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Leak from kitchen sink
Old 12-24-2010, 07:10 PM   #1
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Leak from kitchen sink

DW just discovered a small puddle of water under the kitchen sink. I thought it was because I had plugged up one sink to soak some dishes.....something we rarely do. However, it turns out that even just rinsing dishes results in a leak so it's worse than I had hoped. This is from a remodel that is perhaps 2-3 yrs old but was not like this before so it's gotten worse.

Could be wrong but to me it looks like the gasket on the bottom is held reasonably tight on one side but it's flops around on the other side where the leak is. Does this mean that the sink and the pipe are not perpendicular to each other? Seems easy to be the case where the plumbing is rigid or is there supposed to be enough play in the plumbing that you force the pendicularity? Why would it have been good in the beginning and leak now
in such a short time?
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:28 PM   #2
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Is your plumbing configured something like the photo below, with white PVC pipe? If so, is it leaking at one of the joints with the knurled rings?
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File Type: jpg undersink.jpg (6.0 KB, 147 views)
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:15 PM   #3
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There are many ways to plumb kitchen sinks (two traps, one trap in the middle, one trap under one basin with a branch to the other, etc), so it's hard to picture what your situation is. But, if you've got a garbage disposal and use it, it's quite possible that the vibration from it has loosened up some of the threaded couplings. The first thing to try is just to line everything up again and tighten the couplings (if it's PVC, be gentle. Big slip-joint pliers [Channellocks] work fine). and see if that does the trick. If not, wrap 3-4 turns of teflon tape around the male portion of the leaky joint and tighten it up again. If still no luck, you may need to replace one of the bushings found in some of these couplings (the slip joints have them). Since every hardware store is closed now for a day or so, this is going to be a problem unless you've got the part around the house.

Keep a bucket under there.

REWahoo,
What's going on with the sink in you photo? Where's the trap for the basin on the left? It doesn't look right.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:34 PM   #4
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Like Sam said - put in a bucket for now. I'm going to hazard a guess that the 4"+ - ring nut that clamps the basket to the bottom of the sink has failed. Kind of a PITA to replace - I like spending the extra $$ and using baskets that clamp on using a 1 1/2" nut on the tail piece. If you go that route you will replace both baskets.
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Old 12-25-2010, 09:51 AM   #5
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Like Sam said - put in a bucket for now. I'm going to hazard a guess that the 4"+ - ring nut that clamps the basket to the bottom of the sink has failed. Kind of a PITA to replace - I like spending the extra $$ and using baskets that clamp on using a 1 1/2" nut on the tail piece. If you go that route you will replace both baskets.
Thanks all for the replies...bucket went in yesterday. I think calmloki has the general idea.....it's leaking where the plumbing meets the sink (not understanding the term "basket"). Its a dual tub sink.....leaking on the big one that we use most often.....raises the question of whether the other side leaks.....will have to test that I guess. Seems tricky to hook up rigid plastic tubing to 2 sinks and have everything come out right (perpendicular to sink) unless there is some forgiveness in how everything goes together.
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Old 12-25-2010, 10:45 AM   #6
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Other issues could be the strainer basket wasn't installed with plumber's putty or some other material was used and separated (maybe caulk). The gasket may have been pinched or damaged. If you have metal connections, you might have corrosion already.
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Old 12-25-2010, 12:43 PM   #7
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The item I'm calling the basket incorporates the depression in your sink out of which the water drains. The length of the tailpiece (straight section pointing down out of the sink) can be adjusted to achieve level - again, probably easier to do both baskets at once. The big 4" ring nut under the sink is plastic or pot metal - both are miserable to remove, do yourself a favor and split them with a die grinder and break them off, then go with new baskets - may run you $10-15 each for the all-pro ones that attach using a 1 1/2" nut. SOOO much easier to hook up or remove.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:30 AM   #8
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Not a plumber so pls forgive any misunderstandings........
my general idea of how the kitchen sink is hooked up to the rough plumbing....
install the baskets first.....this means that the fit/seal to the sink should be good, the gasket under the sink should be clamped evenly ......not be reasonably seated on one side and loose and able to flop around on the other. Then match up the basket to the rough plumbing.......the knurled nut pieces have some flexibility when tightened to accomodate imperfections in the alignment of the rough plumbing and the basket tailpipe.

When I look at that gasket under the sink, it gives me the impression that the basket was installed last and all the imperfections in alignment were expected to be corrected there.

In other words, I would expect the basket gasket never (almost) to leak but I might expect the leaks instead to come from the knurled nut fittings if the basket was done correctly. Does that make sense?
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:58 AM   #9
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That's exactly correct.
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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You need to experiment.

Take everything out from under the sink.

Dry off all pipes, etc, completely.

Run water, and watch with a flashlight or worklight to see where the leak is. The leak may somewhere above where you actually see drops.

Fix leak.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:24 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
You need to experiment.

Take everything out from under the sink.

Dry off all pipes, etc, completely.


Run water, and watch with a flashlight or worklight to see where the leak is. The leak may somewhere above where you actually see drops.

Fix leak
.

Put bucket back under sink.

Call a trusted handyman or plumber tomorrow to fix it for you.
I fixed it to show what I usually do in cases like this. This technique works really well.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
You need to experiment.

Take everything out from under the sink.

Dry off all pipes, etc, completely.

Run water, and watch with a flashlight or worklight to see where the leak is. The leak may somewhere above where you actually see drops.

Fix leak.
One small addition ...if the leak is not immediately obvious, place a deep wide pot, roaster pan or 13"x9" cake pan underneath as a catch basin, add some food color to a pitcher of water (no more volume than your catch basin can handle), stop up the sink, pour in water, and remove sink stopper quickly. The color contrast of the water seeping out (against the white plastic pipes) will help identify the leak easily.
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:23 AM   #13
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The plumbers version of the angiogram... Brilliant!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:25 AM   #14
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The plumbers version of the angiogram... Brilliant!
Aw shucks
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