How to Fix the Pipes Under the Kitchen Sink? A Quick Guide
While we’d all like to fix all of the problems that arise in our homes, sometimes things are better left to a professional. That said, there are still some common household challenges that are pretty simple fixes you can handle all on your own with a bit of know-how.
One of those issues is fixing the pipes under your kitchen sink.
There are two main problems you’re likely to run into with the pipes below your sink in the kitchen. The first is that your pipes are loose, but no signs of leaking yet. The second is a leaky pipe, which is usually just the progression of a loosened pipe. However, there are different methods to solve both of these problems.
Below, we’ll show you how.
How to Fix a Loose Pipe
If you’re dealing with a loose pipe, or a leak that you know has stemmed from a loose pipe, there’s a simple strategy that anyone can employ to tighten the connection and get your pipes back in working order.
To do this, gather your supplies first. You’ll need:
- A large bucket, around a gallon
- Large pliers
- Replacement ring nuts and nylon drain washers (not necessary but often helpful)
1. Setting Up
With your supplies ready, take out any items you have stored beneath the kitchen sink. Beneath the bend in your piping, place a large bucket to catch any water that may leak during your fix. Turn on the water and see what happens to your pipes as it runs.
2. Tighten Your Connection
Is there water dripping from the ring nut? Tighten it clockwise using the pliers you have.
3. Replace the Parts
Is the water still leaking? Try installing a new ring nut and nylon washer. Use your pliers to loosen the ring now and separate it from the pipe, then separate the washer as well. Install new parts and tighten the new ring nut against the pipe. Don’t excessively tighten it, or you may damage the nuts.
The looseness usually comes from the connection, so your pipes should stay in place by tightening the joints.
How to Fix a Leaky Pipe
If your pipe is already leaking and you’re not sure what’s causing the problem, there’s a different approach you can take to identify the source and solve it.
1. Find the Source of the Leak
First, you need to diagnose the true source of the leak. Look for wetness in the cabinet below the sink. That will tell you where the water’s dripping. It could be the P-trap, the dishwasher hose, or a faucet connection. Use a flashlight if you need to.
Once you’ve identified the source of the leak, you can get to fixing it. Some of the most common leaks include faucet hose leaks and drain assembly leaks.
2. Fix a Faucet Hose Leak
If the leak is coming from one of your faucet hoses, a quick tightening of the connection there, much like you did to tighten the loose pipes, can solve it. If that doesn’t work, unscrew the connection entirely and see if the washer inside is worn out or crooked.
If water is spraying from one of your shutoff valves, you should replace the valve. You may want a plumber to help with this part.
3. Fix a Drain Assembly Leak
Another possible culprit is a leak in the drain assembly, which is partially composed of the P-trap or the curved part of your pipes beneath the sink. A sign that your problem is dripping water from the compression nuts. Use the same strategy described for loose pipes to fix this one.
If the leak is coming from the dishwasher drain, another part of the drain assembly may be due to a loose pipe clamp. The good news is that these clamps have a screw on their side that can easily be tightened with the right screwdriver.
Finally, if water is coming from your drain strainer, your pipes will peak when the sink is full of water.
Unlike most of the other problems listed here, this issue is more complicated as it involves disassembling to replace the strainer. For this case, hiring a plumber might also be a good choice.
When dealing with a simple leak or a loose pipe beneath the kitchen sink, it’s usually something you can fix on your own with the right tools and strategy.
However, when you can’t identify the source of the leak or the problem is more than you can handle, it’s essential to have a trusted company you can call.
Contact All Dry USA to solve your leaking kitchen sink problem once and for all!