How to fix kitchen sink drain pipes

Written by robert russell
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All kitchen drains present problems from time to time. Sometimes they become clogged and won't drain properly or leak. Usually you can take care of the problems yourself rather than spend money on a plumber. Kitchen drains are constructed from a few simple components. The strainer fits into a strainer body which is inserted into the sink hole and sealed with a sealant. A rubber gasket, metal washer and large locknut connects the sink to a drain pipe or "P trap." Slip joints connect all the parts. Any of these parts can cause a leak.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Gloves
  • Bucket
  • Wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Waterproof sealant
  • Caulk gun

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  1. 1

    Place a small bucket under the drain pipes to catch leaking water. Turn the water on for a few seconds to locate the source of the leak. Inspect the seal around the drain basket. The drain basket is the strainer body that fits into the hole in the sink basin. Its purpose is to filter out debris and allow water to pass. A plastic washer and a large locknut are used underneath the sink basin to clamp the drain basket to the sink basin and a rubber gasket forms a seal. The seal is reinforced with a bead of silicone or waterproof caulk. Locating the actual source of the leak is a little tricky. If the seal leaks, the water will run along the shape of the pipe and appear to be dripping from the pipe. Make sure all the connections are tight.

  2. 2

    Inspect the pipes and seal. If the connections are all tight the pipes or the washer may be old and cracked. Use a wrench to disconnect the drain pipe from the drain basket. Use a wrench to loosen the locknut and the washer. Once it is loose you can remove by hand. Check for cracked pipes and cracked seals. The washer itself may be cracked. Also look for signs of deterioration or corrosion. Inspect the pipe going into the wall. Replace any part that is cracked or shows signs of corrosion. If the pipes and the other parts are in good shape the problem may be the seal at the bottom of the sink basket.

  3. 3

    Remove the drain basket and apply a sealant. Use pliers or a screwdriver to remove the strainer bell from the sink basket. Remove the drain basket. Use a caulk gun to apply a thick bead of sealant to the rim of the water basin. Apply another bead of caulk to the underside of the drain basket. Twist the basket when you place it in the hole to smooth out the sealant. Hold it firmly in place for a few minutes.

  4. 4

    Reassemble the drain pipes and slip joints. Apply sealant at all the connecting points in order to strengthen the pipes and make them last longer. Make sure all the screws and washers are tight.

  5. 5

    Let the sealant dry 24 to 36 hours. Turn the water on and check for leaks. You can apply more sealant if necessary.

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