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How to Repair and Change Plumbing Under Your Kitchen Sink

Your kitchen sink is more than just a basin for washing dishes; it’s an integral part of your home’s plumbing system. When plumbing issues arise under your kitchen sink, it not only disrupts your daily routine but can also lead to long-term damage if not addressed. Whether you’re dealing with leaks, corrosion, or outdated components, R.S. Andrews has you covered with a step-by-step guide on how to repair and change the plumbing under your kitchen sink.

But before diving into repairs or replacements, it’s crucial to understand the warning signs that indicate an issue. These can range from persistent leaks and water damage under the sink to bad odors, slow drainage, or unusual noises coming from the pipes. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s likely time for a kitchen sink plumbing overhaul.

Locate and Repair Leaky Pipes 

If you’ve pinpointed leaks as your primary issue under your kitchen sink, it’s time to take action. Here is a more detailed, step-by-step guide to tackle those pesky leaks effectively:

First things first, you’ll need to locate the source of the leak. Remove all cleaning supplies, pots, and other items stored under your sink to have an unobstructed view. Wipe down the area, particularly the pipes, to remove any moisture. Now, run the water to see exactly where the leak is coming from. If it’s a slow leak, you may need to let the water run for a few minutes. Some people use food coloring to make the leak more visible; a few drops in the sink water can make the escaping water easier to see.

Turn Off the Water Supply

Before you proceed with any repair work, make sure to shut off the water supply to avoid any accidents or additional leaks. Under your sink, you should find a shut-off valve connected to the water supply line. Rotate the valve clockwise to cut off the water flow. It’s a good idea to run the tap briefly to ensure the water is indeed off.

Dismantle the Leaking Section

Place a bucket under the leaking area to catch any residual water that might spill during the repair process. Using an adjustable wrench, carefully loosen and remove the fittings or couplings that hold the leaky pipe section in place. If the area is corroded, you may need to apply some WD-40 or a similar penetrating oil to loosen it.

Apply Plumber’s Tape or Putty

Once you’ve dismantled the affected section, you have a couple of options to seal the leak. For minor leaks at threaded joints, plumber’s tape (also known as Teflon tape) is often sufficient. Wrap the tape tightly around the threaded end of the pipe, ensuring complete coverage. If the leak is coming from a joint or a small hole in the pipe, plumber’s putty is a better option. Knead a small amount of putty until it’s pliable and press it into or around the leak.

Reassemble and Test

After applying the plumber’s tape or putty, it’s time to reassemble the pipe section. Use your adjustable wrench to securely tighten the fittings back into place. Once everything is securely assembled, turn the water supply back on by rotating the shut-off valve counterclockwise. Allow the water to run and carefully inspect the repaired area for any signs of continued leaking. If the leak has stopped, congratulations; you’ve successfully repaired your leaky pipe.

Replace Pipes and Fittings 

When a simple repair isn’t adequate, replacing the entire plumbing section might be your best bet. Here is a comprehensive guide:

Assess and Measure

Begin by examining the existing plumbing to determine what will need replacing. Take precise measurements of the pipes, especially the diameter and length. Make a list of the fittings, connectors, and pipes you’ll need to purchase. Digital photos can also be helpful when you’re shopping for replacement parts.

Remove Old Pipes

Again, ensure the water supply is turned off. Place a bucket under the plumbing configuration to catch any water remaining in the system. Using a pipe cutter or a hacksaw, carefully sever the old pipes you intend to replace. Make sure your cuts are as clean as possible for a smooth installation process.

Install New Pipes

Before permanently installing the new pipes, do a “dry fit” without any sealant to ensure that everything aligns properly. After confirming the fit, disassemble the dry-fit pipes. Apply plumber’s tape or putty to the threads of the pipes and fittings. Use an adjustable wrench to securely fasten the new pipes and fittings, ensuring that they are tightly in place.

Test for Leaks

After installation, turn the water supply back on and check for any leaks carefully. A good test is to place a dry paper towel under the pipes and let the water run for a few minutes. If the paper towel remains dry and you don’t see or hear any dripping, your installation is likely secure, and your new under-sink plumbing is good to go.

By following these in-depth guidelines, you’ll improve your chances of effectively repairing or replacing the plumbing under your kitchen sink. However, if problems persist or if you’re not comfortable with DIY repairs, don’t hesitate to seek professional help.

Professional Plumbing Services

If your DIY attempts don’t resolve the issues, or if you’re facing complex plumbing problems like multiple leaks or corroded pipes, it’s best to consult professionals. At R.S. Andrews, we offer efficient and affordable plumbing services, using high-definition pipe cameras and advanced tools to fix your under-sink plumbing issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use PVC pipes for my kitchen sink?

Yes, PVC pipes are commonly used for kitchen sink plumbing due to their durability and affordability.

Is it necessary to replace old metal pipes?

If the metal pipes are corroded or consistently causing issues, it’s advisable to replace them.

How often should I check the plumbing under my kitchen sink?

It’s a good practice to inspect the plumbing at least once a year, or sooner if you experience any issues.

R.S. Andrews: Your Plumbing Experts on Under-Sink Plumbing

Whether you’re dealing with minor leaks or planning a complete replacement of pipes under your kitchen sink, understanding the basics of under-sink plumbing can save you both time and money. With the right tools and guidance, many of these issues can be resolved in a DIY manner. However, when in doubt, don’t hesitate to call R.S. Andrews for professional assistance for plumbing services. We’re always ready to help you ensure your kitchen plumbing is in optimal condition.


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