Repairing Sink Pipes

You can often easily fix sink pipes yourself. It can be very cost effective and a pretty easy fix by using some basic skills. If you know what to look for and have the correct tools your sink pipes should be repaired in no time.

Repairing Sink Pipes - Tidal Wave ResponseAll Leaks Are Not The Same

There are usually three types of sink pipe leaks. First, it could be a pressurized leak. This type of leak will be obvious since there will be water spraying everywhere. Or it could be a drain line leak. You will notice this type of leak when you turn the water on and the let the water drain away. Lastly, it could be a bad sink drain seal. Fill the sink with water and watch it drain. Observing what is happening with the sink will help you figure what the problem is.

What To Try First

If it is a water hose leak try to tighten up things. The compression fittings around the shutoff valves are often broken when this happens, use a wrench to tighten up the nut. If the leak is higher up near the sink, try using a pair of pliers to tighten things up.

If it is a leak in the drain line, it could be due to loose connections or corrosion.  So start by tightening up all connections and compression nuts. If this does not help use an auger to get it to drain properly. If this still does not work, you have a corrosion problem and will need to purchase a new P-Trap Assembly. You can get help on installing one of these at your local home improvement store.

When sink pipes come loose you can see standing water in a cabinet or on the floor near the sink. Drains are connected with nylon washers to give a seal at the pipe. The nuts become loose and can crack over time or the seal can just not be tight enough. As water runs through these pipes it will leak out. Repairing a sink pipe leak can be easy to do if you follow the proper steps. However, it can easily turn into a major undertaking if something goes wrong. In that case contact Tidal Wave Response immediately for help.

Repairing Sink Pipes - Tidal Wave ResponseThings you will need:

  • 1 gallon plastic bucket
  • Large pliers
  • Ring nuts
  • Nylon drain washer
  • Rags or old towels


To fix a leaking sink pipe:

Note: whenever you are working on your home’s plumbing it is a great idea to keep several rags or old towels handy to help cleanup water that may come from the pipes.

  1. Remove all things near the pipe. Place a bucket under the pipe at the bend.
  2. Turn the water on at the sink.
  3. Watch the pipe for a few minutes to see if you can notice where the leak is coming from.
  4. If you see water dripping from the nut then you tighten it with pliers moving clockwise.
  5. If the leak is still happening continue on to the next steps.
  6. Loosen the ring nut at the leak counterclockwise with pliers.
  7. Separate this with your hands.
  8. Take out the nut and nylon washer.
  9. Check the washer and replace it if it is bad.
  10. Install a new ring nut at the end of the pipe.
  11. Thread the nut with your hand.
  12. Then tighten the nut with pliers.
  13. Tighten all the other nuts but do not go too far. You could break the nuts by over tightening.
  14. Sometimes leaks come from the pipes not being lined up correctly. So make sure the pipes are aligned for a tight fit.
  15. Run water through the pipe to check if the leak has stopped.
  16. If everything looks good, place a piece of paper under the pipe and check it the next day to see if it gets wet. If it is dry the next day, you have gotten a tight fit on the pipe.

While you are working under the sink look for rust and corrosion. If the pipe needs to be replaced, take it to your local home improvement store and purchase a replacement. These are inexpensive and can save you money in the long run. If you replace the pipe now you can avoid a major water leak in the future.

It is very easy to make mistakes or have accidents when trying to repair plumbing. If you feel like you are unqualified for these tasks contact a plumber. While being handy around the house is great thing, understand your limits.

Knowing when to seek professional help can save you money and headache in the long run.


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