If you are new to the plumbing in your kitchen, understanding some of the basic structure, common problems, and how to fix them will help you maintain and improve this critical part of your home’s infrastructure.
Whether you’re unclogging drains or upgrading your fixtures, J.W. Freeman is your trusted partner in maintaining your kitchen plumbing structure. We’ll show you the basics, some common problems to watch out for, and offer some of the best DIY solutions anywhere. Let’s get to it!
Understanding The Plumbing In Your Kitchen
We won’t sugar-coat it: the plumbing in your kitchen is a complex system. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. We’ve boiled it down to four basic categories so you can more easily understand what’s going on behind the scenes.
- Supply Lines: These are the lines that bring water into your kitchen. They begin at the main water supply and end at your sink, dishwasher, ice machine, or any other appliance that requires water.
- Drainage: This is everything that removes wastewater from your kitchen. Your sink and garbage disposal’s drain, the drain in your dishwasher, or any other drain that removes wastewater.
- Fixtures and Faucets: Faucets are the point where fresh water becomes wastewater and they have many components in and of themselves such as spouts, aerators, and handles. Understanding the parts of your faucets and fixtures will help you maintain and repair minor problems that arise.
- Water pressure and flow: The pressure of water inside your supply lines is what determines the force of the water as it leaves your faucet. This pressure needs to be properly regulated and controlled by pressure regulators and shut-off valves. These will ensure that your kitchen faucet functions with just the right amount of pressure, and protects your home in the event of a plumbing failure.
Now that you have a basic knowledge of the plumbing in your kitchen, let’s take a look at some common problems you might run into.
Some Common Kitchen Plumbing Problems
- Clogged Kitchen Sink: Fats can accumulate in your drainage system, narrowing your pipes and trapping food particles. This can slow or even completely block your drainage. You can prevent this by throwing away oil and grease and using a drain screen.
- Leaky Faucet: Everyone knows a dripping faucet wastes water, but what’s less well known is that a dripping faucet can be a sign of hidden damage and wear inside the fixture itself. Loose connections, worn-out seals, or even cracks in the fixture walls all cause drips and lead to bigger problems down the road.
- Low Water Pressure: When your water pressure is low, properly cleaning your dishes becomes harder both for you and your dishwasher. Low pressure can stem from mineral buildup in your supply lines, hidden leaks, or problems with your pressure regulators.
- Dishwasher Problems: Dishwashers are prone to many problems that can cause chaos in the kitchen. Blocked drainage, poor sprayer pressure, leaks, and failure to heat or finish cycles are all common. Because dishwashers are complicated and difficult to access safely, their repair is often best left to professionals.
So what do you do when these common problems strike the plumbing in your kitchen? For minor problems, we’ve gathered some DIY solutions for you to try. For bigger problems, though, give us a call and let our experts take care of it for you!
Common DIY Solutions
Clogged Sink Drain
- Use a plunger to dislodge the clog. Keep a dedicated hand plunger under your sink for these minor emergencies.
- Run hot water down your drain after you have finished your dishes. This helps loosen and wash away any grease before it can set. For more information about the safest way to unclog a drain, check out our article How To Unclog a Drain The Right Way.
- Tighten all connections with an adjustable wrench. Just be sure not to over-tighten or you could do permanent damage to your fixture.
- Replace any washers or seals that are showing wear or corrosion.
Low Water Pressure
- Check your faucet heads and aerators for mineral buildup and replace them if necessary.
- Check for kinks or other restrictions in the supply lines. The hose to your hand sprayer can easily get impinged by items stored under your sinks.
- Regularly clean your dishwasher’s filter and spray arms. Debris and buildup in these parts can impede the flow of water and disrupt the cleaning cycle.
- Remember that dishwashers are complex machines and removing or unhooking internal components can damage the unit.
When To Call A Professional
These are simple fixes for simple problems, and it’s important to know your limitations. If you encounter a more complicated problem (or if you think your minor problem is part of a bigger, hidden problem) it’s really best to seek professional help.
How do you know when to call a professional? If:
- You have a clog that doesn’t clear after you tried the above steps
- You have leaky faucets, and you cannot find or replace all of the seals
- The water pressure is too low and cleaning or replacing the aerator didn’t help
- Your dishwasher isn’t cleaning well even after cleaning the filter and spray arms
If any of these sound like your situation, we are here to help! We want to make sure you have the best kitchen plumbing you can possibly have. So whether you need a new faucet or you just want to know the best way to prevent future kitchen chaos, schedule an appointment with us today!