Putty (Hardenable) For Sink Drain Leak ?

Hello,
Have a "leak" in the plumbing underneath our bathroom sink when water in the basin is running. It's the vertical length betgween the sink's bottom, and the "U" trap.
Obviously very low pressure, as it is a drain.
Realize the only good way to fix it is to have a Plumber come in and replace the pipe and fittings there, but I remember from many years ago they used to sell a hardenable putty of some kind specifically for problems like this. Also seem to remember that there was some kind of tape that you used in conjunction with it.
Is there such a product, that works, still being sold ? "Reasonably" effective ? Avail. at HD or Lowe's ?
Thanks, Bob
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Bob:
The hardenable putty you're probably thinking of is a repair epoxy. You can buy it by the stick or roll. It comes with an inner core and an outer jacket, and when the two parts are mixed together, such as when you knead it in your fingers, it gets sticky, and then it cures to form a very hard waterproof repair patch.
The tape you're probably thinking of is electrical tape. People have repaired pinhole leaks in pipes by wrapping the pipe with electrical tape. As you say, this is a low pressure situation, so it doesn't take much to stop a leak.
However, if the trap under the sink is plastic, then fixing the leak won't involve anything more than replacing the "tail piece" which is the vertical part between the sink and the trap, and might only require tighting the trap adapter nut at the top of the trap. So, try tightening the connections first.
If that doesn't do any good, then the correct way of fixing this (depending on where it's leaking from) is usually to replace the tail piece. In my experience, Waltec tail pieces are the easiest to install if you use some silicone caulk as a lubricant for getting them in and fitting together.
However, if this is a chrome plated brass drain, then you might as well bite the bullet and have it all replaced. You see, that brass was paper thin to begin with, and it's only the outside of the drain that's chrome plated. The inside of the drain is bare brass, and brass is made of copper and zinc, and zinc is a highly reactive metal. The chlorine in city tap water gradually leeches the zinc out of the brass, and the "metal" that's left is a reddish brown colour and very weak. If you ever have the head of a bibb screw crumble under the force of a screw driver when you're wanting to replace a rubber washer on a faucet, you've come face-to-face with dezincified brass. So, if you patch one leak, it won't be long before it starts leaking somewhere else.
Try the epoxy if you want cuz it won't cost much to try, and it might work. But if this is chrome plated brass under your sink, the sooner you replace it all with plastic, the better off you'll be.
You may have to cut a hole in the plaster or drywall under your sink to connect to the drain pipe in the wall. In my building, they used a 1 1/4 inch threaded elbow in the wall, and soldered a threaded collar onto the outside of the chrome plated trap arm. So, the threaded collar on the trap arm screws into the threaded elbow on the 1 1/4 inch copper drain pipe inside the wall. The problem is that the piece of brass tubing sticking out of that threaded collar is way too weak to twist the threaded collar out of the elbow. So, it often becomes necessary to cut a fairly big hole in the wall under the sink so that you can unsolder the threaded elbow in the wall, put it in a vice, take the threaded collar out of it with a pipe wrench, clean up the threads with a rented 1 1/4 inch NPT tap, and then solder that threaded elbow back onto the 1 1/4 inch copper drain pipe. So, it's a big job, but if that's a chrome plated brass p-trap and drain piping, it's a problem that's only gonna get worse and is going to eventually need to be replaced anyhow.
--
nestork

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I used to use something called "liquid rubber" for leaking drain joints. Don't see it around now, probably because silicone RTV is better. Try this (Amazon.com product link shortened)
Or you can just pick up some blue RTV from the local auto store and that will probably work fine. Make sure it's clean and dry where you apply it, and use a finger to push it in around the joint and then make a thin tapered "bead" away from the joint. Just use a finger, and don't put it on thick. Let it set a couple hours before using the sink.
You don't know where the leak is, from what you said. Could be the sink basket, or the tailpiece joint. Only way to find out is to thoroughly dry everything, get a strong light under there, then watch it come from the source. If it's a metal tailpiece leaking, and not new, you should just replace it, because it will continue to rust out. Plastic is better.
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On Sat, 29 Jun 2013 19:25:47 +0000 (UTC), Red Green

PC-7 or PC-11 will do just what you want. You can even put it on when the drain is dripping. Just keep pushing the blob up against the pipe every 30, 60, 120 seconds until it sets and stays where you put it. Especially good if you run apiece all theway around the pipe (though I don't think I did that with an old rusting metal pipe. )
Try to buy the pair of 4-oz cans. It's cheaper and the product has so many uses. I use two popsicle sticks, or even two screwdrivers, so part A never touches part B in either can. By doing that, the unused stuff lasts 10 or 20 years, unless you use it up. careful
It's something like that other 2-part product, but it's not as liquid when mixed, so it's better for some place like this.
If you want, you can lick your finger and smooth off the surface with your finger. I'd use all 10 fingers before I put a dirty finger back in my mouth. It tastes bad.
IF you'd put an email address, even a munged one, I'd email you.

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It might take nothing more than tightening something. Do you know exactly where the leak is originating from?
I'd hate for you to pay hundreds to a plumber for something that can be fixed with a pair of channel locks.
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On 6/28/2013 8:05 AM, DerbyDad03 wrote:

This is a DYI group and type of plumbing repair that all should be comfortable with as it just puts the sink out of commission until repaired, not the whole house water supply.
All the flimsy chrome drains in my house have gone to pot and easily replaced with plastic. No sense in doing a temporary repair.
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I silicone bathub caulk all such fittings and zero leaks:)
Take it all apart, number if necessary:) and replace it all they are cheap:)
but use silicone goo everywhere:)
It comes apart easy if ever necessary
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bob haller;3086048 Wrote: >

I've used silicone on an ABS P-trap to see if it would prevent leaks. The P-trap wasn't in use. I just wanted to see if I could get the trap apart in future if I did silicone a working P-trap.
You're experience has been totally different than mine. In my case, there's no way I could get that trap apart without fighting with it for 10 minutes, and that was a trap that wasn't being used. I expect that if the trap was in service, I probably would have done some damage to something getting that siliconed trap apart.
I would only silicone a trap that needed to be replaced anyway. Otherwise, I think the better bet would be to use plumber's putty, and don't tighten the trap union very tight.
--
nestork


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