You’ve just discovered water standing under your kitchen sink. Don’t panic. You first need to find out where the leak is coming from. While you could have a problem with the waterline, another common problem could be an old or loose sink drain basket. If this is the case, it is easy to solve.
First, place a bowl under the sink to catch any leaking water. Next, turn your faucet on and try to discover just where the leak is occurring. If you see water coming from around the seal of your sink’s drain basket, then it may be time to replace the basket, or, at the very least, you may need to replace the sealant around the basket.
You may think the leakage is coming from the pipe joint. You might want to take another look, however. Leaking water from the basket will follow the shape of the pipe, so that it appears to be leaking from the joint.
If you are going to replace your sink drain basket, the baskets are relatively inexpensive to purchase. However, many times you can simply repair the basket so that it no longer leaks. All that you need is a good pipe wrench or slip joint pliers and some type of plumbing sealant, such as latex adhesive caulk or plumber’s putty.
You do not have to turn off the water to complete this repair, but you don’t want to run any water into the sink that you are working on. You will need to take your pipe wrench or slip joint pliers and loosen the slip nut that is holding the basket to the pipe. Keep twisting until the basket can be moved by hand. You should be able to free the tailpiece pipe and washer from the basket.
You will need to remove the strainer bell from the top using a large screwdriver or wedging the handles of the pliers into the basket and lifting. You will then remove the strainer body from below the sink.
Before you place the new or existing sink basket in place, you will need to take the sealant, putty, or adhesive caulk and apply a thick bead underneath the lip of the strainer. Once you place the basket back into the drain hole, you will need to press and hold firmly for a few moments to set the caulk.
From under the sink, replace any gaskets that you removed or that are included with the sink drain basket and set the strainer body in place. Once you have finished, you can tighten the slip nut back onto the pipe.
You will need to let the caulk or putty dry for approximately twenty-four to thirty-six hours. Once you have let the putty dry, you will need to run water into the drain and check for any leaks. If leaks do occur, you may need to apply more putty to create a better sealant. Replacing or repairing a kitchen sink drain basket isn’t difficult to do. Anyone can accomplish this plumbing job in a relatively short amount of time.