Vanity pop-up drain seal leak

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by loke, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Recently had two new Delta vanity faucets installed with pop-up drain plugs. In one sink the pop-up plug is not sealing properly - upon filling the sink one can hear water slowly leaking into the drain. Tried just pressing the plug down but didn't help. Thought it might be an installation issue, but the plumber removed and re-installed the pop-up and the failure to seal completely continues. There is no obvious problem with the rubber(?) on the pop-up (no nicks, bumps) , nor does it appear that there are imperfections in the metal drain part in the sink. Is there some quick fix to try to get this thing to seal? Should I be calling Delta and asking for advice or a replacment plug part? Thought I'd ask here first. Of course it is the sink on which we want to USE the plug that there is a problem!
  2. patrick88

    patrick88 Plumber

    Messages:
    836
    Location:
    Webster Ma.
    Change the pop-up with the other sink pop-up. If they are the same. I would try that as a test.
    If the pop-up assembly is not installed right it will cause the pop-up to not move into place properly.
  3. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Thank you for the suggestion. Am going to try a couple of things before removing the pop-ups from both sinks as am a little concerned that I may end up with 2 leaky seals! Have found out that the store where I bought the fixtures will replace the pop-up part if I give them the old one. Will see how it goes.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    It sounds like someone forgot to seal under the drain flange with plumbers putty!
  5. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Last night I took a look at the Delta website and in their FAQs was a question about pop-up leaks. The flange issue was mentioned as a possible cause of the leak. I carefully poured water around the flange and water drained on one side - right under it! The plumber is on his way to do the repair.

    Thanks for your input, Redwood! This forum (and the toilet one) have been most helpful.
  6. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Glad we could help you out. Thanks for posting back with your results.
  7. srdenny

    srdenny Plumbing Contractor

    Messages:
    361
    Location:
    SF Peninsula
    In fairness to your plumber, sometimes the bowl indentation has a holiday (gap) or the drain flange might not be ground properly. Too bad he didn't test it before he left.
  8. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Yea, I like to do that... Gotta keep those free return trips to an absolute minimum.
  9. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    drain

    It would have to be an immense imperfection to not seal with the plumber's putty he should have used.
  10. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    The technician who repaired the leak was not the one who'd done the original install - the company has many employees and tries to send someone right away so it's not necessarily the same person each time. This guy was here a long time and made absolutely sure that there was no leakage after his repair. I agree wholeheartedly that the person doing the original install should have checked for leaks - but it was the end of the day, right before a long weekend and he was wanting to get home. He'd installed 2 sinks and taps and 2 toilets for me. The funny thing is that I did have someone come back the next day to check the leak and he wasn't the one who diagnosed the flange leak - he was going to replace the stopper (for a fee, since I supplied the fixture and not his company). It was only through this forum and my search of the Delta site that the potential flange seal issue arose.

    If I have plumbing issues in the future I'll be checking/inquiring here first!
  11. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Let me guess a large company and the last part of its name was rooter...
  12. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    I have to do this... just use 100% silicone you won't have leaks. Defective parts are on the rise even in the better name brands.
  13. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Glue it in eh?

    Now you've done it!

    Real Plumbers use 100% Plumbers Putty!

    Actually the root problem is that the faucets were bought at Big Box Store and they have that cheesy plastic drain assy that big box makes them use. They come with a thin rubber gasket that allegedly seals under the flange and some poor sap working for a rooter company believed the directions...

    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2008
  14. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    Now I'm hurt. Anyone else?
  15. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,453
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Ya gotta have a thicker skin!
  16. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    I ben sun burt too many times. Just kiddin, I have to stir the pot, haven't been here in a while. Things look boring.
  17. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Not sure what the original installer used on the sink that didn't leak, but the second guy definitely used silicone. Guess it will be a pain to remove should that ever be necessary. I know that I have plumber's putty in my rudimentary plumbing repair stuff, but I wasn't doing the install. (I have, however, replaced a drain assembly in the past, and am fairly sure I didn't use silicone). I just checked the Delta instruction sheet and see that they say to put silicone under the flange - no mention of plumber's putty at all!

