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Thread: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

  1. #1

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    Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    Hi Everyone,

    So, I've finally gotten my darkroom sink installed & am processing film in trays in the old basement - great feeling. I have a question about sink care and rust/oxidation. My sink's been installed for a couple weeks, and lightly used (3 batches of film so far). No problem there. Sink looked good when it was installed, except for damage in shipping by the carrier. I got this sink secondhand and the carrier totally mangled it (see pic). Post-install, some of the worst dents and dings were hammered out, but there was damage.

    Now, I'm seeing small patches of oxidation in one corner (I though this was from D-76, but it looks like it's from water - is there a way to tell?), but not seeing similar patches in other corners. Also, there are spots of oxidation where it looks like the sink pan got scratched in transit.

    Close up pictures show the corner in question as well as the damage near that corner. It almost looks like there's a seam where there shouldn't be in that corner & I wonder if the seam got ruptured. If so, is it a good call to seal with some silicone? Also, similar patches in the pan/bed - what can / should be done there?

    Thanks very much - not sure if anyone else's run into such a thing, but seeing that sink come (after a month in a warehouse) damaged really raised the old blood pressure.

    -Brandon
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  2. #2

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    So sorry to hear of and see the damage to your sink...what a bummer! I can't tell exactly from the pic, but what you're describing as oxidation looks like rust? I had something similar happen to my Arkay stainless sink back when my home was on a natural spring and was told that it was something in the water (minerals? metals?) that was causing the problem. I, of course, had the water thoroughly tested (we were drinking it!), but the water came back clean or within acceptable health guidelines. Cleaning of the sink required a very strong acid which required heavy rubber gloves, eye protection, good ventilation, etc. Since moving (20 years ago), I have had no issues with the sink.

  3. #3

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    Thanks, Alan - this is an Arkay sink, as well. It's hard to see in the pictures, but yes - the oxidation is that red-brown rust color. I thought it was developer oxidizing (amazingly) quickly, but I think it's damage to the sink. I don't have a filter under the sink, but live in Georgia and we aren't renowned for hard water here. Whatever I do, I will do it quickly - I really don't want this getting worse. It was supposed to be a lifetime sink, maybe it's more of a few-years sink. :|

  4. #4
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    I cannot answer your question, but I have a Calumet sink that I got 3rd hand 16 years ago with a corner that looks similar. It does not and has never leaked, so I don’t think you have a serious problem. Alan’s suggestion seems like a good idea and I may try myself. You could also take your pictures to a stainless steel fabricator and see what they have to say. Finally, don’t clean the sink with ordinary steel wool. It will leave small bits of fibers in the sink that will rust and cause the sink to rust.
    Keith Pitman

  5. #5
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    I will add, a steel hammer could leave bits behind to rust
    sin eater

  6. #6

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    Thank you, Keith. I was actually *just about* to get some steel wool - good to know this isn't a good idea! I'm glad to hear your sink isn't leaking despite having a similar corner.

  7. #7

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    Rust Check Rust Converter (phosphoric acid) on rust has the effect of blueing gun metal and stops rust from further formation. I use this on my poor kitchen sink stainless steel when i leave something that causes rust.

  8. #8
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    I use magic erasers or a generic equivalent for cleaning my SS sink. The corner could just be an ugly seam, not sure.. If you want something permanent to seal that seam, get a small tube of 3M 5200.

  9. #9

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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    JP & CowanW, thanks - this is great to know!

  10. #10
    Roger Thoms's Avatar
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    Re: Stainless Steel Sink & Oxidation / Rust?

    You can also use a 3M scotchbrite pad to clean the stainless steel. Especially if you need some more aggressive to remove something stubborn. I usually use either very fine (maroon) or ultra fine (grey) depending on the finish on the stainless steel.

    Roger

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