How to get laundry sink unstuck from counter top?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by mlbruss, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. mlbruss

    mlbruss New Member

    Messages:
    9
    I need to replace a cracked, plastic laundry tub. It's self-rimming and is mounted on a formica-covered counter. The original installation was in 1999, and they used a lot of caulk, which appears to be either elastomeric latex or silicone rubber. It won't budge. Cut with a utility knife around the outside but it would penetrate only a tenth inch before the blade was pinched tight. Put a jack under the sink, but the counter top started rising, even with my helper leaning on it. Clamped the front of the counter to top edge of access door and tried the jack. Back of counter started to rise. Cut sink loose with saber saw where rim transitions to vertical walls of sink, which was easy, but rim is is still stuck to counter. Tried the utility knife and prying from the inside of rim, which didn't work. And tried softening caulk with heat gun, which didn't work. I might remove the rim with several hours of tedious milling with a Dremel tool, which would raise clouds of nasty plastic dust, but then again the tool bit would probably clog a lot with the old caulk. Thought of using a router, but sink is surrounded by a back-splash with only a few inches between back-splash and the rim, so not enough room for a router.

    Unless someone can think of something better, it's time for a new counter top. BTW, the replacement sink is stainless steel, has same dimensions as old sink, uses clamps to hold it down and won't need much caulk.

    Mike
  2. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    Yeah, some monkey probably glued the sink lip down with construction adhesive.

    It's time to get serious. Pick up several of these from the place in your area that sells tools the cheapest, and go to work:

    [​IMG]
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,932
    Location:
    New England
    Maybe some piano wire attached to two wooden dowel handles will slice through it.
  4. mlbruss

    mlbruss New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Well, I tried the chisels plus prying, and the problem is the formica starts to separate from the particle board. Pretty sure the adhesive is white, silicone rubber. Remember the clear version of this is used to build aquariums, including very large ones. The sink rim is adhered to the formica more tightly than the formica is to the particle board (or MDF). Any brute force technique (prying, hammering, etc.) will damage the formica. It'll have to be a cutting or milling technique.

    The wire saw idea might work if I can get the wire under the rim. Like I said, the original installer used lots of adhesive, and they did it consistently all the way around;there are no gaps. I might be able to drill a small hole horizontally through the edge of the rim just above the formica and thread a wire through that.

    Thanks for the replies.

    Mike
  5. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,244
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If it's a simple piece of formica counter top, I would just throw it away and start fresh. No sense losing a day on a $50 countertop.
  6. mlbruss

    mlbruss New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Yep, I'm done. Tried the wire saw technique with no success. Counter top is small, but a little complicated with a back-splash on three sides. It'll cost more than $50 dollars, but won't break the bank either.

    Mike
  7. nestork

    nestork Janitorial Technician

    Messages:
    98
    Location:
    Winnipeg
    If you drive the chisel in between the plastic and the Formica, there won't be any upward force on the Formica to pull it off the particle board.

    Maybe use plumber's putty under the lip of the new stainless sink... ...rather than epoxy.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  8. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,522
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Even plastic laundry trays have four undercounter clamps to hold it to the countertop. Drive a thin "putty" knife between the sink and counter. If will not damage the counter and will loosen the sink. If you do any "cutting" on the counter, the opening will be too large for the new sink to cover it.
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