A handyman or woman can put skills to good use repairing a kitchen sink. From the tap to the under-sink plumbing, the kitchen sink offers opportunities to save big bucks with just a few plumbing supplies, a decorator's eye, and a bit of elbow grease. The end result is something to take pride in. New kitchen fittings upgrade the room. Filling chips or scratches, whether in porcelain or stainless, make a kitchen sink look like new again. And knowing what to do when the sink trap leaks or U-joint clogs can save an expensive call to the plumber. Acquiring a few skills and tools to be able to repair a kitchen sink is well worth the effort.
Repairing a kitchen sink requires several plumbing supplies and kitchen fittings. The most common kitchen sink repairs and key required items are noted below.
Kitchen Sink Repair
New kitchen tap, plumber's putty, basin wrench, flexible supply line
Repairing chipped porcelain sink
Fixing leaky sink strainer
Cleaning clogged U-bend
Before starting any kitchen sink repair project, obtain the necessary items. Organise them within easy reach.
A chipped porcelain sink is usually easy to repair. Make sure the chipped area is free of dust or other debris. Mix ceramic filler according to instructions. Using the filling knife, slightly overfill the chipped area to allow shrinkage during drying. Sand when dry so the filled area is contoured to the sink. Apply ceramic paint to the dry filler with a small paintbrush. Use acetone to remove any drips from undamaged ceramic.
Kitchen taps are easier than ever to replace. Single-lever 'mixer' and pull-out taps fit into one sink opening. Flexible hoses connect taps to plumbing, virtually eliminating the need for careful installation measurements.
Australian plumbing fixtures must have WaterMark certification and WELS registration. Otherwise local authorities may refuse to approve the installation and future insurance claims may be rejected.
Because tap sets may include one to four connections, be sure to read and follow printed instructions for specific taps. Steps may include applying plumber's putty for a good seal, using provided nuts and a special basin wrench to fasten the taps under the sink, and connecting the taps to the waterline with flexible supply lines.
If the strainer that holds the stopper leaks, water can damage the cabinetry or floor below. Start by placing a bucket on an old towel under the drain. Plug the sink, then fill it. Remove the stopper and watch as the water runs through the strainer. Any leak appears quickly.
First, try tightening the couplings by turning them clockwise with slip joint pliers. If that does not stop the leak, remove the couplings by turning them counterclockwise with the slip joint pliers. If the rubber washers are damaged, replace them, then re-tighten the couplings. If the leak started at the bottom of the strainer, the strainer itself is damaged. Remove the couplings as above but replace the strainer itself. Inspect the washers and replace or simply put back in place as appropriate; then return couplings to their original position.
Liquid drain cleaners do not always successfully clear clogged U-bends. When that is the case, take these steps.
Place an old towel with a bucket on top of it under the U-bend pipe. They catch the water from the pipe. Put on work gloves and remove the nuts that hold the pipe in place using a plumber's wrench. One nut is above the U-bend; the other is below it. Loosen the nuts by turning them counterclockwise with the wrench, then use gloved hands to turn them the rest of the way.
Drain the U-bend into the bucket. Use a stiff brush or flexible wire to clean inside the pipe. Rinse the inside of the pipe. Various grey debris and soap scum comes out with the rinse water.
Dry the pipe with a clean rag or shop towel. Put it back in place, turning the nuts clockwise first with gloved hands, then with the plumber's wrench. Be careful not to over-tighten. Run the tap to fill the U-bend with water. If leaks appear, use the plumber's wrench to tighten the nuts. Wrap plumber's tape around each nut to seal the pipe edges.
Start a kitchen sink repair project by finding the required tools, kitchen fittings, and plumbing supplies on eBay. The Search window on any page allows you to locate items by general type, such as " kitchen mixer tap". Some desired details, such as whether a tap has a ceramic cartridge, may only appear in the product description. If you tick the box "Include description" under the Search button, these are included in Search results. You can also find great deals on tools at eBay's daily Deals. Find reliable Sellers by checking user Feedback or purchase from Top Rated Sellers and those offering eBay Premium Service. These have demonstrated quality customer service over many sales. When you need everything for your kitchen sink, there's no better place to start than eBay.