How to Replace Seal Around Kitchen Sink

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When the seal around your sink is new, water cannot pass through it. Over time though the seals around sinks become damaged, cracked and dried out. When this happens, the seals no longer keep water from passing through the crack between the sink and the counter. Water damage can occur under the sink. This can lead to many problems, including warped and rotten wood and black mold. If the seal on your sink is getting old, replace it before the problems start.

Things You'll Need

  • Channel lock pliers
  • Claw hammer or small pry bar
  • 4 small wood blocks
  • Scraper with sharp blade
  • Clear silicone caulk
  • Utility knife
  • Caulk gun
  • Soft cloth
  • Shut off the water that goes to the sink. Detach the pipes that connect to the sink using a pair of channel locks. Some sink pipes may have enough slack to allow the sink to be lifted 1 to 2 inches. If yours do, you do not have to detach the pipes. Most, howeever, do not. If you lift the sink without detaching the pipes, they may break, resulting in damage and a bit of a mess. It's best to disconnect them just in case.

  • Use a claw hammer or a small pry bar to get under the edges of the sink from the bottom side of the sink. Do this to break the existing seal. Working from the underside of the sink ensures that you will not damage your countertop. If the area is too compact to work in, work from the top. Make sure to lay a cloth down to protect the surface of the counter.

  • Raise the sink up 1 to 2 inches. Insert small wood blocks, 2 on each side of the sink, to keep the sink lifted above the counter surface. Use a scraper with a sharp blade to remove the existing seal from under the sink's edges and from the counter. Remove all of the old sealer for the new sealant to properly adhere to the surfaces.

  • Cut the tip of a tube of clear silicone caulk ½ inch down from the tip of the tube at an angle, using a utility knife. Insert the tube tip down into a caulk gun. Run a bead of clear silicone caulk around the edges of the sink, ½ to ¼ inch in from the edges, by applying it directly to the counter. The bead should be ¼- to ½-inch wide. When you get to a block, use your free hand to remove the block and lift the sink. When you insert the block back under the sink, insert it on the far side of the caulk. That is the side that is toward the center of the sink.

  • Remove the blocks. Allow the sink to rest on the clear silicone caulk. Press the sink down firmly into the caulk. Use your fingertip to push the caulk into the crack between the sink and the counter where the caulk oozes out from the sides of the sink. Wipe off excess caulk around the edges using a soft cloth before the caulk dries.

  • Connect the pipes again. Turn the water back on. Allow the new sealant 12 hours to set and harden before exposing it to water. Once the sealer sets, water can't pass under the edges of the sink.

Tips & Warnings

  • Take your time.
  • Use care and caution when using a sharp blade to avoid injury.

References

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