Kitchen sink drain leaks repeatedly

Old 11-24-20, 12:41 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: US
Posts: 41
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Kitchen sink drain leaks repeatedly

Our stainless steel sink's drain basket has repeatedly developed a leak in recent years and has been reinstalled with plumbers putty several times, only to start dripping months later. I've tried silicone caulk and this last time used some Permatex Gasket Maker with no better success. Along the way, a new basket was installed thinking some hidden damage might be affecting the old one although there were no visible defects in either the basket or the opening. It seems the hole is almost too large for the basket but I don't find any larger sizes. When installed, the basket recesses into the hole <3/32" with about the same clearance between the rim of the well at the perimeter.

Whether I used putty or caulk there is a tendency for the basket to 'swim' in the opening as I tighten it, but I carefully center it and leave it set for a day or more before using. Maybe I'm tightening it too tight because it seems most of the putty exudes back out, leaving only a thick film of it when I remove it next time.

One cause I suspect is that my wife's grip is weakening with age as I hear pans dropping into the sink at times. The flexion of the SS with these impacts perhaps leads to a breakdown of the seal over time.
Old 11-24-20, 02:33 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 28,115
Received 2,256 Upvotes on 2,009 Posts
I never use caulk. Plumbers putty has been reliable. One thing that is a must is the cardboard washer on the bottom. I also smear grease on the bottom, nut side of the cardboard washer to reduce the friction making the nut easier to turn. Make sure you ONLY grease the bottom side of the cardboard washer and do not get any grease on the rubber washer. You want the rubber washer to sort of stick in place. Then it's all about the right tools and/or a good helper. One person above preventing the basket from turning and another down below tightening the nut.

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title: