Throw In The Kitchen Sink: 3 Common Plumbing Problems And What You Can Do To Fix Them

5 March 2015
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Everyone who has a home has a kitchen sink, but not all sinks are created equal. If you find yourself at war with your kitchen plumbing, you could be facing one of these three common issues that almost all sinks have at some point. Don't start tearing your hair out just yet if your sink won't drain or keeps dripping -- the solution might be simpler than you think!

Drips And Leaks

The Problem: You turn off your water, but it doesn't stop flowing. Whether it comes out in a steady stream or just a few drips at a time, this can ultimately cost you big bucks on your water bill if it goes on long enough.

The Fix: Almost all faucets have small rubber washers inside them to keep pressurized water from forcing its way out when the tap is turned off. Most of the time, leaks are caused by damaged or totally broken washers, so the quick fix is simply to replace them. However, if the leak has gone on for long enough, you may need to continue reading more about the problem and also have the valve seat inspected for damage caused by water slowly seeping out.

Low Water Pressure

The Problem: When you turn on faucet, water comes out in a weak stream or only dribbles out slowly. This might be the case for both temperature options, or for only one of them.

The Fix: If both temperatures are suffering from low pressure, the issue probably has nothing to do with your pipes and everything to do with your faucet's aerator. Simply remove it from your faucet and give it a good once-over for calcium deposits that may be blocking water flow. If your home's water is hard, or rich in minerals like calcium, then this problem may reoccur.

If only one temperature of water has low pressure, you may need professional help to locate the issue. Most likely there is a valve somewhere along the line that is reducing the pressure. Another likely possibility is a leak in your water main, which will also require a plumber to fix.

Draining Slowly Or Not At All

The Problem: Once your sink is full of water, you know you'll have to find something else to do for a while because it takes forever to drain.In some cases, water may not drain at all.

The Fix: The first step, which may seem a little obvious, is to run your garbage disposal if you have one. Sometimes particles of food can accumulate slowly inside the disposal and block it up, so it's a good idea to run it briefly even if you don't think anything is in it.

If you don't have a disposal or running it doesn't solve your problem, the next step is to see whether or not you can remove the clog on your own. Drain cleaning solutions may be effective, but keep in mind that frequently using these chemicals may harm your pipes. If you own a drain snake or a pair of long tweezers, you can also try reaching into your drain with these tools to try and break up the clog.

Unfortunately, clogs can sometimes move too far into the pipe for the average homeowner to reach. Alternately, you may see frequent clogging if your pipes have not been cleaned in a long time or if they are set up in a poor layout that leads to deposits in one or more areas of your plumbing. If you find yourself faced with frequent clogs, it's a good idea to call a professional before you buy another bottle of drain cleaner.

Don't let your plumbing problems get you down! With a little research and potentially some help from your neighborhood plumber, you can get your sink back in working order in no time.