Top 3 Kitchen Sink DIY Plumbing Essentials
DIY plumbing has always been a scary topic, with most people’s thoughts going to the stubborn father who refuses to pay for a plumber and ends up getting a face full of water from the pipes under the kitchen sink, however, kitchen sink DIY plumbing can be just as fun as any other do it yourself project, so long as you know what you’re getting into.
Understanding Your Kitchen Sink
Plumbing your kitchen sink can be a fun, easy project so long as you understand all the parts involved.
Kitchen sinks are connected to a home’s water supply system, which supplies the faucets, and to a home’s drain-waste-vent (DWV) system for the drains. Kitchen sinks have a strainer fitted into a strainer body that’s inserted down through the sink hole and sealed to the sink with a bead of plumber’s putty. Beneath the sink, the strainer body connects to the drain’s tailpiece and the rest of the drain plumbing. A garbage disposal, if there is one, mounts directly to a special strainer body.
Underneath the sink, a rubber gasket, metal washer, and large retainer tightens the body to the sink. A straight tailpiece mounts to the strainer body with a threaded coupling. Slip-joint couplings connect the tailpiece, the main parts of a drain trap, and a short-threaded nipple at a tee in the drainpipe. And at the back of the cabinet, the escutcheon hides the nipple.
When water runs down the drain, it moves through the trap and exits out the drainpipe. But because it exits at a higher level than the curved portion of the pipe, some water is trapped and held in the trap’s curve. This water provides a seal, blocking sewer gases from rising through the drain. Every time you use the sink, the water in the trap is replaced.
Tools of the Trade
While duct tape is a handy tool, it’s not the greatest thing to use when you have a leaking pipe. Luckily for us, however, you can get an arsenal of plumbing tools to become the DIY plumbing pro of your household, without breaking the bank (or your kitchen sink!). Here are a couple tools we here at Plumb Pro recommend for any great do-it-yourselfer.
Channellock Pliers – These handy tools have replaced the plumber wrenches of old, with their excellent versatility and ease of use. You can pick these up from your local hardware store, this is a tool that you shouldn’t leave home without!
Basin Wrench – Basin wrenches are great for those hard to reach areas where other tools just can’t get to. This tool is great for those sink repairs where you need to either replace or fix a faucet.
Pipe Wrench – The pipe wrench just screams ‘plumber’, this tool is an absolute plumbing essential, great for those tough iron pipes or other hard to turn areas.
Plumber’s Putty – Plumber’s putty is a soft and pliable caulking and sealing compound used to make watertight seals around facets and drains.
Hacksaw – A tool we hope you won’t ever have to use but handy for when you do, the hacksaw can cut any stubborn pipe, bolts or nuts that just refuse to come off.
Adjustable Wrench – One of the most basic tools, an adjustable wrench is a key component of any good plumbing toolbox.
Clogged Sink? No Problem!
It happens, your drain gets clogged by food or small objects, or you accidentally drop your ring down the drain. There are many reasons you may have to unclog your drain or recover a lost item down it, the last thing you want is for all these things to build up and you end up having a sewer backup! Yuck! Lucky for you, most of the time this is an easy fix!
The first place to look for the lost object or clog is in the easily removed trap. A few twists and turns to disassemble the pipes and voila, your ring is back before your husband/wife even notices! Be sure to leave a bucket or pan under the pipes before you start disassembling them to save you the hassle of cleaning up all the excess water out of the cabinet under your kitchen sink.
Another great way to clean out your clogged sink is with a drain snake, either a physical or chemical. Physical drain snakes reach deep into your pipes to clean out the clogs, whereas chemical snakes dissolve the waste matter stuck in your pipes to open them back up. The choice between a physical and chemical snake is largely up to you, with the physical snake lasting longer than chemical and chemical being a little cleaner to use.
Kitchen Sink DIY Plumbing can be extremely rewarding, but only if the job isn’t too great for you to handle! Nothing worse than creating more work for a Pro and wasting your time. So, don’t forget us, your local kitchen sink plumbing pros at Plumb Pro are here to help you 24/7 emergency service. Call us now for help!
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