It’s frustrating when something goes wrong with your plumbing and the obvious temptation for many is to see if there is a way to fix a leaky faucet or repair the sink themselves.
Working with water often requires the attention of a qualified plumber if you don’t want to make things worse than they already are, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a look at the problem and decide what the best course of action is.
Let’s take a look at some classic kitchen sink problems and the ways you might be able to fix the issue.
A leaky drain
Water running out of the pipework under the sink can sometimes go unnoticed for a while and that means potential damage to the sink unit and surrounding area.
Once you spot that you have a leaky drain there are a couple of things to do.
First of all, check if the drain connections are screwed tightly enough and carefully run some water to see exactly where the water is escaping. It could be a simple case or replacing a seal or you might have a cracked pipe that needs replacing.
Be careful not to overtighten the connections which will damage the thread.
Is the sink strainer leaking?
The problem might be with your sink strainer if the drainpipe isn’t leaking.
A good way of testing if this is where the problem lies would be to fill up your sink with some water and wait about five minutes or so to see whether the water level starts going down even when the plug is in.
Use a tissue to run around underneath your sink to see if it becomes wet. That should tell you if your sink strainer is leaking.
Replacing the sink strainer
If you have discovered that the strainer is leaking you may want to have a go at replacing it yourself.
If you are going to attempt a DIY replacement you will need to identify the type of sink strainer you have and what connectors it has. There are actually three different types of strainer and you need to establish whether you have a bell washer, locknut, or locknut with screws version.
You should be able to find instructions online or a video tutorial to help you complete the task.
Tighten everything up
Before you commit to replacing the strainer you might want to check if the bell housing or locknut feel a bit loose.
It could be that they just need tightening up properly rather than replacing. Be careful not to overtighten the fittings as that could cause damage.
If the leak is small you might be able to fix it with some clear silicone. It is not too expensive to fit a new strainer and you might decide that it is better to sort the leak out properly rather than using silicone to stem the flow.
These are the sort of plumbing jobs that can be done by yourself. However, anything more complicated or if you are not sure what you are doing it is always best to call a plumber.
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