How To Fix Bathroom Sink Drain Leaks Underneath Gasket, Threads [SOLVED]


– Hey everybody, Jeff here. And I know why you’re here today. You are here because you have a leak under your bathroom sink drain. And who knows? Maybe it’s dripping down the threads here, and so you found us, and I’m glad you came by today because we’re gonna help you solve that. So if you’re looking at the
picture on the screen here, you can see that there’s
an actual failure here, and you can see a little bit
of drop of the water coming out of the bottom of the basin
there where it meets the gasket, and maybe that’s similar
to the problem you have. Okay so if this is your
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icon down below, alright. So let’s take a look at the drain. This is what most drains
typically look like. And I’m gonna show you the three possible failure modes of why you’re getting a leak after you just did a textbook install. You follow the manufacturer’s instructions completely to the T, but yet it’s still leaking, why is that? So let’s examine what
happens and so we wanna take a little bit closer
look over this way here. The drainpipe kind of looks like this, and it comes up from underneath the basin. And then this is the flange that goes up on top of the basin. So when you splash in water, everything goes down in here. Now the thing is is the bottom part will screw into this guy, and a common mistake people make when they install this is they don’t screw it
all the way in tight. ‘Cause it’s somewhat hard to do if you’re using the putty, or if you’re using silicone, it’s a little hard to get a grip on it, so you really wanna
push down with your hand while reaching from underneath
until you tighten it. So what happens if you don’t
tighten it all the way? Well, I wanna just kinda
exaggerate it a little. Let’s say we only tighten it up this far, and if we come in close here, we can see, see there’s that opening there. And now because we didn’t tighten it all the way down, right, so water can get in there. See how the water can get right in that little slot there? See if I didn’t tighten it all the way up? And as you tighten it, you can see it gets narrower and narrower there, so water is not going to get in there. But if I left it loose, it didn’t go all way up, water is gonna get in, and it will coming run down to these threads right here. And it should be stopped by those gasket you would think on the
bottom of the basin, but sometimes these gaskets
don’t do the most perfect job. If you can see, there’s
not much of a ledge on this particular gasket here, right? So the water can still
get through these threads, and some people make the mistake of just forcing this gasket up the threads when you should be
screwing it up the threads. It’s threaded itself. And so what I always like to do is screw this gasket all the way down first before we install it, and then we’ll put some tape here. So the main reason why you’re getting water coming in is like I said, if you don’t tighten that, then the water comes down the threads. Another way is as you know, these three portholes here are for the air vent on the sink. So you know how all of our sinks have these air vent holes up near the top of the sink down here. And so if the water ever overflows, it comes down and comes in
through these portholes, but it can still splash and
overflow onto this a little bit. So you don’t always get a perfect seal with these threads here, and especially when you’re
talking about metal pipes. Screwing in with these metal, if you had a metal wingnut here, then this basin wouldn’t
make the best seal either, so water can leak down
through that way as well. And then the third way
that you could get a leak from this whole drain assembly is when you push this down on top of the sink, if you didn’t seal it well, whether you did with a silicone or the plumber’s putty, you’ll get water seeping down. So those are your three main methods of how you would possibly get a leak. So how we do stop that
from happening then? Well, you could do everything perfectly, but the part could be made
wrong by the manufacturer. So what you have to do
then is these threads have all gotta be sealed. And if you look here at my, these are my four possible solutions in the pecking order
that you should use them. So the first one would be the Teflon tape, then it would be the plumber’s putty, and then it would be the pipe dope which they also call pipe thread sealant, and silicone would be your last. And the reason why silicone
is your last is that it’s more or less permanent
but you can remove it. Some plumbers just complain, oh, it’s gonna be too
hard to get it all off of. So really when you’re looking
at these threads here, the only thing you need
to be concerned about is sealing up the space between
these threads here, okay. So all you have to do is
get them somewhat level so they’re smooth across the ridges. So that means you don’t have to goop on all sorts of stuff all over the place because all you need to worry about is getting these threads here sealed up. So we’re gonna do that here with the tape. Alright so we’re going to show you this failure mode in action now, and I’ve exaggerated it for you so that you’ll see a lot
of water coming down. See how it’s kinda dripping right there? So we’re gonna go ahead
and take a look at this, and fix that and see what we can do. So what we’re gonna do first, you always wanna make sure your water is shutoff, that kind of stuff. And we put a pan under the P trap here ’cause there’s water that’s
always here in the P trap. So we just unscrew the P trap, we can dump it there, we pull this off of here as well ’cause everything is coming off of here. Okay then this is one of
