Overmount Copper Sink Drainhole: Wrong Size Woes :(

aliris19August 21, 2014

I was coming here to ask "woe is me what do I do now", thinking there was some hard-to-understand problem.

But when I went to post photos of my situation, I realize you can just *visually* see the problem! Now really I think my biggest problem is getting the manufacturer, in Mexico, to address the situation.

So here's my story. I bought a copper sink, that I just love, from a place online called www.coppersinkscasacruz.com -- I still love them so far. We'll see what happens in this next great chapter. But the guy who runs it, Jose, was incredibly responsive, incredibly nice, I just love the look of his sinks, and when mine arrived it was beautiful, still smelled of the forge -- everything was hunkydory. And BTW, should anyone care the sinks he sells from his website directly are more expensive than through ebay because he uses a heavier gauge direct -- which I paid for, I thought it worth the extra twenty bucks and I am still happy I went with the heavier gauge.

So -- all's well, it takes forever to proceed and have my cabinet made and the stone added and to pick a faucet. I chose a Brizo oil rubbed wonder for an insane amount of money in part because there was a drain and that's when the real trouble started. I didn't realize I needed to request a popup drain and they didn't ask. But I managed to get Brizo to send a popup drain; the regular one worked fine but has holes all over the place that are no good.

Then when the popup arrived it didn't fit. Though the regular drain did. And it turns out that the drain hole in this beautiful, now-mounted (overmount with silicon) drain is 1 3/8", which is the ID measurement of the popup drain, not the OD which is 1 5/8". My sink is 1 3/8", maybe even 1 1/2". When I called Brizo they said "lady your sink is non standard, whatchathinkwecandoabouthat?"

I emailed back Jose and he wailed that he's never had a problem before and all his customers have no issues and he cannot imagine what the problem is and he uses a standard drain size and it is 1 1/2". When I put a tape measure to the hole I guess you could squeeze a 1 1/2" measure from that though it's a short 1 1/2". But it doesn't matter anyway because the popup is 1 5/8" OD.

I haven't heard back from Jose. But, he hasn't blown me off yet.... It hasn't been enough time.

When I went to write my woes here and ask if anyone has any creative ideas for getting a popup sink that is less than my plumber's warehouse's $150 one, I realize that just *looking* at his original photo of the sink he would send me and mine, you can *see* the drain hole looks different. Here are the two shots.

His sample:

And mine:

Not, I suppose, that there's much dispute because it is what it is:

So..... I guess what I'm hoping is Jose will look at the photos and say "whoopsey, my bad, something wrong in the manufacturing, let me send you another one". And then I'll somehow have to get the old sink out of it's locale and the new one in there. That's not too hard since it's just overmounted with silicone, right? right??? I wouldn't know....

But of course what I fear is he will vanish into the ether.

Does anyone have any suggestions with any of this? A lead on where to get a cheaper popup drain that will fit? Or how to carefully enlarge the copper drain hole by 1/2 without bending it so things will leak? A way to gerryrig the plumbing so things will work anyway? I don't really even need a drain plug, it's just for washing hands...

Here's a "context-shot":


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This post was edited by jstell2008 on Fri, Sep 26, 14 at 20:10

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:05PM
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Hmmm -- bad to worse. That's *Really* not going to make me happy... Maybe I should just punch a hole under the rim. Wouldn't help though, it's a "volume" thing underneath the sink, I think, for accommodating the overflow outflow.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:33PM
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Standard bathroom drain size is 1 1/4" pipe. Kitchen drains are 1 1/2".

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:34PM
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? So how come popup drains seem to have a 1 5/8" OD??

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 2:36PM
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FWIW I think a popup without an overflow is a disaster waiting to happen. We've got those (vessels with no overflow, popup drains) in our bathroom and every time I close the drain I watch it like a hawk - I have visions of a mess.

"I don't really even need a drain plug, it's just for washing hands... "

Wouldn't it make the most sense to just go with the drain it came with? I mean, how often do you really fill the sink? You could get a small rubber flapper or something to set in there when you need to. Just a thought.

If you do decide to go with it anyway, I wonder if you could use a dremel with a metal cutting bit or something to make that hole wider? Or you could take it to a metal fabrication shop and see what they can do with it?

Good luck - gorgeous sink!

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 5:26PM
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Did it even come with it's own drain?

As long as we're taking about code, is that outlet actually at the same level as the counter?

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 6:17PM
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I would guess someone could carefully enlarge the hole in the sink if you wanted? We just had that done with a cast iron sink, though we were very lucky that the sink did not crack in the process.

