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Common Causes of a Leaky Sink

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Young girl washing her hands in a kitchen sink.

Your kitchen sink is probably one of the most highly used areas in your home. With the amount of traffic a sink gets from washing dishes, cooking prep, filling up kettles, washing hands, and more, it’s no wonder that it is one of the most common plumbing trouble spots in most peoples’ homes. A leaky sink is common, simply because sinks work so hard. There are a number of different reasons why a sink may have developed a leak. Here are three common culprits for sink leaks and what you can do about them.

Faucet in Need of Repairs

If your leak is coming from the faucet, it is likely caused by worn-out O-rings, a damaged cartridge, or failed washers which need to be replaced. You can tell that a leak is coming from the faucet if you notice water pooling on top of the sink beside the faucet. If your faucet is very damaged, it may be time to replace the entire thing.

Clog in the P-Trap

The curved section of pipe found beneath a sink is called the P-trap. If a P-trap gets clogged up (which can happen easily), the blockage restricts draining of water under the sink and can result in a leak. If you think that the leak is due to a clog in the P-trap, a professional drain cleaning will sort you out.

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A Problem with the Drain

If you notice that the leak is coming from your drain, there are a few possibilities as to why. You may be able to fix the problem simply yourself by tightening the nuts located where the pipes meet. If that doesn’t work, the drain may need to be removed and have new plumber’s putty applied to re-seal the drain. One of these fixes will often do the trick, but if the drain itself is simply old and worn out, you will need to have it replaced.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to a leaky sink, here’s the most important thing you need to know: don’t ignore it. Even if it seems like a slow, minor leak, it can do a lot of damage in the long term and could turn into a much more severe issue that will end up costing you an arm and a leg. As soon as you notice a leak of any kind, get it dealt with immediately.

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