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Dusty 12-20-2008 04:27 AM

Mystery water under my
I'm stumped so could use some advice. Yesterday I noticed some water under my kitchen sink. I cleared everything out and dried it all and waited for some drips. It looked like the connection to the tap was wet so I tightened the nuts (it has those woven fiber type tubes... pardon me please, I have no plumbing lingo). I thought I was okay but it (the floor of the cupboard) is still wet. I have felt around on the drain, the supplies, the feed to the dishwasher and none of them seem to be causing it although when I put down a towel to see if I could spot the drips there were a few spots near the back appearing in about 3 spots. I tried to see if they happened to follow any of the lines or drain but they really don't.

I'm wondering where they could be coming from. Any idea how I can find the source? Could it be seeping from the edge of the sink (surface mount) and counter and how would I know without flooding the counter? The counter was only installed about a year ago and there has been no problem so I would assume the silicone or whatever should still be okay but what do I know about plumbing. Any chance this is something like condensation being it's about -30C outside and my cold basement air is right behind those taps?

This is an old house so insulation is not there but the plumbing is all relatively new (as in under 5 years old). The wall isn't an outside wall but as I mentioned the basement air comes right up behind it and it's cool down there. If you know how I can figure this out I would sure appreciate the info.


Mike Swearingen 12-20-2008 05:19 AM

Dry all the pipes, drains and valves under the sink with dry paper towels. Then run the water (including the spayer) to see if anything leaks. You can feel around with your hands for drops of water, especially at any connections, as well as look with a flashlight.
If you can't get any leaks from the plumbing, then it may be from under the rim of the sink above if there is any hidden gap in the silicone seal under the sink lip. You may have to use the sprayer to try to make that leak.
You may want to try to seal any cold air coming from the basement with expanding foam.
Good Luck!

Sammy 12-20-2008 07:43 AM

If you cant locate the leak thru normal means..

Dry the area well and spray it with some Desenex WITH powder.. Yes, the athletes foot stuff.

The powder will stick and allow you to see the leaks easier especially in a dark area under the sink.

If you dont see a leak after awhile, dont forget to try turning on the water and running while looking for leaks. I had a leaky stem on the infamous "grenade pin faucet" that would only leak after being turned on for a few moments.

Wethead 12-20-2008 07:53 AM

When was the last time you sealed the edges of the sink?

It could just be water running from the counter between the sink and then underneath,

When I did service calls I would see this 8 times out of ten, and then we would charge $200 just to chalk the sink :)

Go get some chalk and chalk the sink , its like $4.oo for a tube,

Dusty 12-20-2008 03:01 PM

Thanks for all the info I will try those things and see what I can find.

Wethead, I've never caulked the sink. When they installed it last year they ran some silicone or something around the edge and dropped the sink in. None of it actually shows but the counter is butcher block and it got stained a bit all around the sink from the stuff they used (which leads me to think they sealed it off). Should there be a visible seal of some sort around the sink?

AllanJ 12-20-2008 03:53 PM

Normally you should not see the caulking around the edges of the sink where it meets the countertop. But it should still be sealed underneath otherwise water seeping in will soak the particleboard counter top under the Formica and cause swelling that destroys the entire counter.

Folding a few sheets of toilet paper in your hand and sponging it around often locates minute water leaks.

4just1don 12-20-2008 10:44 PM

any leaks around the spout base when the water is running?? 3 spots close to the back sounds like a drip running down thru the faucet holes

Dusty 12-21-2008 12:59 AM

Nope, no leaks around the spout or on top anywhere that I can see.

Meanwhile the fates have taken this worry and knocked them down a peg or two. Tonight I discovered the drain in my basement is backing up....the sewage drain... the really icky one. City crew will be here in the morning (they said they could come at 3 AM but I am not convinced it's that bad as it is draining after it backs up). Something tells me this one isn't due to tree roots. Stupid frigid arctic front weather we're having.

wrangler 12-21-2008 05:38 AM

That may also be the problem under your sink. Water is slowly filling the drain line so you may not notice the leak except when alot of water has been run. Re-check the tightness of your p-trap and other drain connections under the sink.

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