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How to Repair Leaky Kitchen Plumbing

We've all done it before: Placing a bucket under the sink kitchen plumbing to catch the dripping from a leak, instead of calling out a plumber to repair the problem. Sometimes it just seems to be the easier solution. However, it is important to fix a leak before it becomes a bigger issue. The dirty water would collect into a bucket, forming an unhealthy sludge that leaves a horrible smell and pollutes the air in your kitchen and the rest of your home.

Plumbing under the sink usually consist of large ring nuts that are sealed using nylon washers. These nuts sometimes become loosened and may crack, rendering the seal ineffective, causing water to leak when you run it into the sink.

Today, we have good news for you. You don't need to call a plumber, as you could repair the problem in minutes, and it will only cost you a couple of bucks.

What You Should Know About Leaky Kitchen Plumbing

  • Don't use a wrench or pliers to loosen or tighten plastic kitchen plumbing, because it may crack.
  • There's no water pressure in the plumbing under the kitchen sink, because it is a drain pipe, not a water supply pipe. That means that you don't have to worry about turning off the main supply and about flooding your kitchen.
  • You should remove any pots and pans of cleaning supplies from the cabinet. Also, do keep a rug handy, as the u-shaped drain trap will contain a little bit of water.
  • If the u-trap is damaged, you can buy a new kit that contains a new trap and washers. Alternatively, you could just buy a couple of washers.

Fixing leaky kitchen plumbing:

You will need:

  • a large plastic bucket
  • large, adjustable pliers
  • ring nuts
  • nylon drain washers
  • a rag

1. Check the connections and pipes.

If water is dripping from a ring nut, you should tighten it clockwise. If that doesn't stop the dripping, you need to proceed to the next step.

2. Gently unscrew the tighteners by hand.

You should loosen it on both ends, where it enters the pipe secured to the wall, and where it connects to the sink. Then, remove the nylon washer and the nut from the pipe.

Give the u-trap a good wipe while you're at it.

3. Insert the new washers.

The washers should fit snugly to keep water from filtering through. This will create a seal that should prevent water from leaking.

4. Insert the end piece.

Line up the end piece and gently slide it onto both sides of the u-trap.

5. Secure the fasteners.

Once the u-trap is inserted, you can secure the fasteners. However, be careful when tightening plastic to metal, because you may strip the thread.

This tutorial shows a simple way for any DIY enthusiast to repair kitchen sink plumbing. However, in some cases, this may only offer a temporary fix. For more serious plumbing and drain issues, it is important to get in touch with a City of Toronto licensed plumber who knows the appropriate city codes.

Written by Tanya Klien

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