Properly sealing sink strainer

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DirtyJerz

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About two years ago, I redid the strainers on my kitchen sinks. Removed the old strainers, completely cleaned everything out, put down a liberal amount of fresh plumber's putty, connected everything together, seemed to work great.

Over time, a little bit of putty would ooze out the top. I would wipe it off and make sure the nut from the bottom of the sink was still tightened all the way. About six months ago, I was under the sink for something else and noticed that there was a small leak coming from that location. Loosened the nut under the sink, shoved a bunch of new plumber's putty under the strainer, tightened it back down, seemed to be okay.

Well lo and behold, I was under there this week and it's leaking again.

The sink has definitely deformed a bit so it's not perfectly flat or flush perhaps, but I thought the whole point of the putty was to accommodate that. Do I just do this with silicone (which won't run or expand/contract as much under hot water) and call it a day? Don't really feel like resealing this every 6 months. No issues in our bathrooms where I used the same technique, but we don't pour boiling water down there either.
 

John Gayewski

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Yes silicone.

But there's also something that can happen (mostly with stainless steel sinks) where the sink itself is thinner than the strainer can thread. Meaning you've run out of threads and can no longer tighten the nut on bottom, but it's not as tight as it should be to the sink. If that's the case for you there are different types of systems for kitchen sinks you might want to try. Perfect drain is one the comes to mind it's pretty good. There are others.
 

Breplum

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We will never use strainers that use a single nut to cinch up from below. Only use stainless steel basket strainers that use three or four tightening screws.
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Tuttles Revenge

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There are a LOT of variables here. Mating surfaces and angles and type of things being attached make a difference.

If I do use putty I use the very least I think I can.. cuz of squish factor. Stainless sinks mate up nearly perfectly to the angle of the strainer, so a very thin layer of putty is needed. Cast iron sinks have a huge gap that needs filling, this is where I like putty vs silicone.

I mostly use clear silicone however and similar technique.. the least amount as possible so cleanup is just a simple wipe. I only silicone disposals anymore no matter the material.

While I prefer the strainers that Breplum mentions, a lot of what we install isn't.. Most of the work we do is designer driven fixtures so the strainers are matching the finishes and are brand specific. Silicone makes up for a lot of shortcomings of poor engineering.
 

Jeff H Young

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They do have single nut types that tighten against a "bell" that pushes against the sink (excuse my lack of explaination) but the huge nut and spanners or channel locks everything spinning and busted knuckles pinched fingers are all part of the fun!
Stainless sinks do take a bit of experiance to get long lasting seal with putty silicone probebly is better but I like it to dry befor using and testing and not real comfortable with silicone I use it occasional but havent really went all in!
 

Tuttles Revenge

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They do have single nut types that tighten against a "bell" that pushes against the sink (excuse my lack of explaination) but the huge nut and spanners or channel locks everything spinning and busted knuckles pinched fingers are all part of the fun!
Stainless sinks do take a bit of experiance to get long lasting seal with putty silicone probebly is better but I like it to dry befor using and testing and not real comfortable with silicone I use it occasional but havent really went all in!
The kind with the 1.5" nut and second cup was my go to when I was doing commercial work and got to spec all my own product. Jomar Snap-n-loc was my go to.. all machined parts, no pressed threads.. of course quality went down when they shipped manufacturing to china. I think their advantage is the friction is reduced threading an 1.5" vs 3.5" nut.

1705080549223.png
 

DaveC1

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Thanks Bro, where can I find this type of Drain? I have been using Plumber's Putty with our kitchen sink but it seems I need to change the Putty every 18 months or we get leaks(Wife unhappy :().....it seems that every once in a while I need to tighten the flange a bit, and some Plumbers Putty squishes out....a bit frustrating....I see Sioux Company has a rubber to seal replace the Plumber's Putty....what do you think of that? Thanks, Dave
 

GReynolds929

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Use less putty. Kohler Duostrainer, easy on, easy mount, etc are a few types of strainers that were mentioned.
 

Michael Young

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About two years ago, I redid the strainers on my kitchen sinks. Removed the old strainers, completely cleaned everything out, put down a liberal amount of fresh plumber's putty, connected everything together, seemed to work great.

Over time, a little bit of putty would ooze out the top. I would wipe it off and make sure the nut from the bottom of the sink was still tightened all the way. About six months ago, I was under the sink for something else and noticed that there was a small leak coming from that location. Loosened the nut under the sink, shoved a bunch of new plumber's putty under the strainer, tightened it back down, seemed to be okay.

Well lo and behold, I was under there this week and it's leaking again.

The sink has definitely deformed a bit so it's not perfectly flat or flush perhaps, but I thought the whole point of the putty was to accommodate that. Do I just do this with silicone (which won't run or expand/contract as much under hot water) and call it a day? Don't really feel like resealing this every 6 months. No issues in our bathrooms where I used the same technique, but we don't pour boiling water down there either.

Personally, I prefer using 100% clear silicone. Yeah, it takes overnight to cure up. But it won't leak. And for the whiners who complain that it's hard to remove if you ever have to service. Um, nope. If you have a utility knife it peels right off.

Sometimes when the old basket strainer is removed, you can get a little imperfection in the metal. Silicone will fill in any imperfections and leave you water-tight. Plumbers putty...not so much
 
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