the newer ones that I like. It’s a plastic one that we just, it’s got a snap-in pop-assembly so that can just get pulled out of the way. I love those. Now we’re gonna unscrew this. You turn it up top, and unscrew it from the drain flange. Now we have our drain out. Okay so now we come up top and you can see we pulled it up. Now remember this was
silicone again, right? So all the plumbers that claim that silicone is permanent and you’ll never get it
off and blah blah blah, well, I just pulled it off right there. So I’m just gonna get a little tool and try to gently scrape off some of the remaining chunks of the
silicone that are here so that when we replace this, it’ll go right back in there and make a good seal for us. Make sure that the drain is in the middle. Okay so now I’m gonna show
you what it looks like, what’s really happening when that gasket comes up against the bottom of the basin. So, if you look, see
here’s my fingers here, and this gasket is supposed to just rest up against the bottom of that drain hole and the basin there. And you can see it’s very narrow so you have to be pretty accurate about where you get it to make it fill in those voids there, and then it sort of compresses a little bit up against it. But what happens, like
I could see right here, if you look right here
where my finger is pointing, you can see there’s like, it’s not quite perfect here, there’s like a manufacturing issue here. It’s not perfectly round
and smooth right here. There’s like a little, I don’t know, a little carve-out or
something on the porcelain. So, we’re probably gonna have to add some kind of sealant in the bottom here, most likely we’ll add plumber’s putty. That’s what most of
the plumbers like to do is they’ll add plumber’s
putty under that joint. So that’s why you get the leak between the gasket and the bottom of the basin is because it’s not sealed good enough around there. And when you look at these things, and I’ll bring it back up top and we’ll take a look at it here. So here’s the gasket, so when you’re looking at it, you can see there’s a ring on it, that’s how it got
compressed into that drain. So, if we’re gonna do this, we’re gonna put a bead of plumber’s putty right around it. Now I’m not a fan of adding
anything to these drains that are not called up
by the manufacturer, but when you have problems like this or even a manufacturing
problem with the drain, you have to deal with it onsite, and so plumber’s putty is okay. Some people will put pipe dope, some people will put the silicone as well. The silicone will be more permanent, and then if you have to have, put another drain in later, you could have problems
on the bottom side. That’s why even though I’m
not a fan of plumber’s putty, because plumber’s putty
dries and it cracks. Plumbers love it. The old school plumbers are refusing to use anything other than plumber’s putty, but the fact of the matter is is it dries and it cracks and it molds. And I know a lot of other
plumbers on the forums will say, “Yeah, we love guys that install
it with a plumber’s putty “’cause it brings us more business “coming to fix the leaks later.” Alright, so, let’s go ahead
and review the materials in the pecking order why
we choose these materials. Okay here’s just a quick note for you on the plumber’s putty. Make sure you always get stain-free. See how it says it right
there on the label? And that’s because if you try to put regular plumber’s putty on a basin that’s made out of either granite, marble, quart, sandstone, Corian, or cultured marble, that sort of stuff, it stains that material. So always make sure you’re going with stain-free putty. And then also if you look here real close, you can see it says on there, “Safe,” right there, right there, see, “Safe for most plastics. “Do not use on ABS.” So here in Florida we use white PVC pipes, so it should be okay on there. But in other states where if you have black pipes, black plastic pipes, you can not use plumber’s
putty on those pipes. And likewise if the tailpipe of your drain is made out of that black
PVC plastic or ABS plastic, yeah, I would not recommend putting plumber’s putty on there even though a lot of people say, “Well, I just put plumber’s putty on there “to seal up the threads.” Now that should be your last resort when you have two other perfectly decent products to use, like the white Teflon tape, and also you have the other stuff there too, the pipe dope. So let’s take a look at the pipe dope. So here’s your bottle of sealant here, and you can see right at
the bottom of the label, it says “For Plastic & Metal Pipe.” The problem is is when
you look in the fine print which is way back here in the back, you’ll see it says on there, “Not recommended for “ABS “and CPVC.” Now CPVC is that real thin-walled pipe. But this too, you can’t use this on any of that black plastic
pipes that you have under your sinks in the states
that don’t use PVC piping. So you gotta always read the
label of what you’re buying and see hey, can I use this on the material that
I’m going to use it on, because this right now is saying, well, you probably can’t. So this would be probably not high on
my list either to try, but I’ll use this as a backup in case the Teflon tape doesn’t work. Now a Teflon tape will
work with everything. So you can use it on metal, you can use it on plastic. This pipe dope here is really meant for the most part to be used for metal. Most plastic threaded pipes
shouldn’t have an issue although once in a while we do find something that have an issue. But this stuff is really meant to be used on metal pipe because metal threads to metal nuts usually don’t have a very good seal, so this is ideal for
