re: bathroom sink leak on new installation -picture included-

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by gramps, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. gramps

    gramps New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario
    Hello there,
    I am have a leak on a new bathroom sink I have just installed at my relatives' place.
    It occurs just below the slip/jamb nut, but above the pivot rod assembly.

    In the picture, the threads appear white (because there is teflon tape on them. I forgot to teflon tape the entire thread, as there is no tape under the slip/jamb nut or above it). You can see the water droplet in the red square box where the leak is occuring.

    I used the foam gasket that came with the fixtures. I wonder if that could be the culprit.

    The question is, what is the best course of action? Tighten the slip nut? or disassemble all drain components and retighten/retape / apply plumber's puddy in place of the foam gasket that is under the flange.
    other action??

    -gramps

    Attached Files:

  2. SacCity

    SacCity In the Trades

    Messages:
    189
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Take it apart and start over,
    For myself I always use the yellow gas tape. It may not help but can not hurt and if I have to go back to fix a leak then I've lost a day of work...
    Michael
  3. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,041
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The water sometimes follows the threads.
    I use either pipe dope or putty on the threads where the large rubber washer is supposed to seal. That prevents the water from following the threads past the large foam washer.
  4. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    If you just wrapped tape after the fact...well just don't do that. But as others explained, and you can see in your pic, water will literally travel down along the threads and appear. The rubber gasket cannot bite into the threads deep enough. So we pack the threads with putty ( some use silicone) then slide up the mack washer and the nut.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Tape is not likely to do ANYTHING to keep that joint from leaking. Apply joint compound or putty between the red washer and the rubber gasket and then tighten the nut tight.
  6. gramps

    gramps New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario
    I guess i'll have to disassemble and reapply the plumbers putty.

    should I replace the foam pad under the flange with putty?

    -g
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,002
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I wouldn't trust plumber's putty. Keep the foam in place and use thread compound. What I do is after hand tightening is wrap a loop of string around it and pull as if I was to strangle it, to press it tighter to the pipe. Tighten some more and repeat.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
  8. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    15,041
    Location:
    Bothell, Washington
    The plumbers have been using plumbers putty successfully for years.
    I sometimes use the foam washer that is supplied for the flange,
    Most of the time, like 95% I use putty, that is unless the basin is marble or stone.
  9. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,002
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I guess that's why it's called Plumber's putty. Natural stone aside, I do use it on the topside under the fixtures but not as a thread seal, but then I'm not a plumber.
  10. Basement_Lurker

    Basement_Lurker One who lurks

    Messages:
    668
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Ugh, I hate those 3-piece tailpiece units...they can be a bit aggravating at times. Heavily pipe doping the threads above the friction washer will certainly seal this up, but so will applying tape to just the right spot. I suspect that part of the problem is that you are not tightening the nut tight enough. If all else fails, buy yourself a real 1-piece unit and be done with it!
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    The lav drain is a "special case". It is not pipe thread, so pipe dope or tape is not the best solution. And putty would NOT be used if we were trying to make the threads do the seal. But in this case, the threads are only used to send the nut up which clamps the gasket against the bottom of the sink. THAT seal works fine, but the mack gasket is usually stiff enough that it does not "bite" into the threads, and a droplet of water will wind its way down around the threads and out the bottom. Using your thumb to fill up the threads in effect creates a uniform smooth surface, and the gasket DOES seal up against that.

    If there were any pressure at all, this would not work. But for THIS application, putty in the threads is an age-old procedure. Older than me, as far as I know!
  12. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,680
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The foam or putty UNDER the sink flange has NOTHING to do with the leak under the sink.
  13. gramps

    gramps New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario
    yes. a totally seperate question.

    I ended up puttying it up as instructed. I guess I'll find out at the next family gathering how well my installation performs.

    I didn't like this drain configuration at all. which of the most common one piece units would you guys recommend for the future?
    thanks for the help
    -g
  14. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego


    We have been installing those for years...probably 50+ years in the case of Redwood, Wheelchair, and hj. WHEN they make a better design, we'll let you know!
  15. gramps

    gramps New Member

    Messages:
    34
    Location:
    Ontario
    Sorry, that's not what i meant.
    If someone today asks you to replace your drain because the chrome is all scratched off some part below is rusted through or leaky beyond repair, what brand and model# replacement do you use...today. is that brand model# easy to install?
    (when I said future, I meant if it happens in my future what do I choose)

    -g
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