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Why your kitchen sink might not be holding water

7 minutes to read

We get a lot of customers with this familiar problem. You will the sink up with water, ready to do your washing up, you walk away to grab the remaining washing up from around the house, come back and half your water is gone.

If this is you, and your sink is slowly draining of water once it has been filled, but there are no visible leaks underneath the sink – an immediate thought is that there is a fault with the basket strainer waste/plug or seal. A plumber may have already advised that you need a new basket strainer or plug!

In 99% of cases a faulty basket strainer seal or plug is not actually what causes the water to drain. Follow our easy steps to discover if the issue does lie with a faulty rubber seal and what to do if not.

Checking the basket strainer waste

The basket strainer waste, more commonly referred to as the plug sits in a metal flange. When the basket strainer/plug is pushed down the black rubber seal on the underside of the basket strainer/plug makes contact with the flange forming a seal.

Push your basket strainer waste down as normal to form the seal. Fill your sink carefully with a little water so that it covers just the top of the basket strainer/plug. You DO NOT want the level of water to go over on to the top of the metal sink flange which sits within the bottom of the sink.

Water will now either drain away or remain where it is. If you discover that the water is draining away then your basket strainer/plug is faulty and you do need a new basket strainer waste/plug or rubber seal. If you are within warranty you can probably get this free of charge, otherwise you can purchase replacements from most retailers – we have them on our site here. As long as the size is correct, they are all fairly compatible.

If you find that the water stays where it is then there is nothing wrong with the basket strainer waste/plug as it is forming the seal needed to contain the water in the sink.

So what exactly is the problem? Why is the water then draining away?

Well, if the water is draining away but not through the basket strainer waste/plug seal then the sink waste has been fitted incorrectly. The water is able to drain away under the metal sink flange as it either has an insufficient fabric or rubber seal or it has been ‘dry fitted’ – fitted without any waterproof seal, such a silicone between the bottom of the sink and the sink flange. The water leaks out underneath the sink flange and travels out through the waste as normal so there is no visible leak even though the water is draining away when the basket strainer waste/plug is pushed down.

How to stop water leaking past the waste kit

First remove the basket strainer waste/plug and unscrew the centre bolt from within the sink waste and put them safely to one side. You should now be able to remove the metal sink flange by gently pulling or lifting it up, this should then show either an insufficient seal or no seal at all.

Make sure that both the bottom of the sink and top and underside of the sink flange is completely clean and dry. You can then place a small bead of silicone onto the underneath of the sink flange and carefully place it back into the sink waste hole, securing it in position using the centre bolt removed earlier (leave the basket strainer/plug out for now).

Referring to the silicone sealant instructions leave the silicone seal to completely dry. 

Once the silicone seal is dry you can then replace the basket strainer/plug and use your sink as normal. You should now find that the water remains in the sink and no longer drains away when the basket strainer/plug is pushed down.

As always if you need any further assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our tema on 01527 868 500.

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