that type of material. So just a little tip here, when you go to buy your
silicone in the stores, make sure you’re getting 100% silicone, and make sure that it’s clear. Sometimes they mix in
the white with the clear in the bins there in the stores, so you don’t wanna grab the wrong one. And I always grab the one that says 30-minute water-ready, because when I go to
seal that flange down, that drain flange into the sink, I always wanna make sure that I don’t have to wait long before I can do my water test. And you always wanna make sure you’re buying the right kind of silicone. So this one here says, “Kitchen, Bath, Fixtures, Countertops.” This is the type of silicone you need to be buying. Don’t buy anything else. Okay and while we’re on the subject of using all these different types of solutions here to solving our leaks, if you have found a great
solution for your project, hey let us know down in
the Comments alright, be sure to write down below there, because your experience
can help others as well. We just showed you a couple
of possible fixes here, but maybe you have something different. And also if you have any questions, hey post them down here in the Comments, and we’ll get them answered for you. Okay so what we’re gonna do
here on this tailpipe then before we connect it up to the flange here is we’re gonna put some Teflon tape here. So I have backed off the
nut and I backed off, I’ve screwed back the gasket here all the way to the back
end of the tailpipe, so that we can put some thread right here, some Teflon tape right here, and we’re gonna put some Teflon tape right here, okay. Now other people choose to put the pipe dope which is fine, some people put silicone which is fine, some people will also
put the plumber’s putty, and remember like I mentioned before, you gotta be careful
about whether you can put the plumber’s putty onto
this type of plastic. And so to me, the tape
is always the cleanest, and it’s the first thing I try. Then if that fails, then you go to some of your other methods here. Okay so I’m just now starting
the Teflon tape here, and I just kinda pushed it
in a little to make it grab, and then I always go
around counterclockwise, because remember if you’re
gonna be tightening, you wanna make sure you’re
tightening down on the tape, and not tightening against
the tape and making it loosen. So I do about two or three wraps around. So this is the third wrap
around and that’s it. That’s all we need to do. Okay so now I’m starting another round of Teflon tape
here right up at the top ’cause this is where the flange is gonna screw into this up above in the sink. So I just wanna make sure that these threads are
nice and tight as well. Okay so now you can see we
have completed the wrapping. So we have Teflon tape
here, the top is sealed, and this is sealed right here at the joint where it meets the gasket. So now there shouldn’t really be any water that makes it pass that. If it does, then
something is really wrong. That means its tolerances
are really bad somewhere. But no water should make
it through this point. Alright so I’ve got my
stain-free plumber’s putty. It’s the only type I ever use. Roll it up into a ball, like that, just make sure it’s nice and, moist and tender there, ready to go, and then I just roll it up into a string of spaghetti so to speak. It’s like I’m making pasta here. And then I’m gonna wrap it around the top of my gasket where I know it’s gonna meet to the underside of the basin. And then I’ll just cut off the excess, throw it back into the tub. So now by the time I screw this thing into the bottom of the
drain under the basin, there’s gonna be enough plumber’s putty here to help seal this last joint right here
where the gasket meets the bottom of the basin. Now that leak that you saw down there, you know what that was caused by? Because the buyers of this condo that we’re remodeling here, they sent in their home inspector, and the home inspector, and I hate it when these guys do it, they get under the sink, and they put their hands on the P trap, and they go, and they wiggle it, but what does he do? He breaks the seal, guy’s an idiot. You’re not supposed to ever touch the P trap under the sink. You don’t go yanking on it like that. So he ruined the seal. Another mistake that people
do and I wanna show you is when they’re tightening this. The manufacturers usually
tell you hand tighten only. So unless they specify to use a wrench, don’t ever stick your Channellocks
on here or any wrench. Only tighten it by hand
til it’s hand tightened. ‘Cause if you tighten it too tight, you’re gonna deform this gasket, and it won’t sit snug against the bottom of that basin hole down there. So, you’ll have a leak then. So that’s why if you over-tighten, you’ll have a leak. That’s why you’ll generally see that it’ll say on there hand tighten only. So let’s go ahead and prepare the flange. Okay now this manufacturer
says right there, “Apply silicone sealant
under the drain flange, “and then place the drain
flange into the drain hole.” So you could see here, these guys specifically
tell you to use silicone, they do not say to use plumber’s pipe. So in this case I prefer silicone anyway because the silicone seals
better than plumber’s putty. Silicone is not gonna dry and crack on you like the plumber’s putty does, and it will not get moldy like the plumber’s putty does. So. Okay so I’m gonna put a generous serving of this silicone all the way
around this drain flange here. I’m doing it nice and slow
just to show you here. We’re gonna go real slow here and just lots of it on there ’cause we can wipe off all the excess once we’re done. And by the way this stuff is really messy, so you probably wanna wear gloves. But also I normally, when I do these, I’m just gonna put the one
