A blocked kitchen sink is a problem everyone faces at one time or another. For those who do dishes in the sink, it can be highly frustrating when the water refuses to drain away, or takes much longer than usual. It is often the result of large amounts of food scraps and other waste matters accumulating and getting stuck in the drainpipe. Clogged drainpipes are not the only kitchen sink plumbing issue you have to deal with from time to time. Other problems include leaking faucets, leaking drain baskets and broken garbage disposal units.
Here are some tips for troubleshooting your kitchen sink plumbing problems.
- Clogged Drains: The drain becomes clogged when large pieces of food and other waste matter accumulates and gets stuck in the drainpipe. Mostly, it happens just below the sink, but sometimes it happens further down the pipe, which can complicate things. When your kitchen sink drainpipe is clogged, you can try cleaning it with a plunger or chemical drain cleaner. The latter may take several hours to take effect and may not work if the clog is severe.
- Leaky Faucets: Leaky faucets are usually the result of either bad plumbing or a worn out washer. If it’s the former, then it is best to call the contractor who did the job. If it is the latter, then you can take apart the faucet and replace the washer. Be sure to turn off the water at the source before undertaking the task; otherwise, you will end up flooding the entire kitchen and getting completely wet in the process.
- Leaky Drain Baskets: A leaky drain basket can flood the area under the sink and it is often disgusting to clean up. If the drain basket is leaking, replacing it is often the best solution. Unscrew the fixture using a screwdriver and insert a new one in its place. Since you don’t want to replace it every year, buy one that is of high quality and durable.
- Broken Garbage Disposal Unit: Also called garburator, the garbage disposal unit is an electrically powered device that is installed under the kitchen sink between the drain and the trap. Its function is to shred the food scraps into little pieces so that they can pass through the drainpipe without any trouble. If the device stops working, then reset it by pushing the red button that you will find on its underside. If that doesn’t work, then you’d better call a licensed plumber.
You can fix most of the kitchen sink problems without having to call a licensed plumber if you have the right tools (which include an adjustable wrench, a screwdriver and a plunger) and a working knowledge of how kitchen sinks function. However, if you do not have the right tools or cannot handle them properly, then you may end up causing more damage than you started with, which can be costly for you. Therefore, it is best to call a licensed plumber to do the job if you are unsure of your DIY abilities.