Rust under sink faucet handles

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by bronsonb, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. bronsonb

    bronsonb New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Smyrna, GA
    All-
    I'm dealing with a strange situation here. I have a pedestal sink in the master bath. The faucets were installed about 5 years ago. We've had a problem with rust forming under the outer edge of the cold water handle. Now it's started forming around the hot water handle as well.

    I have no idea what is causing this. There is no leak evident (but the pipes are all under the sink anyway, right?). Could the cartridge in the handle be leaking and sending a small amount of water up to the handle, which then gathers under the handle and forms rust?

    You'll notice there's no such rust under the spigot, which is where I might expect moisture to gather. The bath is well vented with both a fan and a window, not to mention an HVAC vent.

    I am open to any ideas. Thanks for your help.

    Attached Files:

  2. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Looks like the manufacturer used steel someplace they shouldn't have...
    Or, they weren't sealed well enough at the base...
    What brand are those faucets?
  3. bronsonb

    bronsonb New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Smyrna, GA
    Hi Redwood! Thanks for the input. I cannot recall the brand but will have a search of the files completed to see what info is available from this work. I believe all of the warranty info was saved. I think it's a Lowe's store brand.

    I was wondering if we should have put plumbers putty under the handles, but I recall the directions said not to do that.

    Might just be time for a "faucet remodel"!
  4. seaofnames

    seaofnames DIY Senior Member

    Messages:
    162
    Location:
    Mission, BC
    Most putty is NOT safe for porcelin type materials, as they stain them. I'm glad you havent just gone ahead and done that!. The moisture/rust could also be from condensation as well as like Redwood said, there is some steel somewhere..a nut or just a crappy alloy.

    I'd at least take the handles off and see exactly what it is. If it is a nut, it has probably contaminated the rest of the stainless/chrome so the whole handle would have to be replaced. The finish on that faucet doesnt look very good either. If you have a lifetime warranty on the finish, I'd go after it.

    There are cleaners available to clean the rust stains off the sink before you put a new faucet back on.

    You may want to pressure test your connections once you install the new faucet as well, just to make sure there are no leaks at all.
  5. bronsonb

    bronsonb New Member

    Messages:
    19
    Location:
    Smyrna, GA
    No putty installed yet. Thanks for the tip. We're trying to locate the owners manual but not having luck yet.
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,809
    Location:
    New England
    Can't tell for sure from the pictures, but if it is more pinkish than red, it could be a bacteria and not rust.
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