.
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On 3/11/2012 11:18 AM, Tony Hwang wrote:

I've already spent quite a lot of time with YouTube videos, and they are great. However, I have not been able to find any help with the pipe sizes. It's a quite basic issue, I guess.
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mcp6453 wrote:

Via Google... http://flexpvc.com/PVCPipeSize.shtml
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there's nothing wrong with replacing the flexi coupler with a new flexi coupler.
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What kind of pipe is coming out the wall? Black plastic ABS? Steel? Open the wall a little first. There could be a tee very close limiting how much pipe is available. The pipe is normally 1-1/2". Measure. You can measure the outside circumference of the fitting and compare to a similar fitting at the store. Check to see if the pipe can be pushed into the wall some. I have added a 22 or 45 angle at the wall to make a trap fit better.
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On 3/11/2012 11:52 AM, Pat wrote:

The pipe coming out of the wall is white plastic. The confusing part is that it appears to have a reducer cemented to the pipe, and the reducer has a thread for connecting to the P trap. I should be able to cut off the reducer and figure out what I need. My hesitation is that I have to do this work on weekends (it's at my in-laws) when plumbers are either not available on operate on their emergency price list. :)
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mcp6453 wrote:

Hard to tell your problem without seing it or photo but I wouldn't go whacking stuff off. You should be able to configure P trap so that t can swivel and accomodate almost any drain line position.
The horizontal part of the complete trap should slide into what is sticking out from the wall. The seal is made by tightening the nut on the horizontal piece to the treaded adapter on the wall; that tightens the washer. Like this...
http://www.plumbingsupply.com/images/p-trap-diagram.jpg
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A bathroom sink can be plumbed with 1-1/4 or 1-1/2. Most are done with 1-1/2. What you are calling a reducer is likely a pipe to 1-1/2 male pipe threads adapter. The trap assembly attaches to the male threads.
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You're way over your head here. Well meaning DIY jobs can cause more grief than good. Do yourself and the in-laws a favor and find a plumber to do the job, get quotes first, etc. It should be a quick and easy for most pros, WAG about $100 given the minor problem to resolve.
Joe
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