that I just had back on there, but normally you see
the blue film on there? I will leave that blue film on there until I’ve gotten it down and tightened, and you try to do it fairly quickly, you don’t wanna wait too long because this starts to set up. But as soon as I get the
stuff all smoothed around, all the silicone smoothed around the edge, I will then peel this blue film up, and then if you have to do another little touch-up, you do that, but that keeps it from getting the silicone all over this thing. So this is what it sort of looks like. This is how everything is gonna made-up. So you can see I got silicone there, Teflon tape there, plumber’s putty there, okay. That’s all you should ever need. So I just wanna reiterate that up top if you will look down
here on the sink drain, the only two sealants you should ever use are silicone or plumber’s putty up top, that’s it, nothing else. Down below the sealants that
you should be looking at are Teflon tape first,
plumber’s putty second, and if you need to get
more drastic than that, you can use the pipe dope or silicone. But remember don’t start coating
all underneath the silicone ’cause it’ll make it
harder for the next guy to come and clean all that off. They’ll have to charge the entire drain and everything. So let’s get these connected up. So I just wanna show you
when I screw these together, I’m gonna screw the tailpipe
in from down below like this, and you just gotta remember
that when you’re screwing it that this opening here
for the pop-up assembly has to be facing the
back wall just like that, not at an angle, but like
perpendicular to the back wall. So just keep that in mind as you’re screwing everything in together. So let’s go ahead and do that. So I’m pushing down on the drain, and match it into the silicone, and then from underneath, I’m screwing in the tailpipe. And that’s the important part. Remember like I said, you gotta make sure it gets in nice and tight to the flange, so you have to really, nice and tight. And then once that’s done, then you can adjust the tailpipe so that the back part of it is facing where it’s supposed to be, okay. So now we’re settled in all the silicone, we’re gonna wipe the silicone around here, and we can get a cloth,
a white cloth later, and make sure that it’s all taken care of. Now that that’s done, let’s go underneath. Okay so, now that we’re underneath, we’re gonna go ahead and tighten up, and you can see my plumber’s putty there, so it should be oozing out a little bit as it fills in the voids, and you’re supposed to hand tighten only according to the directions here on this particular one. And make sure that you always have to keep adjusting, make sure this pop-up
assembly is facing the back. Okay so there’s the top part
of the drain put back in. It’s siliconed in. And now we’re gonna go under
the sink and take a look, and there you can see is the tailpipe, and it’s been put into place, and it’s tightened down. We tightened this all the way down, hand tightened right here. And you can see a little bit of the excess plumber’s putty there. So what you wanna make sure now is you don’t touch it, you don’t do anything to it, you wait an hour even
though the silicone says 30 minutes on there, right? It says 30-minute water-ready right there. I like to give it an hour. So we’re gonna go to lunch and come back, and then when I come back, we should be able to test it out and it should be fine. Well here we are, it’s
been a little over an hour. So we’re gonna put
everything back together now, and we already started with the first nut. The nut goes on first and then remember that when you put the gasket on here, the little washer gasket, you always wanna make sure that the flat end of it is up, see like that? So that this can come down on it and that, see how it angles downward? That fits down inside this part here. So we’re just gonna put that up in there and screw it in together. Okay so you can see now that’s all put back together here. And what I do before every water test is I always put a piece
of paper towel down here just to make sure you wanna
see if any drops come down, that’s the best way to see. And then you’ll wanna get
around and wipe around, make sure everything here is dry ’cause you wanna start
in a completely dry state ’cause you don’t wanna find
a water drop and go hey, was that there before or what? So you don’t wanna have
any question about it. Everything’s gotta be perfectly dry. So let’s turn on the water. Now that the water is running, let’s see what happens down below. Alright so we’re down below here. And there’s no water coming down. This is good. There’s no water leaking anywhere. Paper towel is nice and clean. But don’t just do a 30-second test and think you’re done. No way folks, you got
a lot more work to do. You don’t let this run, I usually let it run five or 10 minutes because I wanna make sure that there’s no water leaking here at this point, I wanna make sure there’s
no water leaking here, here, or over back in here. Now this is the most common place to have a leak right here at that spot. And sometimes you’ll have to put a little pipe open inside there to keep those two joints together because there’s no gasket in there. It’s one of those, just a butt joint. I don’t really like those but sometimes they’ll leak. So anyway, you wanna let this run for a while. And then we have to do another
test up top here because, when we come up top, you’re gonna see you gotta fill the sink up and let the water run up to this and let it go down this path, ’cause you have to test
