A leaking kitchen sink is much dreaded by many homeowners depending on the severity of the leak. Visible and audible leakages can be sorted out immediately with professional help because you are well aware of it. But those hidden leakages underneath the kitchen sink are ticking timebombs.
Statistics show that homeowners spend an average of S$2,750 for kitchen cabinet replacements due to sink leakages. That’s a hefty price to pay for sink leakages!
To help you prepare for the next course of action, we have listed below 4 common causes of a leaking kitchen sink.
1. Clogged P-Trap
The P-trap is a curved pipe located beneath the sink. It functions as a trap to prevent any foul stench from wafting out of the drain. Bits and pieces of food waste and oils that are washed down the drain may congeal within the trap and cause a blockage. When water is unable to flow smoothly, it may result in leakages.
When this happens, you can solve this plumbing issue easily on your own by dismantling the P-trap for cleaning. Alternatively, you can try a concoction of vinegar, baking soda and hot water to loosen out the gunk inside the trap. Of course, this works best with a plunger.
2. Leaking Faucet
There are a few reasons for a leaking faucet. With constant water usage, normal wear and tear are expected due to the regular friction on the faucet components. Depending on which part of the faucet is leaking, you can gauge where the problem lies.
Worn-Out O-Ring Seal
Water leakage at the base of the faucet is attributed mostly to a worn-out O-ring seal. With heavy use, it can wear out or expand causing water to seep out near the handle.
This is an easy fix by replacing the rings with new ones. You can purchase O-rings from your local hardware stores.
The frequent friction between the washer and the valve seat may eventually wear off the washer. Other than that, it could be cracked, dried up or coated with mineral deposits. These damages allow water to seep through.
When this happens, you will need to replace the washer. Remember to purchase the right washer size according to your faucet type.
Damaged Valve Seat
A valve seat is where the washer comes into contact with each time you turn off the tap. The compression of the washer against the seat will restrict the flow of water from coming out through the spout.
If you have replaced your washer, and your sink is still leaking, then the problem could be the valve seat. There are many reasons why the seat is damaged. The damage could be caused by the defective washer grinding against the seat and causing it to be uneven, or a build-up of mineral residue that prevents the washer from fitting tightly against the valve seat.
For this, you can either choose to replace the valve seat using a seat wrench or replace the entire faucet.
3. Loose or Broken Pipe Connection
Another source for a leaking kitchen sink is a loose pipe connector. This is a simple fix by tightening the connecting pipes. If the pipes are still loose, it could be due to grime or sediment build-up around the fitting. The connector will tighten once they are cleaned.
However, if there is a crack in the piping connection under the sink, you will have to replace the pipe. For this, do consult a plumber. You wouldn’t want to risk a major plumbing mishap with this one.
4. Silicone Erosion
One of the causes of sink leakage is silicone erosion around the ridges of the sink. This is a common occurrence in traditional undermount and topmount sinks due to the installation method. The gap between the ridges provides a direct water seepage gateway when the silicone wears off.
This is the silent type of leakage that homeowners dread. As moisture slowly seeps into the crevices of your cabinet, mould starts to grow causing the wood to eventually rot. By the time you catch a whiff of the rotting wood, the damage is usually beyond repair.
For this, there is a solution in the market today. Aurasink, a proprietary of Aurastone, is a revolutionary leakproof kitchen sink that utilises a unique clamping system to tightly secure the sink to the countertop until the silicone dries completely. Once the silicone hardens, it creates a water-tight seal restricting the water from seeping into ridges.
Some Causes of a Leaking Kitchen Sink Can Be Prevented
From the list of common causes, you can see that some sink leakage are inevitable due to normal wear and tear, while others can be prevented when you choose the right sink. With a leakproof sink like Aurasink, you can exorcise the haunting of unseen leakages and safeguard your kitchen cabinets from a leaking disaster.