A leak under the kitchen sink is usually easy to spot as you’ll notice the puddle on the floor of the cupboard or items stored there start to get wet. Spotting you have an issue if the first step. Now you need to take steps to repair it.
You should consider your options, a slight leak can be managed and potentially repaired. Of course, any leak will cost you on your water bill. A larger leak is generally more serious and has the potential to flood your home. You may prefer to call your emergency plumber and get the issue resolved by a professional.
If you decide to fix the issue yourself then you should do the following:
Locate The Leak
You know the leak is under the sink but you’ll need to identify if it’s on the supply or the exit pipes. Run your hands gently over all the pipes unit you feel the source of the moisture. A torch or even dry tissue can help you identify it.
Leaking Supply Pipes
If the leak is on the supply pipe you’ll need to shut off the water at the closest valve before that point. If you can’t find one then shut off the main supply valve.
The leak is most likely to be coming from a joint. Take a look at the joint, compression fittings often need to be tightened to improve the seal. You’ll need two wrenches, one to turn the nut and tighten it, the other to hold the joint in position. This prevents damage to the other side of the joint or the pipes.
You can do this with the water still on but you’ll need to be ready to react if the leak becomes worse.
In general, the pipes can be difficult to get to, that’s why they often leak. You may need to use adjustable pliers to help get the job done.
These are generally a little harder to find, they will only be present when water is going down the drain.
If the leak is where the pipes join the sink then it’s likely the plug seal has broken. You’ll need to remove the plughole from the sink and clean the area. Once it’s fully dry you can add new sealant and leave it to dry.
Should the leak be from one of the joints on the drain pipes you can carefully take them apart and replace the seal inside the joint. These are soft washers and they do perish when old. Be careful when unscrewing the drain pipes. The ‘P’ trap is designed to hold water and there may also be debris trapped which slows down the draining process.
Make sure you have a container to catch the wastewater and debris.
If the leak isn’t on the sink connection or the joints then you may have a damaged pipe. If this is the case you’ll need to replace the relevant section. Simply unscrew it and screw a new one in.