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Quick Fixes for a Broken Sink

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When it comes to plumbing, small problems can quickly turn into big disasters, so it’s important to immediately address any plumbing problems you notice. Depending on the exact nature of the problem, a broken sink can be one of the easier plumbing problems for a homeowner to troubleshoot and fix.

Most of these fixes are applicable to any sink, including bathrooms and kitchens, but it’s important to remember that not all plumbing systems are created equally, so not every fix will be applicable to your particular problem. If you have any concerns about the proper repair technique, contact a plumbing expert in your area to help.

Here are some problems you can quickly troubleshoot and repair when you have an issue with your sink.

Broken Faucet

Faucets are one of the most common components of a sink to need repair. Depending on the amount of use, parts can wear out over time and start to leak. Whether you’re dealing with a faucet that drips or a leak at the base of the faucet, the difficulty of the repair will be determined by the type of faucet you have. For common faucet types, parts should be readily available at the local hardware store. If you have a faucet with less common components, you may be facing an expensive and time-consuming repair. In some cases, it can be easier, less time-consuming, and even less expensive to replace a leaky or broken faucet than to fix the damaged one.

Water Leak

Unchecked water leaks can wreak havoc on your home, so it’s vital to repair any leaks as soon as they are found. You’ll want to begin by tracing the source of the leak to find out where it originates. It’s no fun to complete an entire plumbing repair only to later discover that the water was leaking from another point in the plumbing system. The location of the leak will determine the type of repair needed, but the first step is always to stop the water flowing from the leak. Locate the water shut-off that feeds into the line where the leak is and turn it off. After you’ve turned off the water, you can assess the problem and determine the best way to proceed with the repair.

There are several common causes for leaks in sinks.

Faucet

In faucets, leaks are often caused by damaged gaskets and washers. Generally, those parts are easy to replace, though it may sometimes require the faucet to be replaced.

Water lines

Water lines are another common location for water leaks in a sink. Water line leaks are most commonly the result of failed gaskets or loose connections. Unless the line has been damaged, tightening the connection and replacing old gaskets are your best bets for fixing the problem.

P-trap

A p-trap is a curved section of pipe under sinks. It stays filled with water to stop odors from coming back through the pipes. Similar to other leaks, it can be caused by a damaged pipe, loose connection, or worn gasket. P-traps are where clogs commonly occur, so it’s also possible the pipe has been damaged by a clog or previous repair attempts.

Drain

Sometimes the drain can be the culprit behind a sink leak, which can be much more difficult to identify. Drains are usually sealed with plumber’s putty at installation, but if the putty is very old or wasn’t installed properly, it can eventually begin to leak. To stop the leak, you’ll need to remove the drain and replace the plumber’s putty to make the seal watertight.

Damaged caulk

Caulk is often used to create a watertight seal in various areas when sinks are installed. If the caulk is old or damaged, water can leak into different areas. Caulk is easy to replace and should be redone if you notice it’s in poor shape.

If you’ve checked all the common culprits and can’t find the source of a leak, don’t wait to call in the pros. An unmitigated water leak can cause serious problems in your home if it isn’t repaired quickly and correctly.

Clogged Drain

A clogged drain is one of the most common plumbing problems homeowners face. Over time, hair, soap scum, and other materials can build up in the pipes and block the drain. This results in either the sink draining slowly or not at all. The most effective way of clearing a blocked drain is to use an auger. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used easily without damaging the plumbing system. Chemical drain cleaners are another option, but they can result in damage to the plumbing system, if used incorrectly. Be sure to understand the type of plumbing system you have and ensure any chemicals are compatible with your home’s materials before using any type of drain cleaning chemicals. Performing regular proactive drain cleaning with baking soda and lemon juice or vinegar will help maintain your pipes and reduce clogs.

Getting Help for the Sink Repair

As a homeowner, there are a lot of problems that can crop up within your home’s plumbing system. If you enjoy being a DIY-er, then you may want to attempt some of these repairs yourself from time-to-time. However, if that “small” broken sink repair turns into a big project that needs the expertise of a professional, then it may be time to call on some expert plumbing technicians.

partnered post • cc-licensed image by Jo Zimny

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