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Money Saving

How to Fix a Leak Under The Sink (Without a Plumber!)

The Mortgage Centres
The Mortgage Centres
June 23, 2014

Home ownership isn’t always a walk in the park. Your idyllic private slice of Great Britain may be home sweet home, but when problems crop up, it’s your job to get them sorted. When our team talk mortgages with clients in Bury St Edmunds, we often find ourselves looking closer just how manageable a mortgage is going to be. You may simply be anticipating monthly payments, but when your boiler breaks or your roof gets damaged by bad weather, there’s no more landlord waiting in the wings to get it sorted. It’s your responsibility and your money which will have to save the day.

But sometimes there is a more cost-effective way to fix those glitches. With a little DIY nous and know-how many of those household problems which crop up from time-to-time are relatively easy to fix yourself – with no need for an expensive plumber or handyman. In the first of our DIY how to we’ll be showing you how to find and fix leaks under your kitchen sink – absolutely free! Toolkits at the ready ladies and gentlemen…

Step 1: Identify the problem

Righty-ho! Time to get under the sink and find the cause of the leak. You’ll want to clear out as much of that “under the sink junk” (you know the stuff we mean!) so that you can get a good view of the situation and reach all of the crucial areas. There are usually three different types of under the sink leaks:

1. A pressurized water hose leak

These will be really obvious – they’ll be spraying pretty much constantly and creating a big mess.

2. A leak in the drain line

These will only become apparent when you turn your tap on and let the water drain away.

3. A faulty sink drain seal

If a leak doesn’t appear in either case, try filling the sink with water, then let it drain away. This would suggest the issue is your drain seal.

A little bit of observation, trial and error should help you to work out which one of these issues is causing your leak.

Step 2: Get fixing!

If it’s a pressurized water hose leak…

1. Compression angle valve

This will be in the pipe which carries water to your tap. Usually they spring leaks around connections and valves. If water is squirting from a connection, it’s time to get tightening. Compression fittings around shut-off valves are often to blame. To tighten these up, use a wrench to hold the valve and use our hand to tighten up the compression nut. Here’s what they look like so you can identify the little blighter!

Another flash point for pressurized water hose leaks are connections between the pipe and your faucet. These connections are usually right up and under the sink below the tap. These are hard to reach and a wrench isn’t your best bet for tightening it up. Instead, go in with  pair of adjustable pliers to get a better handle on the situation.

If it’s a leak in the drain line…

Blocked drains, loose connections and corrosion are usually the reason why your drain line pipes spring leaks. Start by tightening up all of your connections and compression nuts with a wrench. If the pipes are still leaking, it’s time to address blockages. Use an auger to make sure everything is draining properly. Finally, if this fails, corrosion has probably set in and you’ll need to replace the P-trap. Here’s how…

If it’s a faulty sink drain seal…

2. PP

This is a relatively easy problem to fix as it’s likely that you just need a fresh layer of plumber’s putty to seal the leak. Simply unscrew the sink drain, clear out any yucky looking plumber’s putty and pop in a fresh dose. Here’s what plumber’s putty looks like just FYI.

Are you keen on home DIY? What have been your biggest successes and disasters? Have you managed to save money by taking care of maintenance and repairs yourself? Share your tips, tricks and experiences with our readers below!


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