Leaking Vanity Drain

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Old 02-22-07, 02:37 PM
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Unhappy Leaking Vanity Drain

I have installed a half dozen or so vanitys in my life... and seem to have the same problem every time. So I thought it was time to ask the experts.

We usually buy the cultured mable vanitys (if that matters).

To install the sink drain I do the following (which is pretty much the directions that come with the faucet/drain):

1) put a line of plumbers putty around the rim of drain and push into the hole of the vanity
2) wrap the treads of drain with TFE tape
3) install the rubber washer around the drain followed by the metal or plastic friction washer and then tighten the nut.
4) add more TFE tape on the threads and spin on the rest of the lower drain fittings.
5) Connect to P Trap

The drain almost always leaks at the rubber/friction washers... until I take it apart a put a very healthy bead of silicone on the drain berfore proceding with step 3.

Does anyone have a suggestion of thoughts on what I may be doing wrong? I don't mind using the silicone, but it's messy, takes an extra day or so, and even it doesn't work all the time.

Thanks for the help.... I just installed a vanity and it leaks... thought I would ask the question before I try to fix the first and install the second.


Steve
 
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Old 02-22-07, 06:17 PM
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There is no way this should even come close to leaking if your hole casting in the sink bottom is correct. With a correct rubber gasket, metal washer and ring nut...the rubber washer really swedges into and around the hole. You can tell when installing it, that there is no way in h*** that it can leak. The idea of the seal on vanities being from below, instead of at the rim of the strainer is due to bathroom sinks have an overflow and kitchen sinks do not. That is why their sealing principles are different. In theory, you wouldn't even need plumbers putty under the rim! I usually guber on silicone caulk under the rim.
 
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Old 02-23-07, 06:09 AM
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I agree with you... it looks like it should seal, but, I did a sink (twice) last weekend and you can see the water drips coming between the threads and the ring nut.

In the past I have come across cultured marble vanity tops that have rough edges.. and definitly need to use silicone in addition to the rubber washer...
but this vanity is about as smooth as it can get on the mating surface.

I was hoping that someone can point out something I am missing. Otherwise, I'll just make sure I use the silicone from now on whenever I plumb a sink (which only happens every five years or so).

Steve
 
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Old 02-23-07, 10:42 AM
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Check to make sure there is no crack at the hole. And make sure the threaded part does not have a split or have hole in it (never heard of this, but you do have to check every possibility out, because this is so strange.)

Also, I never care to cram on the rubber washer over the threads. I try toi spin it on so I don't ream out the rubber.

Other than the things mentioned...the leak should be impossible.
 
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Old 02-23-07, 10:51 AM
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I just thought of something else: It's possible that for some reason, the kit that you have does not have a rubbe gasket that is allowing it to swedge in the hole and around the pipe, the tighter you tighten it. In fact, ovetightening it will make this scenario worse: That instead it could be trying to stretch out the rubber gasket, making it bigger! This effect can be seen when tightening down kitchen sink baskets and you can see the rubber ring gasket underneath trying to spin out. Rubber washers will always try to spin out unless retained by some outer edge. Or, in the case of bathroom sinks, that rubber is supposed to go up in the hole some, also. If ever you take one apart sometime, yo wil see the imbed pattern of how it tried to go up in the hole...and it should. Yours probably isn't. I would get my hands on some better rubber gasket that can do this.
 
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Old 02-23-07, 12:01 PM
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This rubber washer I have is just a flat washer ~2-1/2" outside diameter and inside diameter to fit the drain.

Come to think of it, in the past I have seen washers with an interior "lip" that would be forced into the sink hole and expand as you describe when the nut is tightened.

I guess I am off to one of the big box stores to see if they carry the washers by themselves.

Thanks for the feedback.

Steve
 
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Old 02-23-07, 03:57 PM
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Yes. Exactly. And that is why you are having the leak. Probably a college kid (or foreign country) without practical experience designed it without realizing how a flat rubber washer expands outward when squished.
 
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Old 02-23-07, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DIY-Steve View Post
This rubber washer I have is just a flat washer ~2-1/2" outside diameter and inside diameter to fit the drain.

Come to think of it, in the past I have seen washers with an interior "lip" that would be forced into the sink hole and expand as you describe when the nut is tightened.

I guess I am off to one of the big box stores to see if they carry the washers by themselves.

Thanks for the feedback.

Steve
If not...just go there and buy the cheap plastc sink drain and pop-up assembly to use the rubber washer out of it. I've put in plenty of the plastic replacement kits successfully with no leakl.
 
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Old 02-26-07, 05:57 AM
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I took the drain apart this weekend... the washer wasn't even the right size. It was about 1/4" bigger than the drain.
 
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Old 02-26-07, 05:45 PM
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Their fault? Or yours? I presume you have her all fixed now.
 
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Old 02-26-07, 07:34 PM
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It was their fault.... the faucet/drain (and washer) all came in a set. Not a cheap one either. After I looked at the washer that came with the drain, there is absolutely no way it would work.

This is a slow process for me. The two vanity's I am working on are in a vacation house three hours away (and an hour from the nearest hardware store). I bought a replacement washer at a big harware store tonight that isn't perfect, but will probably work. My luck, the cheapest drain they had was $16, but it had the correct tapered washer. I'm going to try just replacing the washer before I go for the $16 (x2). Note: I would take the whole faucet/drain back, but my wife .... doesn't want to change... no matter how much silicone it takes me to seal the leak.

Steve
 

Last edited by DIY-Steve; 02-26-07 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 02-27-07, 06:54 PM
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She doesn't trust your work, eh?

Gobbing gook on the OUTSIDE of plumbing is not really the way to go. The correct rubber gasket is. I still don't get why you can't just get a cheap plastric pop-up/strainer kit for a lav sink and use the washer out of it. These are special washers that...well, we discussed all that.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 06:11 AM
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My wife just likes the style of the faucet and won't part with it.

Getting a cheap plastic pop-up up drain all depends on your definition of cheap. I tried at the big hardware retail store and the cheapest was $16. Since I have two vanitys with the exact same problem, that would be $32 to fix a problem that wasn't even mine.

I agree it might be worth looking in more stores... but, it's a matter of finding the time.
 
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Old 02-28-07, 04:16 PM
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Do you have a plumbing shop you can go to? Those rubber washers are designed specifically for this and are like domed on top so that it goes up in the hole, around the pipe.
 
 

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