Stop Leaks Un­der the Sink

Whether your pipes need to­tal re­place­ment or just tight­en­ing, here’s how to put an end to the leaks

The Family Handyman - - CONTENTS - By Gary Wentz

You be the drip de­tec­tive—we’ll show you how to fix ‘em!

Be­fore you can stop a leak, you have to find its source. That can be tricky. Wa­ter that es­capes your pipes can travel a long way be­fore it drops onto your cabi­net’s floor.

Here’s how a drip de­tec­tive tracks the source of a leak: Fill both bowls of the sink with luke­warm wa­ter, not cold. (Cold wa­ter can cause beads of con­den­sa­tion to form on the pipes, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to find the leak.) Then get un­der the sink with a trou­ble light. Dry off all the pipes and ex­am­ine the seals around the bas­ket strain­ers. If you don’t see any droplets form­ing, re­move both sink stop­pers and watch for tell­tale drib­bles. Joints are the most likely source of leaks, but old me­tal pipes can de­velop pin­hole leaks any­where, es­pe­cially in the trap.

If you can’t find any leaks in the drain sys­tem, check the wa­ter sup­ply lines that serve the faucet. Fi­nally, check for “splash leaks,” spots where wa­ter seeps un­der the sink rim or faucet base. To find these leaks, use a rag to drib­ble wa­ter around the faucet and sink rim, then get un­der­neath and look for drips.

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