New Sink Installation - How To Prevent Drainage Leaks

Posted on: 8 April 2015

If you want to add a new sink to your kitchen or bathroom, then you may consider calling a plumber to complete the install for you.  This is a good idea if there are no water hookups in the area or if the new sink is larger or smaller than the old one.  If you think there will be no difficulties with the new sink, then you may try to secure it yourself.  If this is the case, then make sure that you do everything you can to prevent leaks.  You can do this by following some of the helpful tips in this article.

Use PVC Materials

When you initially install your sink, you will need to purchase a variety of plumbing parts to create the drainage line underneath it.  Elbows, t-connections, p-traps, and straight plumbing lines will all likely be needed.  When you go to your local home supply store, you will have the option of choosing either PVC or galvanized steel for the drainage parts.  It is in your best interest to choose PVC materials.

PVC and galvanized steel parts are able to retain the same amount of stress and pressure when you first install the pieces.  Unfortunately, the steel will weaken and corrode over time.  This happens as acids and bases are flushed down the drain.  Ammonia, bleach, strong drain cleaners, and even mouthwash can all lead to corrosion.  Rust forms as metal corrodes and the oxidized materials flake away and thin out the drainage lines.  Holes and leaks are likely to form.  Also, metal parts are more likely to clog, and clog removal methods can cause pieces to break apart and leak.

PVC will not corrode like steel will.  In fact, PVC is actually quite resistant to both acidic and basic types of chemicals.

Seal Seams

If you decide to use PVC materials to create the drainage line underneath your new sink, then you will use couplings and reducing washers to secure parts together.  The couplings use small plastic seals to reduce leaks.  If the couplings are not used, then you will likely need to connect elbows and other fittings with PVC cement.  The couplings and the cement generally create tight seals that resist leaks.  Cement can wear away though, and couplings can loosen if you typically plunge your drains or force large amounts of water down them.  Leaks can then begin to form.

Sealing Methods

You can stop leaks from showing up by sealing all of the PVC seams underneath your sink.  Sealing can occur with an acrylic latex caulk.  This type of caulk is ideal for indoor use and it is easy to clean up when you are done working with it.  Find the caulk at your local home store and apply a thin bead around all PVC seams and fittings.  Use a small piece of cardboard or your finger to smooth out the caulk if you need to.  Wait about 24 hours for the caulk to dry before using your sink.

If you do not want to permanently seal the PVC seams, then you can secure silicone tape around them instead.  Silicone-rubber tape, emergency tape, or self-amalgamating tape is a type of thin silicone tape that is not sticky.  The smooth tape adheres to itself and creates a seal when it is stretched and layered on top of itself.  To use the tape, place one end on the seam you want to seal.  Place your finger on the end and stretch out the tape as far as you can.  Start wrapping the tape around itself until there are three to five layers around the seam.  Cut the edge of the tape and press it down afterwards.

If you want to try and install a sink in your home by yourself, then you should make sure that leaks do not occur afterwards.  You can prevent leaks by choosing to secure PVC drainage pipes and by sealing pipe seams properly. 


Knowing When It’s Time to Call the Plumber

My name is Jason Lawrence, or around my house I’m sometimes known as “Daddy Fix-It.” My wife Sarah and I have four children all under the age of ten. I didn’t start out as a guy who was handy around the house, but I am learning to become a do-it-yourselfer for sure. Did I mention that I’m a bit stubborn? There are times I struggle with projects a little too long, and it takes my wife stepping in to convince me that it’s time to call a professional. I’ve become especially handy with plumbing projects. I don’t know why kids think toys belong in the toilet and doll hair is good for the bathtub drain, but around here those are weekly events. I’m going to share some of my experiences, how I fixed some of our plumbing problems, and when it becomes time to call the plumber.

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