Do you have a kitchen sink leakage? A leaking sink can truly dampen your spirits on a fine day. It is a fairly common issue that homeowners face, and you do not have to stress out because you can fix it.
Your sink leaking can cause damage to your kitchen, trigger mold growth, and also land you insane water bills. This is why you must fix a leaking sink as soon as possible, or it could lead you to be in deep water- quite literally!
While you can resolve some plumbing issues on your own, others may require professional assistance. It is best to evaluate the situation and contact professionals if you are unsure of the steps to take.
Read on to find out how to fix a kitchen sink leakage.
Tools to Keep Handy
Being your own plumber can be quite hectic but ultimately rewarding! Fixing a leaking sink does not necessarily demand any complex tools.
General knowledge and functions of plumbing tools will suffice. However, for more complex issues, you will need to employ professional tools which are best wielded by experts.
Before you get down to fixing your kitchen sink leaking, it is recommended that you keep the following tools handy:
⦁ Wrenches: Pipe wrench, basin wrench, faucet key, adjustable wrench
⦁ Pipe tools: Pliers, press-fitting systems or soldering iron
⦁ Cleaning clogs: Plungers, hand auger
The area underneath a kitchen sink lacks light. You need to have plenty of light so that you do not go wrong with your work. This is why you must also keep a torch with you while working.
Another point to remember is that you should take all the necessary safety precautions. Make sure you wear goggles, gloves, and do not have any electrical appliances near you while working.
Types of Leaks
Typically, the signs that you have a kitchen sink leaking are visible and evident. You may be able to identify the source of the leakage at a glance. At other times, it may be slightly more challenging to scout out the source.
You need to acquaint yourself with the types of leaks before you set out to fix your leaking sink. This will help you determine the source more accurately.
Sometimes, a leakage may not be entirely visible, but sounds of dripping water and musty smells may suggest leaks. Growth of mold or rotten wood is also other such indirect indicators of leakages.
Here are the most common types of leaks at a glance:
⦁ Supply connection leaks
⦁ Drain leaks
⦁ Faucet leakages
⦁ Leaky disposal
⦁ P-Trap leaks
⦁ O-Ring leaks
⦁ Worn-out washers and corroded valve seats
The first step towards fixing your problem is to know your problem. Once you are aware of the type of leak that you are facing, you can finally move on to safely fixing it!
Fixing Leak Under Kitchen Sink
It can be incredibly frustrating when your kitchen sink is not entirely functional. This may hinder the flow of your work and also be a drab spot on your beautiful kitchen! Here is how you can identify and fix various types of kitchen sink leakages.
First, you must detect the source of the leakage so that you can deal with the problem in a permanent manner. Curbing the leakage at the source will prove to be a more sustainable solution than adopting makeshift measures.
Supply Connection Leaks
When you look under your sink, you will find compression fittings at shutoff valves that connect the hot and cold faucets to the water supply lines. This may be a location of leakage.
Use a dry tissue to wipe each connection. If you detect moisture, then it is most likely the source. The best way to judge this is to plug the drain of your sink and turn on the faucets. If you notice the sink leaking when the water is not draining, the water supply connection is at fault.
Usually, a kitchen sink has two supply connections. Leakages here are mostly caused due to corrosion or failed gaskets. For your reference, a gasket is usually a rubber ring or sealer between two pipes or parts.
You can fix such a leak by replacing the gaskets or simply tightening the connection using a pipe wrench. If the pipes are narrow or the size of the nuts and bolts is small, you should use a plier since it will be more suitable.
Drain leaks are perhaps the most common type of leaks. To check for this, fill your sink with water and watch below while it is draining. You should look for signs of leakage around and near the slip joints in the drain pipe.
Drain leaks can occur due to blockages, corrosion, or loose joint nuts. Try to determine the cause of the drain leakage by checking each area.
Kitchen sink drains are generally sealed with plumbing-grade or plumber’s putty. If this putty is not of good quality or has grown old and weathered, it can give way to a kitchen sink leakage.
You will easily find plumbing-grade putty at a local convenience store. You can remove the drain and re-seal it before attaching it securely back in its place.
There may be cases where you can solve the problem by simply tightening the nuts and bolts at the joints. You should use a pipe wrench for this, but if the nuts and fittings are hexagonal, then an adjustable wrench will be a better tool.
On other occasions, a drain may leak because it is too old or worn out. Such drains cannot be permanently fixed. It is best to contact a professional plumber and get the worn-out drain replaced.
Sometimes, the source of your kitchen sink leakage is loose faucet connections. A leaky faucet may drip water down under your sink and form pools of water at the base of the faucet.
In most instances, failed or loose washers and worn-out gaskets cause faucet leaks. You need to replace them, and your faucet will be good to go.
In extreme cases, however, the entire faucet may need to be replaced. This is not a difficult process, and you can do it yourself. Contacting a plumber is advisable, though.
A leaky disposal sink flange can cause water to seep through it. Fill your sink with water and check underneath it at the disposal flange to find signs of leakage.
The drain lines connected to the disposal could also be leaky due to loose screws and clamps or defective rubber gaskets. Leakage may originate from the internal seal located at the bottom of the disposal body as well.
Disposals are a little tricky to handle, so you should consider getting in touch with professionals.
The curved parts of kitchen sink plumbing and pipes are known as P-Traps. A P-Trap is usually positioned out of sight and intends to prevent unpleasant smells from escaping the drains.
It is natural for pieces of food and other waste to accumulate in the P-Trap over time. This may clog it and create a situation of a sink leaking. You can use a wrench and detach the P-Trap to clean it. You can also use plungers or a hand auger to clear the clog.
If the P-Trap is corroded, you will have to replace it entirely.
The faucet handle is held in place by a stem screw. It consists of a small, disc-shaped fixture known as an O-Ring. The O-Ring can become loose or weathered due to constant usage. When this happens, the faucet leaks near the handle.
You can solve this problem by replacing the O-Ring. A faucet key would be a handy tool when dealing with such a situation.
Worn-out Washers and Corroded Valve Seats
Washers undergo a lot of friction because they are pressed against the valve seat every time you use the faucet. This may lead to leaks around the spout over time. This is a problem, especially for compression faucets. You should simply replace the washer.
A valve seat acts as a connection between the spout and the faucet for the mechanism of compression. When water accumulates here, it can cause corrosion. Regular cleaning of the valve seat can prevent this.
You can tend to a kitchen sink leakage all by yourself if you are aware of how to detect it and use your tools. The most typical of leakages are caused by loose washers or worn-out plumbing.
If you notice that you have a leak under your kitchen sink, it is crucial that you do not let it get out of hand. Plumbing is an important part of the functioning of a household, and any unattended faults can have severe consequences.
While a kitchen sink leaking is a fairly common ordeal that homeowners go through, it can also be fixed using general tools and basic knowledge. However, sometimes, the leak under the kitchen sink may take a complex turn. In such cases, you must immediately seek the help of a professional plumber.