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Falling sinks source revealed!

Posted on 20th Nov 2013 @ 10:08 AM

Recently a customer used our e-clips to re-install their kitchen sink that had dropped from their countertop. Here is their review:

Who expects their kitchen sink to drop into the cabinet below after 8 years of service? Well, if yours was installed with wooden door shims epoxied to the underside of the granite counter, you may be due. My first reaction was, "Call the #@*! plumber." But then you think, "Why would he do it any better the second time?" So I turned to the Internet to see what others recommended. After rejecting several options that weren't quite applicable, I came upon KBS' "how to" video on their E-clips. Bingo! Price was right, and it looked simple enough. Well, simple is relative - you're working in a very cramped space, upside down, with a sink and its plumbing in the way. If you have the luxury of removing the sink before tackling the job it will simplify things enormously - but I didn't. I used scrap wood blocking to temporarily support the sink in place, and removed the trap to allow me to move the sink up and down without damaging the drain pipe. Then I lowered the sink, and cleaned the old silicone caulk off the sink and counter underside with a razor tool. I thoroughly cleaned the granite where the E-clips were to be installed with denatured alcohol, and wedged the sink back into position with my wood blocking. Following advice from KBS, I used J-B Weld epoxy for the adhesive, rather than the plumber's "putty type" epoxy mentioned in the instructions. I've used J-B for years - it's the strongest stuff on the planet! But I also knew it was slow to set, and even slower to cure. After mixing a small batch (about 1/4 of each tube) I waited 30 minutes before applying a generous amount of epoxy to the back of the E-clip stud. I firmly pressed the stud in place, squeezing excess epoxy through the holes in the plate. This is key to success - when the J-B Weld sets, it will create a bond on both sides of the stud plate - much stronger than just gluing the clip to the granite. The epoxy mixture was enough to install 3 or 4 mounting studs. Don't try to do this job all at once! And plan on the epoxy dripping - I place a paper towel under each stud. The epoxy can be cleaned up with denatured alcohol unless its hardened. If a stud fails to stay in place - drops - its because the epoxy was still a bit too fluid. Just push it back in place (with a extra dollop of peanut-butter consistency epoxy for good measure). I didn't attempt to do the next batch of studs until the epoxy had stopped dripping. The job can get a bit messy otherwise. I had to file down a couple of the stud plates due to a tight fit on one side of the sink, but that didn't seem to hurt anything. After all the studs were in place, I let the J-B Weld cure for 48 hours. The product says 24 hours, but I've found it can remain "plastic" even then. One thing you don't want is to pull a stud off when tightening the clip in place! So now we're ready to finish the job. I dropped the sink again, checked for any epoxy that had fouled the stud threads (chipping off with an Exacto knife), cleaned the sink lip with alcohol, and applied a heavy bead of clear 100% silicone caulk around the outer perimeter. Then I wedged the sink bowl back into position with my blocking, using a rubber mallet to tap it into position. Neatly wipe away any excess silicone, and you're ready to install the clips. This is best done by cursing the plumber as you struggle face-up in the sink base cabinet, trying to hold the clip in place and thread the wingnut all with one hand in a space about half the size of your hand. A couple of studs lacked clearance to turn the wingnut, and I found a 6M hex nut with a socket driver to be the solution. The last step is applying a second light bead of silicone caulk around the joint between bowl and counter, and re-connecting the drain. In summary - not technically difficult, but it is a slow, physically challenging job. The marriage of E-clip to J-B Weld assures the sink will stay put - the way you expected it to in the first place!

 

We wanted to clarify some of the misconceptions that were evident from the review and this was our respnse to the customer:

I like it!  In reality, it is practical and what you experienced. Also, most others can relate as they feel the same way you did. The perception that the plumber was involved, is usually not the case. The sink is set by the countertop installers and they generally do not know much about plumbing at all. They know how to hone down stone and that is about it. Since the countertop fabricator has to have the sink to cut the stone to the correct fitting, they end up with the sink in their hands and ultimately place the sink. This really explains a great deal about the breakdown in the process. We have dealt with the fabricators for over 12 years and there are some exceptions, but overall the above scenario is the norm. The fabricator is focused on getting the countertop installed and getting down the road to the next job. They use materials familiar to them and what they have in the truck to set the sink. That is why the shims are often used to epoxy the sink into place. The fabricator uses the shims to level the countertop so the seams are tight. The seams of the countertop material are also epoxied together with color matched epoxy to the stone color.

 

I hope this clarifies some of the issues that led up to the ultimate failing of the sink install. I am pleased that you were able to navigate the various issues particular to your installation. You used some good old fashioned American ingenuity to overcome the obstacles you faced. We were happy to assist with the e-clips.

Sincerely,

KitchenBathSinks