There are certain plumbing appliances within your home that you could probably never imagine living without. Take, for example, your kitchen sink. There are some components of this plumbing fixture that are more of a luxury than a necessity, such as the garbage disposal, too. Still, even though you don’t have to have a garbage disposal system, it’s still a pretty handy part of your kitchen plumbing in Teaneck & Bergen County, NJ, if you do.
As such, you want to make sure you take care of this component and the rest of your kitchen sink as best you can, so that you can enjoy the benefits and convenience that comes from your kitchen plumbing. We’d like to help you avoid problems with your kitchen sink and its components, so we’ve provided some care tips below.
COMMON SINK PLUMBING PROBLEMS
Most likely, if you experience a problem with your bathroom or kitchen sink, it won’t be an emergency that needs to be handled immediately. However, it’s frequently a major inconvenience. Examples include:
- A leaky faucet
- Leaks underneath the sink
- Leaks underneath the drain
- A faulty garbage disposal
- Slow drainage
- No drainage
- Low water pressure
Some of these problems will require you to call in a professional, but others you may be able to resolve on your own.
KEEPING YOUR KITCHEN PLUMBING A PRIORITY
If you fail to care for your garbage disposal and/or kitchen sink, it can lead to garbage disposal repair, damaged plumbing, as well as a compromised sewer line. There’s a common myth that the blades of a garbage disposal are sharp, and therefore can cut anything up that you put in your kitchen sink. This is just not the case, however.
True, your garbage disposal does have “blades.” However, even though they’re given this name, they are actually grinder plates that depend on centrifugal force in order to grind down food waste. Then, that waste is flushed down the drain, and the flow of water (yes, you should keep your faucet running alongside the disposal system) helps the waste move all the way down the drain. But what items should you avoid putting down the kitchen sink drain altogether, to help protect the disposal system and the drain itself?
- Hard Items: This can include things like bones, or fruit pits. There are newer garbage disposal systems on the market that advertise they can in fact handle fruit pits, but it’s really better to be safe than sorry in this case and just dispose of them in the trash.
- Fibrous Food Waste: We’re talking about food items such as cornhusks and celery stalks. These items get wrapped up in the moving parts of the garbage disposal, leading to system damage as it struggles to continue normal operation.
- Pasta and Rice: Yes, your garbage disposal can handle this. No, your kitchen sink drain cannot. The problem is, pasta and rice expand when they get wet—leading to stubborn drain clogs that you will need a professional to resolve.
- FOG (Fats, Oils, and Grease): This is another one that’s a drain problem and not a garbage disposal issue. What happens is that FOG congeals as it cools. So, if it’s cooling off in your drain pipes, clogs will begin forming to the point that you may need a full on pipe replacement.
Many leaks are simply easier for a professional to handle, rather than for you to waste time and money buying supplies you’ll never use again. Still, you may be able to make a quick fix, with some skill. Be sure to always shut off the water first.
- A leaky sink faucet may need a new packing nut. Prying off the decorative covers of the handles and using a crescent wrench to uncrew the fixture may give you access to the packing nut, if you know what to look for.
- Leaks underneath the sink might be fixed by unscrewing the drain and adding some plumber’s putty.
- A leak around the edge of the sink may just need more caulk.
Clogged drains in sinks should never be treated with chemicals. Drain cleaning chemicals can be quite dangerous! Moreover, they are often ineffective and may damage the inside of the drains.
Instead, clogged drains can be solved simply if the issue is small: just ½ cup of baking soda followed up by a cup of vinegar may do the trick. Wait 5 minutes, and follow this mixture up with a pot of boiling water, and see if it does the trick. Otherwise, if a plunger or home auger doesn’t work, it’s important to call in the pros.
IMPROVING WATER PRESSURE
Low water pressure? It may be no problem. Often, the sink’s aerator gets clogged up with debris and scaling from the water in your home. (This is completely normal.) When this happens, you’ll need to unscrew the end of the faucet and clean the aerator, the small screen that helps to regulate water pressure. In many cases, the faucet will be good as new when reassembled!
BZ Dependable is Here to Help
Kitchen sinks are pretty reliable plumbing fixtures. But this can only remain the case for yours if you care for it as properly as you should. Read our blog post on 3 ways to prevent drain clogs for helpful tools and methods for keeping these drain stuffers out of your kitchen sink drain.
Need reliable drain cleaning service in Bergen County? Call BZ Dependable Plumbing & Heating for quality plumbing services and guaranteed satisfaction.