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.
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.
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.
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
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
Thanks for the net etiquette advice. I need to reply about posts I made a
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.
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:
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
Attach new drain pieces, strainer basket, etc
Caulk if sink instructions say to
Drop in sink
Make connections for water supply and for drain
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)
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