Your kitchen is often the centerpiece of your home; it’s where you prepare meals, gather as a family and entertain guests. Unfortunately, if not properly maintained your kitchen can also be a potential minefield for your home, most especially in reference to flooding.
With so many appliances hooked up to water lines, properly maintaining pipes and drains is essential to preventing home flooding. Here’s how to prevent some of the most common causes of flooding as well as how to deal with unexpected kitchen deluges.
As with most things, prevention is key. When your dishwasher floods it can not only destroy your appliance but your plates, kitchen cabinets, and floors as well. There are a few things that can be done in order to prevent or reduce the risk of damage from a dishwasher flood:
- Only run the dishwasher when you will be home and awake. Running the dishwasher while you are away or asleep may seem more convenient but, should something go wrong you will not be there to minimize the potential damage.
- Check your hoses. Often rubber hoses supply your dishwasher with water but these can degrade over time. It is important to keep a close eye on your hoses so that you can replace them when needed. Generally a much sturdier braided hose can be found at a local hardware store should you ever need to install a replacement hose.
- Look for debris. Debris build up along your dishwashers seal and in its pump (located at the bottom of the dishwasher). When you load the dishwasher food will often drop into the baskets and it doesn’t always make it to, or through, the drain. Keeping your seal and pump clean will ensure that your dishwasher keeps the water inside and properly draining!
Should you experience a dishwasher flood do not panic, follow a few simple steps and then assess your situation.
- First, turn off your dishwasher and unplug it if you can.
- Next look for your water supply lines, these are usually under your sink, turn these off. Depending on the amount of flooding you may also want to shut off the circuit breaker.
- Mop up the water surrounding your dishwasher and remove everything from inside the dishwasher; make sure to check for debris from possibly damaged items.
- Check for damage to the hoses and/or blockage of the pump as well as any potential seal obstructions. If one of these is the culprit chances are you can repair the problem yourself but if not you will want to look into calling a professional.
Refrigerator Water Line Leaks
Having cold filtered water and ice on demand is wildly convenient, but a leaky water line to your refrigerator can cause some serious damage. Usually there is a copper water line that supplies your refrigerator with a steady stream of water put if this line develops a hole or becomes unattached, gallons upon gallons of water could slowly be leaking into your floor.
To prevent major damage to your home it’s important that you actively look for and try to prevent these leaks by:
- Buying a water alarm. It is normally a bit of a challenge and a hassle to continuously peer behind your refrigerator looking for water leaks; a water alarm can cut out this step. These small battery powered devices have electrodes on the base and will alert you if these electrodes come into contact with water. Set one of these behind your fridge near the water line — just remember that you will need to change the batteries every so often.
- Looking for crimps in your water line. Often these are the biggest causes of pinhole leaks. If you find a crimp replace the line. One way to help avoid crimps is by protecting your hose with a hard pvc pipe
- Using stopping blocks. These are wooden blocks cut to a specific size, slightly longer than where your water line is installed. These blocks will keep you from pushing your fridge back too far and crimping or breaking your waterline.
If you notice that your refrigerator’s water line is leaking there are a few things you can check that may fix the problem. First shut off water to the fridge — your water shutoff valve may be located under your sink or behind your refrigerator depending on how old your home is.
Once the water has been shut off you can check to make sure that your copper line connection is tight, and that there are no crimps. If the problem is not immediately obvious a pro from Tidal Wave Response may be your best bet at figuring out your leak.
Kitchen Sink Piping Leaks
The plumbing under your kitchen sink may look intimidating but don’t be afraid! Under-sink leaks can do a great deal of damage so it is important to pinpoint and repair them as soon as possible. There is not a ton you can do to prevent kitchen sink leaks other than making sure your sink, drain, and pipes are properly installed, cleaned and maintained.
Keeping a water alarm under your sink will help you catch any problems before they get out of hand. Often these leaks can be quickly identified and fixed with a quick tightening of some connections but if it’s not that easy, never fear that’s what professionals are for!
- First, try and identify where your leak is coming from. If it is the drain pipe you will notice when you use the sink. If it is the water hose you will probably notice that your pressurized sprayer lacks strength. If the problem is your drain, you may not notice until you have filled the sink and let the water stand and drain.
- If your problem is the water supply hoses try tightening the shut off valves compression fittings, this should improve the pressure and keep the water in the hoses.
- If your leak is caused by the drain, look for blockages or corrosion, it may need to be removed, cleaned, and then put back on.
Working under the kitchen sink can be tricky and cumbersome. If you don’t feel comfortable messing about down there call Tidal Wave Response, and let an experienced expert do the work for you!