that path too for the water. So let’s go ahead and do that now. We’re gonna let it fill up. Alright so here we’ve got the water coming all the way up here, and it’s now starting to go into that other little opening there. It’s our little overflow vent. So the water is now pouring down towards the drain to an alternate path other than the normal route of going down this drain. It’s gonna come out those three holes. Remember, like here’s
a sample of our drain. It’s gonna be coming out those three holes and going into the drain now. So now this is another method that we wanna test here to make sure. Even as you can see down below here, there’s no leaks. So this is holding up nicely. And keep in mind we only did this fix with just a couple of
pieces of Teflon tape and just that little bit of plumber’s putty that you see right there. Now the other test we have to do, keep in mind we’re still
not out of the woods yet, let’s not start high-fiving
each other just yet, because what we do is now that the P trap here
is filled with water, we wanna let it sit like this for a while. It’s gonna sit anyway but I’m just saying you wanna
make sure that overtime it doesn’t start leaching out of here. So, we do probably a couple of dozen of these a year with all of our projects, and what we’ve seen a couple of times is it looks fine right now, after you install it, you go to lunch and come back, and you find out while you’re gone that it seeped out right here. And that’s because the P trap
water sits right in there, and it can over maybe an hour
or so start to leach out, so that’s the part you wanna make sure, ’cause I mean, how many plumbers
have you ever heard of that they do an install and they get called a couple of hours later, hey it’s leaking, what’s going on? Well, that’s what happens so. Alright so now that the
water is pretty much kind of draining as
much as it’s gonna drain out of this overflow here, let’s go ahead and open it up now, and let it all come down in full force, and see how that does below, let’s see if our fix holds up. So we’re going to come down below. You can hear the water rushing through. And again there’s no leaks. Now just ’cause you don’t see a leak, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one, so you always gotta feel around, just all the way rub your fingers everywhere around there. Make sure you don’t feel
any moisture anywhere, at every joint is where I go, all the way down here, all the way over here, and then of course check the old trustee dead canary there. There’s no water drop
that’s on the paper towel. And I wanted to point out
something else to you also. When you’re dealing with all these different parts and stuff like this here, do not mix and match parts from
one drain into another one. I’m a big fan of using
everything that came in the box because it was all manufactured at the same time in the same lot, and the manufacturer stuck
them in there all together. If you start taking parts that were maybe milled on a different day or something, you could have problems, and so that’s why you should just keep it all from within the same box. Don’t take like one gasket off of here and stick it on to another pipe. Don’t take one of these, this flange from another drain and stick it on yours. You’re always running in a risk. The risk will be less if you do all the Teflon tape here like we used here. But so far this is holding up pretty good and we know from experience, this is going to work, there’s just no way it’s gonna fail. Alright so here’s a question. Supposing we did have a leak still here, what would we do then? Well, my next fallback position here would be to try this here. This is the pipe dope. And we would just try
to spread it on thinly the same way we did the Teflon tape up here on the threads is where we would attach this stuff here. And then if that didn’t work, our next step would probably be to try plumber’s putty, and then after that, the silicone, but the silicone, I mean, you would have to have some kind of tolerances that are way off to need to get to that point where you’re using silicone. So you can see less is more here. The drier you can make
your solution, the better. So, the drier solution here was using the Teflon tape. And this case is closed. We finally have our
beautiful bathroom back. So this is the bathroom that we remodeled from the studs all the way up, and we put in a really nice
niche here with the stones here. So you could see we have another video that describes how we did this entire shower area here from soup to nuts, from studs all the way up to the tile. And we even have a
separate video that shows how we did the niche over here, and then how we did the river rock, the accent here going up the tile here, how we did that with river rock. So be sure to check out our other videos covering those topics as well. Well, this is our video, the end of it, and hopefully this fix helped you out. Today we were able to solve three potential failures that you would have on your sink. So if you like this video, once again let me remind you please give us a thumbs up down below. If this video helped you, please let us know in the Comments. We always wanna hear our success with other people as well because after all we do this for you. And don’t forget to subscribe so that you can be aware of any future videos we put out for you, because again we do this all for you. We are advocates for you,
the home-buying public, because we’re sick of
watching builders rip you off. And let me tell you something, we do a lot of projects
throughout the year, and every time we open up a wall, we find something stupid the builder did. So that’s it for this time. And we will see you next week.

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