Sink overflow leaking

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Old 05-22-14, 09:45 AM
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Sink overflow leaking

My husband and I installed a vessel sink in our bathroom and it has water leaking out from where the drain is connected to the sink bowl. It is coming from the overflow drain. We know this because the overflow hole is full of water and when we unscrewed the drain assembly water start flowing out of the overflow hole. I have to admit that I don't understand how the overflow hole and overflow drain won't leak because there are two holes in the overflow drain. What prevents the water from getting past those holes and dripping down into the cabinet? We have an overflow drain in our other bathroom which I also installed, and it doesn't leak. I just thought it was magic. I realize that this is a basic question, but I can't wrap my mind around it. And please don't respond if your comment is going to be that I have no business doing this myself. I have done many plumbing projects on my own without leaks, but for some reason the overflow hole make no sense to me and I can't get it to stop leaking.

Will someone please explain how an overflow drain should properly be installed and why the holes in the drain assembly won't leak? Thanks.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 10:05 AM
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You may need a specific type of drain assembly. The holes should be in the area between the inside bottom of the sink bowl and where it exits into the open cabinet. Basically inside the sink casting.

If they are exposed in the cabinet you'll need something with less distance between the strainer/popup flange and where the rubber gasket snugs up against the bottom of the sink.

Make sure the the strainer/popup flange is fully screwed on if it's adjustable.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 10:09 AM
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Hmmm wait a second...maybe I'm reading wrong.

You do have a drain assembly with the 2 overflow holes in it don't you? Just above the lower threaded area? Should look like this.
Name:  jaclo-sink-drain-j-836.jpg
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Not this.
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Old 05-22-14, 10:38 AM
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Yes, it has the two holes in it. It's a little less complicated because it's an umbrella drain not a pop-up, but the part that's giving us trouble is the same. The holes are within the casing of the sink (it's the standard porcelain vessel from Lowes. It looks like a bowl that sits on the counter. Under the sink the drain connects to a 2 inch long porcelain "tube" that extends down from the hole in the bowl). At the top of the porcelain tube there is a hole where the overflow drain would get the water out (I think). Should the holes on the drain pipe line up with that overflow hole?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 10:58 AM
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They don't have to line up exactly...but they should be in the general area. If you look here Decorative Bathroom/Lavatory Sink Drains for the perfect finishing touch you can see that many are made with the holes higher or lower.

As long as you have clearance from the overflow drain hole to the openings in the drain, it should work.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 11:07 AM
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I'm not sure why it's filling up the overflow drain then. It seems that when water goes down the main drain pipe some is going into the overflow drain hole which then drips into the area outside the drain above the large nut and rubber ring. And then it drips down the outside of the drain. Why is the water going through the overflow hole in the drain and then into the overflow hole in the sink?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 11:31 AM
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I'm sorry to not understand, but what do you mean by "have clearance from the overflow drain hole to the openings in the drain"?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 11:49 AM
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I'm not sure I understand. The rubber gasket at the bottom should prevent any water from coming out of the sink casting, whether it comes from the main drain out one of the drain holes into the longer part of the sink casting, or whether it comes down the sink overflow into the same area.

The only way the overflow could fill up is if it is not draining into the drain pipe and tail piece.

Depending on whats together right now, a simple test is a little water poured into the overflow. If the metal drain isn't installed, it should flow out the lower drain hole in the sink. If it is installed, it should flow out the bottom of the tail piece.

If not installed, and it doesn't flow, you have a bad casting (not the issue from your prior description). If drain is installed, and the overflow fills up, then you have the wrong metal drain assembly for whatever reason. Either that or it's installed wrong. Either way, you'll need to do some looking, checking and measuring to see what the problem is.

These sit on the counter vessel sinks can be problematic. I've seen our Pro's always recommend the better name brands as then you can get the matching drain.

It shouldn't be that big an issue, but you may have to go out of the normal Big Box buying and order from a plumbing supply. You want the holes in the drain to be as close as possible to the overflow drain in the sink.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:01 PM
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What I meant by clearance was...even if the holes in the drain and the sink (overflow drain hole) aren't at exactly the same level, as long as there is space around the metal drain tube, the water will find its way to the holes and go out the metal drain.

Unless! Hmmmm this could be an issue!

