Under-the-sink leaks can be downright frustrating. But beyond that, they can do a lot of water damage. Preventing this possible water damage isn’t always straightforward, especially for homeowners who lack the plumbing experience. To help, here are some of the most common causes of water leakage under the sink and suggested solutions.
Common Causes of Leaks Under the Sink
Over time, rust can eat away at the pipes in your home and create cracks for water to escape through. If your plumbing is over 30 years old, your pipes are at a higher risk of corrosion. We recommend replacing your pipes with PEX or copper pipe. PEX pipe is cost-effective, flexible, durable, and easy to install, making it a popular choice. Copper is higher cost and more resistant to damage and delivers more water for the same size. If you have metal drain pipes under your sinks it is best to upgrade to ABS or PVC pipes. Since there are several different manufacturers of PEX, it’s crucial to install only that manufacturer’s connectors and fittings. If you mix and match materials, you will not only void your warranty, but you’ll end up right where you started – with leaky pipes and water damage.
In addition to ensuring your home has healthy pipes, make sure you use all brass valves. Brass has long been used in homes for plumbing thanks to its numerous advantages, including:
- Excellent conductivity and ductility
Avoid self-piercing saddle valves, as they’re prone to leakage. Older valves, such as the cheaper multi-turn valves, are made with plastic and require several turns of the stem to shut off the water flow. As these valves age and rust, they can seize or leak when used to shut the water supply off. With that being said, stay clear of plastic multi-turn valves.
Worn Out Disposal
If the leak isn’t from the pipes, you’ll need to perform some additional troubleshooting. If you identify water coming from bottom, the likely culprit is either a worn out internal seal or loose drain. If it’s a busted seal, a new garbage disposal is likely your best bet. The good news is that disposals are inexpensive and can last you 5 to 10 years. To fix the loose drain, tighten the metal clamp with a screwdriver to see if it stops the leaking.
Trying to finish your dishes after family dinner isn’t the most enjoyable chore. And if your clogged pipes are causing a back up and overflow, it can be downright frustrating. On top of being a nuisance, water will eventually escape through the cracks in caulking and pipe threads. But before you reach for a harsh chemicals like Drano, consider trying a safer and natural alternative. A drain snake is a simple tool that can be used to remove a clog with small “teeth” on the sides to provide resistance against debris the debris that’s causing the clog. You can also try pouring one cup of baking soda followed by one cup of table salt and a cup of white vinegar. Wait for ten minutes and flush it with boiling water. If the problem persists, we recommend calling in a professional Utah repair technician.
If your ice cubes are too small, or the water volume decreases the more faucets that are turned on, you may have low water pressure. Low water pressure can stem from corrosion in pipes to low delivery form the city. Its recommended to call your city and ask about low water pressure issues prior to calling a professional. They may be servicing the system or know of the issue. Water pressure should be 50-80 psi. Below that pressure you will get weak flow. Above 80 psi you are risking failure of orings and seals.
A Leaky Sink is More Damaging Than You May Think
Although you may think a leaky sink is just a few extra drops of water, think again. Ignoring leaking pipes can lead to significant damages for your entire house.
Expensive Water Bills
Did you know the average American homeowner wastes an estimated 10,000 gallons of water from leaks every year. Nearly one in ten homes have severe leaks that waste 90 gallons or more per day. This leads to hefty and surprising water bills.
Standing water can create an environment where mold develops. If that doesn’t scare you enough, water seepage can also attract termites and other home-destructive critters.
Other Home Damages
In addition to mold and creepy crawlers, the extra moisture can lead to the rotting of wood and floor damage. The fact is, the longer your leave the leak untreated, the worse the damages will be, costing you more in the long run.
How to Dry Up the Standing Water Under a Sink
As soon as you spot a leak under your sink, keep the area under the sink dry to prevent further damage to flooring or cabinets. Follow this checklist:
- Whenever you are working with electricity, you must check and recheck that you turned off the power to the item being serviced.
- After turning off the electricity, you’ll want to turn off the water supply to the sink. If you’re unsure where the water supply valve is, contact a repair technician.
- Remove any items located under the sink. Make sure to dry off the items with a towel if they are wet.
- Wipe up the water with a towel or mop. Dry all the surrounding plumbing fixtures completely.
- Leave the cabinet doors open to allow it to air dry for 24 hours. Plug in a fan and have it blow in the area under the sink to further the drying process.
- If the source of the water continues to be a mystery, touch all of the supply and drain lines with a tissue to detect moisture on the lines. While you’re under the sink, touch the supply lines where they connect to the faucet.
- Repair any leaks under the sink immediately to prevent damage to the flooring and cabinetry.
When You’ve Tried Everything, Contact iFiX, LLC
No one likes to be surprised by a wet mess under the sink. While sink repair often involves simply tightening a connection, it can just as often be more complicated. If you’ve done everything you can to locate the leak but still haven’t found it, don’t let the situation get any worse. Call iFiX today at (801) 731-4349. We are in the business of keeping people happy, and we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more!