I am not that handy and just moved into a new place. I recenlty
noticed that there was a gap between the wall and sinktop so I lifted
the sinktop to bring it closer to the wall for caulking and
completely forgetting about the plumbing and disconnected the pipe
connected to the faucet. I think the pipes were connected by some kind
of a compound before but when i lifted the sinktop they broke apart.
What's hard now is that the two pipes will hardly align to where the
smaller pipe fits just inside the tip of the bigger pipe. I tried to
put putty around the two pipes and tape around but I can't really get
it tight enough I guess because there is still some leak and the
bottom pipe (smaller) separates from the bigger by gravity.
I also tried a 1-piece connector with screws that I placed between the
two pipes but I got a lot of leak.
You gave quite a bit of detail but didn't say what the pipes are made
I assume the place is new to you but not totally new or there woudln't
be the gap and compound you mention.
Also, how much of each pipe is showing?
If all there was was a compound connecting them, it should have been
repaired anyhow, so you just accelerated the repair.
That sounds like a drain pipe. They should have compression fittings.
Big nuts screw tight. Loosen the big nuts and you should be able it
disassemble the pipes. Have a bucket under them. Only take apart any
broken parts. If they just came apart with clean edges, just loosen the
nuts, put them back together and tighten then nuts, otherwise take the
broken parts the the hardware stores and they will sell you new parts to
I suggest however it might be far easier and better in the long run to
leave everything as it is (put a bucket there to catch any drips and remind
everyone not to use that skink) and stop by the hardware store and buy a
comprehensive DIY book It will have all the photos and details that we
can't provide for you. It will make this job and many more to come far
Don't waste your time and money trying to repair the old pipes- all the bits
under the sink can be replaced with nice new stuff for less than 30 bucks or
so, assuming the supply lines up the the valves, and the waste line in the
wall or floor is intact. I'd remove any old stuff that looks deteriorated,
and go buy fresh parts. The trap and tail are available as a kit, and the
metal feedlines that go between shutoff valves and faucet, if they can be
undone on faucet end, can be replaced with flexible plastic lines. Good time
to replace faucet as well, if it is flakey. Recommend buying a basic home
plumbing DIY book, or looking on a website- the pictures there will explain
it better than we can here. Not rocket science, but it can be a bloody
knuckle and gunk in eye job, working upside down in tight spaces. May be
easier to pull sink out completely, clean it all up, and reinstall properly
from scratch. A lot easier to redo faucet supply lines and drain tailstock
on a loose sink, and just drop into place on cleaned-up or replaced shutoff
valves and drain line. You should not have been able to just pick up the
sink- they are supposed to be fastened down. Sounds like whoever worked on
it last did a piss-poor job.
Oh, yeah- shut the house water off before you start- those little shutoff
valves under the sink love to snap off if the pipe is rotted. And start this
early enough in the day so you can run back for more parts.
If all this seems way too intimidating. this is a pissant job for a plumber,
and wouldn't be that expensive to hire out. He'll be in and out in a hour.
There are three pipes under the sink, a drain pipe, a hot water supply pipe
and a cold water supply pipe. There are different piping materials and
connectivity methods that have been used over the years and are even in use
You don't say what pipes you are talking about nor the piping materials nor
the connectivity used. You need to buy a good book on home repairs such as
the Readers Digest. This will step you through the repair method for what
you have under the sink.
Saying the pipe is metal doesn't help much because different metals use
different methods. You need to learn the piping systems in use and the
terminology. The book is your best bet. Maybe buy two different books to get
two different points of view.
You may want to consider calling a plumber. Even though this newsgroup is a
do-it-yourself forum, it sounds like you may be in a bit over your head.
Using connectors with screws to splice pipe back together around the sink is
really not the right way to approach this, and the specific solution will
really depend (as others have already stated) on the exact type of pipe you
are dealing with. Metal pipe such as copper is worked in a different manner
than metal pipe like galvanized.
If you can take a digital photo and send it to us, or take it to a local
hardware store, you should get a lot more specific help. Maybe a plumber
could be avoided if there were a lot better description.
You need a new tailpiece for the sink drain, and maybe a new trap kit to get
longer pieces to maneuver things around. (I'd buy the whole kit- it is
cheap, and it is good to have spare parts in stock.) Put the new longer
tailpiece on the sink, loosen all the big white round nuts, and wiggle
everything around till it lines up. You may need to cut some pieces to make
it all work. Use a utility knife to deburr the inside of any pipes you cut
shorter. The picture shows it is a lot simpler problem than your original
post implied. You do still wanna tie the sink down with the correct clips or
whatever- plumbing aisle at big-box has those, too. The DIY book most of us
told you to buy has lots of pictures of the procedure- this is about the
most common home plumbing repair, now that faucets seldom have washers.
Speaking of washers, pay attention to the diagram on the bag, about which
way the triangle-cross-section washers go- it is important. I'd take the old
parts to the store, to make sure you get the right diameter, and the right
parts and nuts and such.
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