Bathroom basin plughole

I have been confronted with what seems a curious problem with respect to a basin in a bathroom. Specifically, the hole where the plug goes in.
When I've worked with these plugholes before the assembly has had a central vertical screw or shaft holding it together. Not so this one - it has a small round filter which drops into the top of the plughole, seemingly unattached - that is, you can just pick it up and remove it.
When you remove it you've got this 1.5in (or thereabouts - standard size for a basin) hole disappearing down to the gubbins beneath. If I replaced this assembly from one of the sheds then I'd have a permanently fixed filter at the top, physically attached via a screw or shaft to the underlying pipework.
The house is a few years old and I'm leaning towards the idea that this small round filter which is loose ought to be fixed in place with some sort of mastic or silicone compound, and that the original goo may have given way due to age (or maybe broken out by an occupant who wanted to clean out the sink trap from above).
So, question is, should I glue this filter back into the neck of the plughole? And if so, what type of sealant should I use for this job? I'm assuming some sort of clear silicone sealant spread under the rim of the filter before it is pushed back in.
Sorry if it sounds like a dumb question but I've never seen a basin plughole quite like this one :)
Andrew
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It may be a complete compression waste fitting with a removable filter, so have a look around the whole of the waste outlet and trap. Some waste outlets, like shower tray outlets, have a removable grating so you can lift hair and things without taking the whole thing out. The fitting itself uses compression between a top flange in the basin and a nut on the threaded tail of the fitting. It might also have a slot cut in the body of the fitting to allow the over to drain passed the grating.
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On Sat, 09 Aug 2003 12:26:46 GMT, "BigWallop"

If it is a compression fitting then it's lost its ability to compress - the thing is just sitting loose in the hole of the basin.
I might change the whole basin plughole arrangement next time I go there. I've been tasked to try and do something with it anyway.
Andrew
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wrote:

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Maybe it had a rubber washer which has now perished? If you want to re-seal it them plumber's mait is your friend and ally. (The only place not to use this is on fibreglass/acrylic baths etc where it may do something nasty to the plastics.)

It does sound rather like the easy-clean (? sp? probbaly with a z and a k in it somewhere) shower trap (anyone know where to get these BTW? cheapish, ideally).
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