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Earlier today I realized that I had a major leak underneath my bathroom sink. It soon became clear that I would have to replace the entire pop-up drain assembly. After all the hardware was removed, I noticed that the area underneath the lip, where the emergency drain empties out was covered in mold.

Does this mean my drain has been malfunctioning for some time?

How can I prevent this from growing back.

Would it also be safe to assume that my emergency outflow channel is super moldy as well?

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Are you sure it's mold? You can get some pretty nasty black scum in that area that's basically just a decomposed organic sludge (hair, skin, soup scum, etc.). It's gross, but practically unavoidable without an OCD like obsession to bombing your sink with chemicals. –  Comintern Mar 20 at 1:43

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Does this mean my drain has been malfunctioning for some time? No, a malfunctioning drain does not cause mold by itself.

How can I prevent this from growing back? If it is so important to you, you can disassemble the drain parts twice a month and clean them with bleach, but that stuff you think is mold is actually a mix of soap scum, toothpaste, lotions, decomposed organic matter, bacteria, etc. and is in every sink drain in the world.

Would it also be safe to assume that my emergency outflow channel is super moldy as well? Very likely.

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My thoughts exactly. Some places in the plumbing world are best left unobserved or quickly wiped from memory. –  Comintern Mar 20 at 2:30

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