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Today I made the mistake of pouring caustic soda down a kitchen waste-pipe to unblock it. Despite reading that it's safe on plastic pipes, it created a terrible leak between the pipe and the underside of the sink. I assume it ate right through the rubber gasket.

Is this to be expected, or does it sound like the sink was badly fitted? I know how corrosive caustic soda is, but it seems like it's pretty common for exactly this purpose.

  • What is "sealant"? Modern sink drains don't usually require plumber's putty or caulk. They typically use rubber gaskets. – isherwood Mar 1 at 18:51
  • Perhaps it was rubber that was destroyed then. Would caustic soda do that? The sealant I used in the emergency was general bathroom caulk. – Tim Mar 1 at 19:59
  • Does that mean latex caulk, silicone, or a blend? You're asking a specific question, so we need specific details. – isherwood Mar 1 at 20:02
  • I'd tell you if I had it to hand, but it's not where I am. I'll post back with more info later. – Tim Mar 1 at 20:10
  • a reaction with gunk in the sink could have released enough heat to melt the pipe, but it's hard to see it eating through something legitimately used/sold for plumbing. – dandavis Mar 1 at 20:27

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