    No - the company was not a "rooter" one. It isn't even part of a chain - just a local plumbing, heating and electrical firm (which also sells toilets, sinks and taps, etc., but not the models I wanted) that has generally had a good reputation in my city. In retrospect, perhaps I should have looked for a plumber only. But construction where I live is absolutely booming and it's tough to get tradespeople when you need them. I should have tried somewhat harder.

    I know that on the toilets forum it has been said that the "big box" stores sometimes get substandard quality items from manufacturers who do supply first quality goods to others. Is the suggestion that faucets are among the items? Through whom should one buy fixtures, then? (I'm not sure whether RONA, the place where my faucets were purchased, is considered to be a Canadian big box store, but likely). I know that when I looked for Toto toilets in my city I found that the only two suppliers here not do installs. Another outfit sells Toto and installs them but gets those fixtures from one of the two suppliers with whom I dealt - and charges exceptionally high fixed prices to do the installs.

    Just glad I'm about done with renos for a bit...

    Had a kitchen reno done about 3 years ago and did have a "real plumber" do the work. The cabinet installer commented that the guy did things in an old-fashioned manner (maybe a good thing). But the guy was obviously not hurting for money - didn't even send me a bill for about 18 months - even though I phoned several times as I wanted to make payment and only had the estimate in hand.
  18. construct30

    construct30 New Member

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    NorthWest PA
    A drain installed with silicone comes out and cleans up easy. The cheap drains the box stores sell are almost impossible to install with anything other than silicone. Plumber's putty is too hard. It takes just the right amount to seal the drain and yet let it seat. The silicone can be put on thick enough to fill any holidays and yet seat easily, too much plumber's putty and you break the cheap plastic drain, this is why the Delta instructions say to use silicone. The old style oil based plumber's putty was good stuff, soft and never got hard, the new stuff with the "latex synthetic oil" is mostly junk and many brands will wash out with water. They changed it so it wouldn't damage plastic, fiberglass, solid surface tops and marble and to meet EPA regs. If you put on the perfect amount and always use high quality brass drains and can find just the right brand of plumber's putty then go for it. I use silicone and it works without all the drama and yes it can be removed easily. It would seem these young professioal plumbers in this case would have been better off using silicone and the one did and it worked. I think this is just a case of old stick in the muds not wanting to keep up with the changing times, I quit tilting at wind mills a long time ago, the days of high quality materials are over, the junk is here to stay, if you can't beat them join them, I have very few call backs and use a lot of smock man's junk. Check out the thread "Think I Screwed up", a guy almost messed up his expensive granite counter using plumber's putty. Just always use silicone and throw away the putty. Just my opinion, with it and a buck fifty you can buy a coffee in some places.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2008
  19. loke

    loke New Member

    Messages:
    40
    Location:
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Checked my plumbing toolbox and see that it's probably time to toss the putty anyway. Was a 1lb quantity in a thick plastic bag and is feeling pretty firm (though the only instructions on the package are to knead it before use).

    Glad to hear that the silicone installation shouldn't be an issue if the part needs to be removed. I am hoping it won't need that for a long time anyway. The old sink was an enamelled metal one and was rusting out around the flange but the new sink is porcelain so rusting of the sink won't be causing a problem!

    My faucet isn't a "cheapie" and the flange and stem are metal, not plastic. The actual flange is brushed nickel and the large attachment nut is brass coloured metal, if not actual brass. The metal stem does go into plastic piping.

    Thanks for all the input. And yes, I did read the post about the putty and granite. Some folks spend time playing games on computers - I surf plumbing and toilet forums (more interesting and maybe I learn a few things!).
  20. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,304
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Who says?

    A drain installed with silicone comes out and cleans up easy

    Any one who makes that statement has never had to use a hammer to break a silicone seal. And as far as cleaning one up, it is cheaper and faster to toss it and use a new one.
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