Stopping Kitchen Sink from leaking

Have an old style double sided kitchen sink that is attached from beneath the countertop. There are clips of sorts holding it up. There is a small gap between the basins and the metal trim/casing. The newer basins, from what I am told, rest on top of the counter.
The faucet leaks at the base when you turn the spout to the right. The water flows to the gap between the basin and metal casing. The water then leaks into the cabinet below.
A couple of my plumber friends say I should replace the whole counter, sinks, and faucets. I really don't want to put that much money into it. Would rather just fix the leaky faucet and seal the gap between the basin and metal casing. They don't seem to like that idea at all. I guess it must be difficult or time consuming to fix these types of leaks.
For now, I just don't use the right sink. Would like to just replace the faucet, but one plumber said don't bother as it still would leak between the seams. My guess would be if I replace the faucet, all I would need to do is caulk up the gap to prevent any residual water from going down.
Is my thinking faulty? Is there a caulking that's safe to use in the kitchen? Are faucets difficult to replace in an older system? Feel like I'm fighting an uphill battle with these plumbers.
Wouldn't think of replacing the faucet myself. Seems like they are impossible to get off.
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Charlie S. wrote:

Hey charlie - You sure those plumbers are really plumbers?
You have an under mount sink. These are very common in granite or solid surface countertops. The top mount style are used with laminate counter tops. They are not a newer style.
You need to do only two things. Total cost under $5. Total time less than an hour. 1 trip to hardware store if all goes well.
First - You need to tighten up the screws that hold up your sink if needed. After you tighten it up, or not, you then will caulk the joint between the sink and counter top. This will cost you $4 for a decent tube of caulk.
Second - You need to fix the leak. Don't replace the faucet for a leak like this. Sounds like this is a single handle faucet or a double with a spout in the middle. Likely a single handle - LMost singles will have repair kits will all parts needed for every repair. You only need one or two O rings.
Shut off the water. Figure out how to remove the handle. Google the make and model of the faucet. There will then be an outer body and an inner guts. Removing this is specific to each make and model. What you want to get at are the rubber O rings between the middle and the outer chrome body. Take off the old one and match them up at a good hardware store. Should cost you about .50 cents. If you go to home cheapo bring your model number. You will likely have to get a kit with the entire guts. If you go that route it may cost $10 or $20. The kit may even come with any tools you need like allen wrenches. If you get the kit put in all the parts from the kit and you will be good as new.
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No wrote:

I agree with you on replacing the O-rings but my read of the OPs description makes me think that the sink is not an undermount in todays terms. Sounds more like the old style that had a metal trim ring that sits on top of the counter and the sink hangs from that. If the clips are rusted or the trim ring is bent the OP has a big problem.
If the trim is not bent you can try tightening the clips but if the plywood is soft it won't do much. You would have to get a piece of metal under the tip of the screw to keep the plywood from crushing. Don't take out more than one clip at a time and don't get under that (cast iron?) sink if it is sagging even a little bit. Don't bother going to the Borg to find replacement clips, try Ace, True Value or 'that little place on the edge of town'.
If the sink can't be tightened up a cheap SS replacement might be the way to go if you can find one the right size to cover the hole. Then you can caulk all around the sink and set it on top of the counter.
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RayV wrote:

I can only envision the two general styles I know. Under mount or surface mount. Regardless, a new sink fitting the same opening might be nice. Even enlarging the opening to accommodate a new slightly bigger sink may be the way to go. If I were doing that I may go ahead and replace the faucet at the same time so it all looks new. Charlie - if you do this, attach the new faucet to the new sink before you install it. This will minimize the work under the sink.
Also Charlie - I am of the opinion that its good net etiquette to reply to those that offer you advice. Let us know what worked or has not. Let us know if you have given up or are just going to call a plumber or whatever.
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You are right about the set up. The trim ring doesn't seem to be bent. There are clips that comes out from the side and a wide screw that comes off it going up. This keeps the trim and sink together. A bit of rust underneath. Can understand why the plumber might not want to deal with it.

I doubt tightening would do much good. There is too much sagging in the middle. Tried pushing up on the sink. It rose about 1/4 inch ... closing the gap. Was thinking of put a 2x4 vertically from the floor to the sink to prop it up. This would close the gap. What type of caulking should I use beforehand. I used an Alex Plus, window/door acrylic latex sealant on an outdoor project. It leeched all over the place. So, I had to remove it. Would a bathroom sealant do?

(what does SS mean?)
replacement might be the

Thanks, I'll have to check the measurements as to how much room I have to play with.

Thanks for the net etiquette advice. I need to reply about posts I made a while back.
As for this project I'm not quite done trying to work on it myself. Will post as to what I do.
I would like to replace this faucet even it weren't leaking. Does this require welding of any sorts. If not, I could probably do it myself. Or, am I better off calling a plumber?
I can take off the metal cap that's at the base end of the spout. Water comes out this area if I take it off. However, I am clueless about taking off the base end of the spout. The base rest on gold-bar shaped (trapezoidal) plateau. This plateau piece seems to be welded into the top part of the sink. Does this part have to come off? Can't really get at it from beneath as the spray hose nozzle comes out from a recessed area.
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Charlie S. wrote:

stainless steel
The sinks installed with a separate rim are called hudee rim sinks.
If you have a digital camera post a picture of your faucet. Someone will be able to tell you how to disassemble it.
maybe this will help: http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/pl_faucets/article/0,2037,DIY_14186_2270854,00.html
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http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/pl_faucets/article/0,2037,DIY_14186_2270854,00.html
This is what the faucet looks like. Thanks for the downloading idea.
http://mysite.verizon.net/stamkis/mypersonalsite/
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Charlie S. wrote:

Charlie - It seems to me, based on what we know so far, is you might as well go ahead and just replace the sink and faucet. You want to get a top-mount, aka surface mount, sink and a faucet to your liking.
There will bot likely be and 'welding' involved. Its called soldering by the way. Look at where the water comes out from the wall or floor, under the sink. You should have shut-off valves there. Coming out of the shut-off valves will be the supply line to the old faucet. You should be able to disconnect there. Use a new flexible line to your new faucet. This is easy to do.
So, your steps are as follows.... Turn off water under sink disconnect old supply lines Disconnect old drain lines Remove old sink with old faucet and part of the drains still attached What you removed is what you are going to buy. Measure your opening and get a new sink that will fit. You may need enlarge your opening a little if you cant find a sink to fit. A jigsaw will do the trick, many other hand saw options will work too. Now, attach the new faucet to the new sink. Faucet will come with instructions. Attach new drain pieces, strainer basket, etc Caulk if sink instructions say to Drop in sink Make connections for water supply and for drain Your done
I would start early on a Saturday or weekday if I were you. You do not want to get stuck missing a part and have no stores open.
If you get stuck call a plumber. Shouldn't take a plumber more than an hour or tow do do all the steps I described. Replaced a sink a month ago, re-used the old faucet, enlarged the opening, installed a garbage disposal and hooked up a new drain configuration for a double sink (Single was there before). It took me about 2 hours plus an hour or two spent going to Lowes and back.
The hardest part for me was tightening the bolts on the clips that held the new sink in. My hands are big and the space was tight to work in. The key thing was that I did everything possible on the sink before I dropped it in the opening. Once I did that I only had one drain and two supply connections to make (Plus the clips)
Good luck.
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Thanks, for the help. For now, I'm going to put the 2x4 in to brace up the sink. Then, go to HD with my length, and width measurements. Also, most likely buy a new counter top.
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