If the holes in the metal drain are ABOVE the overflow drain hole...then when water starts going down the overflow from a full sink...the metal drain tube above the rubber gasket could fill up and cause an air pocket around the holes below the stopper. Then the overflow would fill up all the way to the inlet hole and not drain down the tailpiece.

I may be on to something here!

With the metal drain installed and a bucket under the tailpiece, open the stopper in the sink and use something to put water in the overflow. May have to put a cup or 2 in. If it starts running into the bucket, close the stopper and do it again.

I'd try to draw a pic of what I mean...but I'm not very good at that.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:08 PM
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Hmmm....I think my last possibility is unlikely. But wouldn't hurt to test
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:10 PM
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This is what I was talking about when I said holes too high. Possible, but unlikely I think.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:44 PM
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Thank you for the picture. Pictures always help. The hole in the drain pipe and the overflow hole line up just right, but water is still getting in the overflow drain and then leaking out past the rubber gasket and over the threads. You said a couple of posts ago that the rubber gasket should "prevent any water from coming out of the sink casting, whether it comes from the main drain out one of the drain holes into the longer part of the sink casting." What is the sink casting? Sorry, you probably feel like you're dealing with a small child, but this has me so frustrated that I don't know what to do.

I guess what most confuses me is why the water going down the drain doesn't leak out the holes in the drain. We haven't filled the sink up enough for water to go down the overflow drain so we think the water is somehow getting "scooped" up by the hole and gathering at the bottom of the overflow drain. Then it starts to drip down a while after the water has been on or even after the water is turned off. It doesn't leak right away. It takes a minute or two and then it will slowly drip for an extended period of time even after the water is turned off.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 12:50 PM
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My husband seems to think that the water is sneaking past the hole in the drain pipe and is pooling between the drain pipe and the side of what I think you were calling the sink casting (the part where the drain on the sink extends down). Then eventually it seeps through the rubber gasket. Should the drain pipe be tight against the side of the sink casting?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 01:08 PM
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If it's dripping, then the rubber gasket is not sealing. It should never leak, ever.

And yes...by sink casting I mean anything thats purely part of the sink, including that extended part.

That extended part will probably always have some water in it, pretty hard to prevent a little going in past the holes in the metal drain when the stopper is up and water is running.

As to the amount of clearance between the metal drain and the casting, I'm sure it varies, but prob 1/8" or so all around.

I'm still not getting where you said " It is coming from the overflow drain. We know this because the overflow hole is full of water and when we unscrewed the drain assembly water start flowing out of the overflow hole." But let's move past that.

The thing you need to address is the dripping. Either the nut isn't tight enough, the gasket is damaged, or the bottom mating surface of the sink is messed up somehow.

Do you know the brand/model of the drain assembly? The sink model probably won't help unless it is a name brand.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 01:16 PM
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The drain assembly is made by Aquasource. We bought both the sink and the drain assembly at Lowe's and the salesperson said these would work together. We didn't have a ton to choose from because we wanted chrome and we needed the extended drain to work with the vessel.

We didn't use the white tape around the threads where the rubber gasket and large nut are. Should we have done that? I will try to unscrew it all the way and retighten. Is it possible to tighten it too tight or should I give it everything I've got?

And to check something - what you're saying is that it's normal for some water to sneak past the overflow holes in the drain assembly and gather between the drain pipe and the sink casting, but the rubber gasket should prevent that water from leaking out, right?
 
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Old 05-22-14, 02:17 PM
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I just installed 7 sinks during remodels at a hotel. While they were not vessel sinks, I did have 2 that leaked from the bottom gasket on the thread side. Seems that even though the gasket was sealing, it was sneaking past the threads on the drain assembly that guide the large tighting nut onto the seal. I added some thread sealant to the main drain body just under the lower gasket and it stopped the leak. Very frustrating indeed.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 02:38 PM
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Use teflon paste on the threads and rubber gasket...

But the issue you have sounds like incorrect use of plumbers putty or silicone on the top flange. or the flange does not have the correct curvature for the vessel sink...
 
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Old 05-22-14, 02:39 PM
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Yes...the water always in the bottom would be normal.

Good call by czizzi!

Can you see (using a mirror if necessary) where exactly the water is coming from.


I guess what got my mind off on the wrong track was the title and some of the statements. I though the overflow was somehow filling up in normal operation and leaking.

If the drain works with the stopper up, and the overflow does what it's supposed to, then its all about sealing the metal pipe to the sink.
 
 

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