When it comes to simple kitchen plumbing repair, you don’t have to be an expert plumber. Not to take away business from the plumbers but it would be a waste of money to hire an expert to come in and fix a small leak that could be fixed by a simple tightening of the pipes or a simple replacement. Here are 5 tips to make the job as easy as possible.
Tip 1: Know Your Kitchen Sink Plumbing Parts
You will have to become familiar with the components that drain the water down your kitchen sink before you can begin to repair it. This understanding will give you the knowledge to be able to troubleshoot problems.
It starts by a strainer that is fitted into a strainer body that’s sealed with putty into the sink hole. Below that a rubber gasket and metal washer, which helps seal the connection, is tightened by a large retainer or locknut. A threaded coupling mounts a tailpiece to the strainer.
At the tee in the drainpipe, a short threaded nipple and the main parts of the trap are connected by slip-joint couplings. The trap, which is a curvature in the piping, has the purpose of preventing sewer gases from coming up the piping and into the home and is always filled with water. The water along with the curvature acts as a water seal. The waste water will flow through the trap to the main.
If there is a garbage disposal, it will be connected above the trap and mounted to its own special strainer. There are different types of disposals and set ups. You should refer to the owner’s manual of the garbage disposal to become familiar with the set-up to better understand possible problems.
Know that the plumbing will be directly below the sink. Take care not to confuse the plumbing with gas supply pipes.
Tip 2: Examine the Leak
Different types of leaks require different repairs. There is a difference when the leak is around the base of the spout as opposed to a spout that drips. A spout base leakage is caused by O-rings that are worn out. They can be easily removed by pulling up on the spout and wiggling it free. You may also need to remove other parts such as the handle. The O-ring can be lodged into place pretty good so it may take some determination to remove it.
Tip 3: Turn Off the Water Supply
There are usually two valves underneath the sink that turn off the water supply, one for cold water and one for hot. You will have to shut off your main if there are no valves under the sink. This will prevent a horrible mess and the need to rent a wet/dry vacuum.
Tip 4: Repair Leaks Timely
The floorboard beneath your kitchen sink will most often be made of wood. Wood will be warped and damaged when exposed to water or a long period of time. In addition to the warping, there is also the trouble of mold and buildup of waste water sediment that will give your kitchen a foul odor.
Tip 5: Know When to Get Help
While most repairs can be done by you with the only cost being a replacement part or the energy it takes to tighten a bolt, there are other repairs that require a professionally trained person. If you find yourself fixing the same problem over and over again, you may need bigger repairs and a more thorough replacement of your kitchen components. Damage caused by you may be more than the original cost of having somebody repair the initial problem.