Your kitchen cannot function without the kitchen sink. This integral unit is needed for washing of utensils and dinnerware, filling cups and pots with water, cleaning, and for some households, disposing of waste with the garburator. However, how many homeowners actually think about the kitchen sink and its plumbing on a regular basis?

Not many.

You need to have at least some knowledge about how kitchen plumbing works or have a reliable plumber you can trust to come when something goes awry. Here’s a short guide to help you identify common kitchen plumbing problems, so if something does happen, you know exactly what you need to have done.

Clogged or Leaking Sinks and Faucets

Leaking faucets sometimes require professional replacement or repair, especially if your kitchen sink has been customized to any degree. You will, however, want to check over the unit before calling your plumber for assistance. Check whether the seals around the faucet and other areas have broken. For example, you can check the O-ring of the faucet if there is constant dripping. Perhaps the silicone seal where the sink meets the counter top is uneven.

When your sink is leaking underneath, you can check the P-shaped trap. This area is designed to stop gases from the sewer to returning into your home. Sometimes, grease and other materials can get built up in the P-trap. This will obstruct the water flow and might cause the water to leak out.

Garbage Disposal Problems

Garbage disposals, also known as garburators to some, are technological marvels and super convenient; but they can also be aggravating when they dysfunction. Sometimes, though, garburators misbehave when they are getting feed the wrong kind of garbage. If you are putting grease, bones, fruit and vegetable peels down the drain, you could be doing more damage than good. Only use the disposal with remnants and other waste that can be easily ground down.

In the event the garbage disposal freezes up, simply locate and push the reset button. Wait a few minutes to see if that makes it run.

Be sure to clear out the line by running water down the pipe for about 15 seconds to wash the blades. Never attempt to fix a garburator on your own, since it can be dangerous to remove and install.

Dishwasher Leaks

Before you decide to move the dishwasher away from the wall to find where the leak is coming from, you should search for common causes first. Sometimes, the leak is the result of a broken float switch—a piece that allows water to fill the tub to the point where it will overflow. Another cause is damaged sprayer arms. You can replace both of these pieces from the inside with just a screwdriver. If the leak was caused by a worn out door gasket, you can buy replacements. Similarly, if the water is coming from a disconnected drain hose, you might be able to fix the issue by tightening the hose clamp screws between the sink drain/garburator and the dishwasher.

If none of these work for you, consider hiring a plumber.

Signs of a Failing Water Heater

Your kitchen sink is connected to the same water heater as the rest of your home. If the water heater fails, you lose two valuable components in your comfort. Here are some signs of a failing water heater:

  • Noisy water heater when operating
  • Leaking tank
  • No hot water
  • Cloudy, smelly, or rust-colored water coming through the faucet

If you notice these symptoms, it is imperative that you call a plumber immediately. You do not want your hot water heater to die.

While it may seem like a lot was covered, knowing the common plumbing problems that happen in kitchens can help you diagnose an issue before water damage or other issues occur. You will want to do routine maintenance of the appliances and pipes that were mentioned in this article. Schedule inspections with your trusted plumber, too. Preventative maintenance is one way to keep your kitchen plumbing working well for many years to come.