But I also think it is not a good idea to have a pop up drain if there is no overflow.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 7:28PM
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yeees, well... why on earth didn't I chatter about this first? I didn't know...

Yes, that drain is - well not at counter height, it is overmount so it sits down lower than the countertop -- it's not a vessel sitting on the countertop, that is. It's an overmount inside of the cabinet. So -- that sounds good, right?

No, the sink did not come with any drain. And I would be super-happy to have no stopper, just use a rubber one from the hardware store in the rare instance it might be useful to stopper up the sink. In all honesty I just cannot see why that would happen. Maybe, sometime down the road the office next to this room gets turned into a guest room and a guest is staying there and wants to shave? Else, there's a big, deep laundry sink less than 4 feet from this lavatory. I am totally good with not stoppering it at all.

But how to do that? The plumber was quite dyspeptic about that. Should I hold his feet to the fire about creatively plumbing that?

Q: if bathrooms' standard pipe is 1 1/4" then maybe this is not even really the manufacturer's fault? He's offering to send me a new one if/when I send this back to him, but all the way to Mexico is likely going to be expensive. My druthers would be to somehow plumb this with no stopper -- is that even doable though??


    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 8:54PM
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Babka NorCal 9b

I think Errant was addressing the fact that your electrical outlet is counter top level. Even for a GFI, I doubt that meets code.


    Bookmark   August 21, 2014 at 9:57PM
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Oh, sorry about the outlet thing ... well, it is GFI and it was inspected. But as we all know, inspectors don't catch lots. It's not right at counter level, but the outlet cover got shaved a 1/4" to fit on the top of the counter like that ... so someone will therefore know it's height off the countertop from that info (I don't). Does that make it sub-code par? I hadn't actually realized! It's not trying to be illegal, just we obviously don't know what we're doing and the city isn't really telling us. I guess you're thinking (duh) that's unsafe -- perhaps I should stick a kid outlet cover in the bottom one; it's rare anyone would ever be using that outlet anyway. I can see your point given its location, thanks!

But what the heck am I going to do about this mess?? Is copper really soft enough to cut it back installed like that? Who could do that? I was wondering whether the big heavy duty round drill saw bit the stone guy uses could be employed to grind away 1/4" from around the hole? Is that doable???

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 1:37AM
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I didn't read all the post but I say get the drain without the pop up. Get the type that has the many holes. Without an overflow it is just too risky. Get it done and start enjoying your sink;)

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:31AM
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I am not an expert.
When our contractor tried to expand the hole of our cast iron sink to accommodate a larger drain, he mentioned that stainless or other metal wouldn't be a problem but he was concerned because cast iron is brittle. That is why I mentioned that someone should(?) be able to adjust your sink -- but I can understand why they would not want to be held responsible if the sink gets ruined. Our contractor mentioned using a dremel but I do not know whether or not that was the actual tool used.
Good luck with whatever you decide!

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 4:07PM
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Why not get a pop-up drain that fits a 1 1/2" drain hole?

Here is a link that might be useful: Signature Hardware pop-up lavatory drain 1 1/2

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:32PM
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You stated above that the the Brizo regular drain with holes all over it fit fine.
Why don't you just use that one. Why would you want to risk possibly ruining your sink by trying to enlarge the hole.
If and when you might need to close the drained just use flat suction-grip sink stopper. They are readily available at hardware and big box stores. I have even seen them at Walgreen and CVS.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 9:56PM
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Badger -- but how do those holes get plugged? They're meant for a commercial sink that's got heft underneath it and a spillover outflow thingymabob up top... I don't have the language. Or any idea what's going on. I only know that the plumber says no way no how can you use the non-overflow drain assembly on this sink because those holes all come below the sink...

I honestly have zero idea what's going on here.

I am perfectly happy with rubber stoppers, have em here in fact. The trouble, I'm told, is contriving plumbing to fit around the drain hole. Thanks for the link, dekeoboe. I'll call them and try to figure out *which part* is 1.5"...

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 10:11PM
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This post was edited by jstell2008 on Fri, Sep 26, 14 at 20:13

    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 11:59PM
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No, not because it is a commercial sink. Because it is just a piece of molded copper, no molded attached outflow into which the holes in the regular drain assembly would flow.

I'd be happy to use the drain with the holes, but there's no place for the water to drain from through the holes... at least that's how it is explained to me.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2014 at 5:42AM
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This post was edited by jstell2008 on Fri, Sep 26, 14 at 20:14

    Bookmark   August 25, 2014 at 4:43PM
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