When I first moved here, I needed a rubber plug to plug up the laundry
sink once in a while. Either there was one here already or I bought
one. It was hollow.
After 31 years, it started leaking at the sides, and it was hard to find
one the right diameter. HD didn't have one, but Ace had one for every
I bought the right size and now it fits so well I have to pry it out
with a small screwdriver every time I want to drain t he tub.
But more interesting, the new one is not hollow. It's solid along the
bottom and every time I use it, still after 6 months, it strongly
reminds me of the house I was born into and lived until I was 10, in
1957, and its basement. . I guess the laundry sink there had a solid
plug too, and I haven't seen one since then.
That sink was cement iirc with a front that was slanted backwards iirc.
Sounds like mine. The front has a metal washboard inset. I recently
bought a couple of replacement plugs for it at Ace, too. Also noticed
they were solid, and fit better.
Sometimes I think about replacing this massive old concrete sink with
a new plastic one, if only to brighten up that part of the basement a
If plastic is killing us it's taking it's merry time.
We do leak a lot of exotic chemicals into the environment
but I don't think a sink in a basement is a significant source.
I had my basement sink replaced a year ago.
The old one looked like plastic, the new one looks more
like fiberglass than anything else. After over 50 years,
the old one was just too nasty.
All the polluting we do would be a lot less of a problem if there
were less of us on the planet. So, before you procreate, think.
I have a plastic one, looking to replace it with porcelain or stainless.
It scratches easily and always looks like shi%$#. Mould tends to live
in the scratches and even bleach and scrubbing doesn't get it clean.
Seriously thinking of replacing it with a deep single bowl kitchen sink
over a cabinet. Get extra storage and decent looking faucets along with
a sprayer that way.
Unless it's cracked, leave it alone. They were superior to the
plastic/fiberglass ones sold today. They were very durable and did not
move around when you use them, (which the plastic ones do, unless you
anchor them to the concrete floor). I've had both, and preferred the
You can paint the exterior of them, but I dont suggest doing the
One final note. The metal base (legs) should be inspected yearly. If
you have a damp basement, those metal (angle iron) legs can rust. Once
when I was in the plumbing biz, I went to a job, where the concrete sink
had collapsed because the rusty legs failed. Not only did it bust the
water supply pipes and drain pipe, but they said one of the people was
in the hospital from the injuries when that sink fell on or against
them. They are very heavy sinks. They were usually placed in the
basement BEFORE the house was built, using some sort of machinery like a
The first time I had to replace one of them (which was cracked), I had a
couple guys come to assist me remove it and carry it up the basement
steps. I think we all came close to getting a hernia just taking it off
the stand. Rather than fight with it up the steps, we busted it up with
a sledge. Even that was not easy due to all the reinforcing wires
inside the concrete.
If a rubber plug is hard to remove, put a little vaseline or plumbers
grease around the side edges. That makes it a little easier to remove.
But you have to renew it every so often.
in a dry basement they should not rust at all. They were made well. My
parents house had one and it was over 50 years old. The sink and metal
stand were still in perfect shape. My dad painted the metal legs once,
just for appearance, but that helps prevent rust. The sink itself was
clean and perfect even after all those years.
The one that I had to replace on that job was in a basement made of
rocks, which appeared to leak and was probably damp all the time. The
legs on that stand were pure rust. Of course I didn't see it before it
fell, but I find it hard to believe it stayed up as long as it did. The
metal looked like swiss cheese.
No, vaseline wont hurt rubber, but it will melt away fairly fast from
hot water. Plumbing grease is MADE for rubber, like O-rings, and other
faucet materials. It will last longer and not "wash away" as fast.
Probably $2 or $3 these days at any place that sells plumbing parts.
But you got the vaseline, try that first!
I don't remembver if thre was a washboard inside it. I've been back
there but not in the basement. I've been goine 58 years now but I'll
try to get invited in one more time and check out the basement too.
About 1948, my father had another outlet put in my room, by their
drilling a hole from the closet in my parents' room, through the wall
right above the baseboard, running some lamp wire through the wall,
plugging it into an outlet in their closet, and running along the
baseboard to a surface-mount receptacle.
I'm dying to see if they're still using that of if they upgraded.
If they repaired the railing above the back porch or blocked off the
door from my brother's closet, or neither.
And if the basement is dry yet.
If you find out, please don't post from Home
Owners Hub, using an example dot com return
adress. I've got those filtered. The remote
outlet sounds like about enough for a clock
or table radio. I'd not use a hair dryer,
too much current draw.
Christopher A. Young
learn more about Jesus
Count your blessings. When I lived in Mexico, just about every house had a
concrete sink with a built in washboard at one side. I would love to have
such for a utility sink here in Florida but no such luck. And I'm not about
to lug oneback from Mexico.
The house in which I was born (in 1933) was built in 1885 and had a similar
sink in the kitchen but it was porcelain. It too had a built in scrub/drain
You don't have to do it yourself. Put it on a burro.
We were the first in that house to have a washing machine (automatic, no
less) . Had to put it on a wooden crate, so it wouldn't rust out when
the basement flooded.
A little later we got a gas dryer too.
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