Bathroom Sink Woes

Under the heading of “live and learn.”

Some time back the drain in one of the bathroom sinks broke.  It functioned in a way that was different from what I’d seen before.  Instead of a rod and lever to control the pop-up valve there was this cable assembly in which the core rotated to actuate the plug.  The fitting where the cable attached to the drain broke off.  This meant that the fix was to replace the entire thing–faucet and drain both.

So, I begin by removing the trap so I can get the drain.  That comes out nicely.  Then I begin working on the faucet.

The first problem was that the entire assembly was old, probably installed when the house was built.  That meant that between lime buildup and corrosion everything was essentially fused solid.  It took a great deal of hammering, grabbing with channel-lok pliers and a whole lot of swearing I finally got the faucet off.

Second problem, a minor one but still an annoyance.  The hot water shutoff valve, even when I cranked it down as tightly closed as I could still dripped.  I put a cup under it to catch the drip but it was fast enough I had to dump it frequently.  And when I had to dump it the water continued to drip.

Replaced the drain first, then reinstalled the trap.  Finally (yeah, right) I put the new faucet in place.  Get the hoses installed and…

Problem number three.  Cold water leaks, badly, from the connection between supply hose and faucet.  So I shut things down again, and remove the faucet and hose.

Oh.  The seal is missing.  So mistake one was in reusing the old hoses.  And not noticing (because I didn’t know to look for it–this was my first time doing this) that the seal was missing.

Problem 4, however, was that when I was trying to tighten down the connection to stop the leak (not knowing the problem was a missing seal) instead of tightening it, I had twisted the short copper line that was part of the faucet assembly.  No, there was no untwisting that without breaking it.

Unfortunately, it’s too late to go out and get a replacement.  I leave the hot water supply hose connected to the shutoff valve and fed up to drip into the sink.  At least I wouldn’t get a puddle overnight.

Next morning, shopping for parts.  I get a duplicate of the same faucet (so I can use the drain I’d already installed) and I get a pair of replacement supply lines.

I fasten the supply lines to the faucet assembly outside the sink.  This way I can use one wrench on the fitting on the copper tube side, and another on the supply hose so I can tighten then without twisting and damaging the copper tube.    I’m able to feed the hoses through the holes in the sink.

Fastening the hoses to the shutoff valves was more difficult this time–getting them lined up against the stiffness of the hoses until the threads engaged was a bit of a challenge but, with a little patience–and more swearing–I got them started and a wrench completed the job.

The next step was to wipe up the spilled water and leave it for a while to see if there was any more leakage.  I also closed the plug and filled the After about an hour, everything was still dry under the sink and although the water level had dropped, there was still some remaining.  So, the plug doesn’t provide a perfect seal, but well enough for most usage.

And done.


5 thoughts on “Bathroom Sink Woes”

  1. …seems like a missing Step, here…
    Every bathroom faucet I have ever seem has a ring which spins onto the supply fittings (of the faucet) to hold it down to the sink apron.
    Those have to go on *first*, thus the faucet has to be installed to the sink *before* the supply line can be attached…!
    The supply lines then have to be connected [(UGHH)] up under the sink {back cracking on the edge of the cabinet} — which really helps to have a “basin wrench”…
    And… I no longer use (semi)rigid copper for the supply; I am spoiled by the flexible reinforced hoses which connect to the device and the shut-off valve…

    Not picking nits, here– but I wonder what is holding that faucet down…….


    1. The one that came off was as you described. The brand i got (Peerless) to put in place was held in place by threaded rods with a nut and slotted washer arrangement. Short copper tubes connected to the supply lines and the slot in the washer let it be fit over the threaded rod and the short tube on that side .

      It was this copper tube that twisted up when I tried to tighten the supply line in place.


  2. Last time that I had to work on a sink, (At my FIL’s house, while I was getting it ready to sell.) I paid a well-recommended professional to do it. Money well spent, especially when he answered my midnight call for help with a cheerful attitude and a reasonable bill.


      1. Yup. You are smarter and more capable than the average bear. With Dad’s house the kitchen sink was the tip of the ice berg and I was basically on my own. I’ve done plumbing repairs before (You ought to see me swap out a toilet seal! Twenty minutes, maximum time!) but I truly needed pros, with stronger backs and better tools, that time!
        Glad you had a satisfactory conclusion to your adventures in plumbing!


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