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How do I temporarily fix this hole in sink? I need it to hold at least for a few days.

sink bowl with sizable chip taken out, showing inner plumbing beneath

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  • 4
    I would go with epoxy, if "bowl in a sink" doesn't do it.
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 3 at 0:59
  • 1
    No, low-viscosity CA glue is the right solution here. It will wick into all the cracks and waterproof them. Sep 3 at 22:09
  • Decent gaffer tape. Nashua brand for instance. Sep 4 at 0:38
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    @R..GitHubSTOPHELPINGICE You will probably have a hard time getting CA glue to stay liquid long enough to do this job. Hot Licks nailed it. There are epoxy formulations that will wick into cracks and pores. Wicking is a requirement in any resin that is used in conjunction with cloths.
    – Kaz
    Sep 5 at 15:16
  • @HotLicks Almost twenty years ago, I repaired a coffee mug broken into three pieces with epoxy. I still have it; it will hold liquid.
    – Kaz
    Sep 5 at 15:17
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I did that once as a kid and my father fixed it with some epoxy. If you buy a good water-proof two-part epoxy it should seal the lines nicely until you can replace the sink bowl.

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    You can always fix it in mechanically first (with epoxy on the broken edges), then apply epoxy very evenly as a sealant in a second step. I'd do this from the inside and the outside, for strength. The advantage of doing it in 2 steps it you've got something to press against, to push the epoxy into the gaps where fragments are missing - and don't forget to seal the crack leading away from the hole
    – Chris H
    Sep 3 at 9:14
  • Where does said person buy two part epoxy in store near them? Do you have pictures of how this will look? How about that crack? Last time I needed similar epoxy I had to order online as no big box or local hardware kept any in stock. You can glue it in there I guess. I just don't understand the amount of shopping and work for something that takes 30-45 mins to swap out.
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 at 19:26
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    @DMoore - I've found that sort of epoxy at just about every hardware store. I've also seen it at auto parts stores and discount stores ("home improvement" section). Many of them can be sanded, shaped, and painted, so you have some control over the look. Some dry clear, some can be tinted. It's ultimately a temporary repair, though, so looks don't matter that much.
    – bta
    Sep 3 at 20:02
  • @bta - you need two part knife grade epoxy to bind porcelain, tile, granite... Shoot me a link. The link you have is for glue.
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 at 20:07
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    @DMoore - This version specifically says it works on ceramics. You could even use that Flex Paste stuff from the annoying adverts. It only needs to hold for a couple of days, so you don't need too fancy of a solution.
    – bta
    Sep 3 at 20:14
19

It seems like you can use old "bowl in a sink" solution plastic bowl in a sink

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    Surely an important part of this approach would also be "second bowl under hole in sink in case you forget when emptying out the first bowl" (or just miss the plughole)
    – AdamV
    Sep 3 at 11:36
  • This is not a fix. It's a workaround. It's also not home improvement.
    – isherwood
    Sep 3 at 18:18
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    @isherwood it's an improvement in a sense that one can use the sink without fear of its pieces falling down. but i agree Sep 3 at 18:58
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    @isherwood any temporary solution is a workaround until you replace the sink. Sep 3 at 22:35
  • No, it's not. A repair allows full and normal functionality of a thing. An epoxy repair allows resumption of normal sink use. This would be just awkward, with constant dumping, etc.
    – isherwood
    Sep 6 at 14:49
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I hate "not answering the real question" but I also hate people wasting their time.

Instead of spending 20-30 dollars on 2 part epoxy and maybe making this waterproof AND chancing a small leak ruining the cabinet... You don't only have a chunk missing but you have a pretty good crack line running there too.

Please spend that time and energy to just swap out the sink. These are $50-70 new at big box and $10-30 at salvage materials places (I have put at least 10 decent sinks like this on the curb at houses over the past 5 years).

You have to replace it so why do steps X, Y, Z beforehand. Part of DIY is knowing how to save yourself time in the long run.

