How to Fix a Leak Under Kitchen Sink: A Step-By-Step Guide
One of the worst things you can come home to after a long day of work is a leaking kitchen sink. Usually, you’d have to put a bunch of towels down, leave a bucket under the sink for leaking water, then wait for a plumber to come in and fix the problem. However, many people don’t know that they can fix their sinks themselves!
Here’s a step-by-step guide so you can fix your sink in no time.
Assess the Situation
The first indication of a leak is usually finding water soaked into your cabinet or flooding your floor. The first thing you need to do is find out where it’s coming from. Look at where the standing water or dampness is located, then look right above it.
In most cases, this location is where the leak is coming from. Next, you’ll need to find out what kind of leak is occurring to determine how to fix it.
Determine the Type of Leak
If the leak is coming from a pressurized pipe, you’ll likely find water spraying everywhere or far away from the source (these often require professional help).
If it’s due to the seal around the drain, you might not notice until the sink is full of water and slowly leaking out the bottom.
If the leak is from the drainpipe, you’ll have a pool of water at the bottom of your cabinet.
Check all areas around the sink to find out what kind of leak you have, then proceed with the appropriate steps. Leak detection is the most important part of the process.
Fix the Problem
The solution or fix for the leak depends on the type of leak. In this section, we’ll break down what types of leaks require what steps for a fix.
Sometimes the faucet is the source of the problem, rather than the drain or seal. Always check the faucet first, since it’s the easiest kind to find.
The good news is that these kinds of leaks are extremely easy to see because they flow down the back of the faucet and pool water behind the sink. In this case, all you need to do is replace the faucet itself.
Drain Seal Leaks
The next thing to check is the drain seal. You’ll know it’s broken if your sink cannot hold water without leaking. It’s very simple to replace as well:
- Gently remove the old drain seal with a pair of pliers. If you don’t have pliers, you may use a fork.
- Carefully apply new adhesive around the bare drain. Be careful not to apply too much.
- Replace the seal, making sure to apply it centered around the drain.
Drain seal leaks are not uncommon or difficult to fix. In fact, you can find replacement parts for the seal at your local hardware store for less than $5. Just make sure to apply it correctly so you don’t need to reapply it later.
If you’re sure it’s not a faucet or a seal leak, check if the problem is the drain itself. These happen when water comes out of the drain itself while the sink is emptying, resulting in a cabinet full of water. Most of the time, this is a very easy fix and you just need to tighten the nut for the pipe.
If you’ve tightened the nut and the sink still leaks, take these next steps:
- Verify that Plumbers Putty was used when installing the drain outlet flange.
- Ensure that the gasket/rubber sealing washer is completely flat.
- If everything looks okay and the sink is still leaking, take the entire thing apart and inspect every part to see if it’s cracked or damaged. Replace any damaged parts, then reinstall it.
If these steps don’t work, double-check to make sure the leak is coming from the drain or elsewhere.
We’re Here to Help You With Repairs
Leaky sinks may seem like a huge hassle, but fixing them yourself doesn’t have to be a huge ordeal. A DIY approach is usually enough to fix it, even if you don’t have any experience in plumbing. However, if you can’t manage to fix it with the tips given here, you can always call an expert at All Dry USA!