Water leaking under your bathroom or kitchen sink is not only inconvenient, but it can also result in water wastage and damage to your home as well. When you discover a leak, repair it right away by following these steps.
Step 1: Identify The Leak
A repair to the pipes under your sink is complicated by the fact that there are actually two different kinds of pipes: freshwater and wastewater pipes. To determine which pipe is the leaky culprit, you will need to dry off the pipes, plug up the sink, and then fill it with cold water.
If water begins leaking while the sink is filling, then the leak is in the water delivery pipe, most likely with the leak occurring at the connection to the faucet. If there is no leak before the sink fills, then remove the plug and let the water drain out. If water begins leaking as it is draining, the leak is in the wastewater pipe. For either kind of leak, look for the location of the leak and mark it with a piece of tape, a marker, or something else so you can quickly locate during the repair.
Step 2: Prepare The Pipe For Prepare
If the leak is in a fresh water pipe, you will need to shut off water to the sink before you make any repairs. Most homes and apartments will have specific shutoff valves for this purpose, but you may also have to shut off water to the entire home. If the leak is in the wastewater pipe, shutting off the water will not be necessary, although it does no harm to shut it off if you want to.
There are a few items that you will also need to gather for the repair of your leaky pipe. These include an adjustable wrench, nuts, Teflon tape, pliers, appropriately sized replacement pipes, and a knife. You may also want to put a bucket nearby to collect water and to throw the old materials in.
Step 3: Repair The Leaking Pipe
The specific repair will depend on the type of damage. If there is water bubbling up around the nut, then that is the cause of the leak. Sometimes the leak is due to loosened or corroded nuts, and you just need to tighten or replace them. While you are working in the area, you may want to tighten all the nuts to avoid further problems. Be careful not to over-tighten them as that could also cause damage.
More substantial leaks are usually due to a full crack in the pipe. If there is a crack in the pipe, you will need to remove that section of pipe and replace it. If a damaged water hose is a problem, then you should turn on the faucet to drain the hose of any remaining water. You need to use a replacement hose of the same type. Before you put on the new hose, apply tape around the threads to help prevent future leaks.
Sometimes a shutoff valve can wear out or crack and start leaking. If this is the case, it is probably best to contact a professional plumber. Similarly, for any of these issues, if you are uncomfortable working under the sink or not entirely confident in your DIY plumbing skills, then call in a professional plumber to complete the work. Sometimes even the best of DIY jobs fails to fix the problem. With a lifetime of training and expertise and specialized tools, your qualified local plumber can provide an accurate repair to a leaky sink that provides lasting results.