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    @FreeMan - the bowl in the sink is fine... but epoxying a broken sink that is $50? What? I mean the good epoxy - marine grade stuff - will cost you at least 20 for the two part tubes. And then you might have a leak and then you will ask the question How do I temporarily keep a sink bowl leak from ruining cabinet bottom?
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 at 18:00
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    "I need it to hold at least for a few days.". Why are you not taking him at his word?
    – isherwood
    Sep 3 at 18:19
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    @isherwood - because op probably doesnt realize the correct epoxy is not sold in regular stores near them. And said sink would be much easier to find. And this finding of the epoxy and the solution would take way longer than just buying a sink. He's looking for a quick solution. The quickest solution is also the most correct.
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 at 19:22
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    @isherwood - also this is a bathroom sink. You do not need to use a bathroom sink. There are workarounds other than doing things wrong or doing things that could cause more damage. So the answer should be... don't use it. (or set up a portable sink draining into toiler - see my profile picture for ideas)
    – DMoore
    Sep 3 at 19:24
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    I need it to hold at least for a few days. - just swap out the sink - maybe the "few days" is the time required for a new equivalent sink to be delivered. Maybe there's a specific reason why no other sink is available.
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 5 at 13:32
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I would:

  1. Apply a bead of construction adhesive such as Loctite Power Grab to the exposed edges of the porcelain
  2. Put the broken porcelain back into place
  3. Duct tape it from the underside
  4. Cut a piece of lumber and put it under the broken piece so that it can apply pressure upwards
  5. Remove excess construction adhesive inside the sink
  6. Clean the sink with a damp sponge or cloth
    • Construction adhesive generally does not like being exposed to water
  7. Inside the sink seal all the cracks with 100% silicone
  8. Let the silicone cure before using the sink

If you don't mind the silicone inside your sink then this could be a fairly permanary fix.

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  • I don't see the need for a strut. Tape around the bowl with a pad of something under it to enhance pressure would be plenty.
    – isherwood
    Sep 3 at 16:37
  • Cyanoacrylate glue would seep into the crack and seal it up nicer than silicone
    – Caius Jard
    Sep 5 at 13:34
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I would use some silicone adhesive caulking to glue the piece in place and then use some strong tape underneath to hold it in place. You might have to wedge a board underneath to hold the piece in as it dries if tape doesn't stick. Smear some of the silicone liberally over all the cracks inside the sink once the piece is in place. It won't be pretty or very strong, but it should make the sink usable for a while.

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    Would only add to not put too much water or any in the sink, leave the drain open if possible.
    – crip659
    Sep 2 at 20:21
  • Silicone would hold water just fine. The weight of the column over that hole amounts to maybe a pound. It cures slowly, though, so the sink is out of commission for a day. I'd use epoxy or super glue.
    – isherwood
    Sep 3 at 16:38
  • @isherwood Epoxy is a better investment. After using a little bit of it, you can close the bottles. If the next time you use it is ten years from now, it will likely still be good. The shelf life is decent, especially if you keep it in a dark place. Once you open a tub of silicone, all of it is toast within a few days or weeks, even if you just needed a little.
    – Kaz
    Sep 5 at 15:22
1

Tape the piece back firmly in place from below, possibly having a helper press it upward for you or wedging something against it. Then, use Loctite 420 or a similar extremely-low-viscosity CA glue product that's designed to wick into cracks and rapidly dry. You can remove excess with a razor blade and/or a paper towel soaked in acetone. It's good to have acetone ready in case you accidentally glue your hand to something with it too, because this stuff sets nearly instantly.

This will be a permanent fix if you want it to be.

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  • How are you going to get a piece this size in place with glue that sets "nearly instantly"?
    – Kaz
    Sep 5 at 15:23
  • @Kaz: You don't put any glue on it before putting it in place. You fix it in place first, applying pressure at the same time, and then you dab the glue along the cracks from the top. It wicks down into them. This kind of glue can be used for fixing ceramic dishes/cups that have hairline cracks causing them to leak, but that aren't actually broken apart. That makes it very appropriate to OP's situation where there seem to be fine cracks extending past where the piece was actually broken out. Sep 5 at 16:14

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