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Are you having problems with one of your sinks? Then you know how frustrating it is when you just need it to work right and it won’t. When your sink stops working, you can always give us a call. If you want to take a look at it yourself first, here’s what you need to know.

Drain Problems

When your sink won’t drain, the first step is to find the p-trap, remove it, clean it, then put everything back together and try again. Many times, this fixes the problem.

If your sink still won’t drain, check and see if it has two sides. Check the drains on both sides. If only one is clogged, cover the working one and have someone hold the cover down. Then plunge the one that is clogged. This may remove the clog and covering the other one will keep you from getting splashed in the process.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to go under your sink again. Find the tee fitting, which connects the two sides of your sink. Remove it and look inside. This junction can get blocked if someone has put too much down the disposal. Tap the blockage out or use a screwdriver to remove it. Then reinstall the tee fitting.

If the sink is still clogged, take out the p-trap again. This time, run a ¼ or ½ inch plumbing snake down the pipe. You will feel when it hits a blockage. At that point, move the snake back and forth slowly and twist it a little. Don’t go crazy or it might get stuck. You should feel the blockage come free, or you may be able to hook it out with the cable.

Don’t ever run more than 12’ of snake into your pipe. After that, there’s a much larger chance that it will get stuck. This means even more work that a plumber in Los Gatos will need to do on your house. Even if you don’t feel a blockage, try your drains again after you remove the snake and put everything back together. You may have cleared a clog without knowing it.

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Your Leaky Sink

We get a lot of calls about leaky sinks. Many people don’t even realize their sink is leaking until they go underneath to find something and realize that everything is wet.

If it’s your bathroom sink that’s leaky, the problem is probably at one of the joints between the pipes…you just have to figure out which one. Clean up all of the water under the sink and lay down some towels. Then get a flashlight. Turn on the water and examine your pipes. You may only find a few drops of water at the leaky one, but that’s enough to let you know where the leak is. You can fix it yourself or call a plumber and let them fix it for you.

When you’re dealing with a kitchen sink, the leak may be in a joint between pipes but there are also several other options. Once again, get everything dry. Then run the water and see if you can determine where the leak is coming from. Be sure to check your garbage disposal, as many leaks originate here.

If your disposal is leaking, check its mounting bracket. This needs to be tight to keep the system from leaking. Check, too, the state of any putty at the bottom of the disposal and on its strainer. Some installers forget to use this or it wears out over time. Either way, making sure your putty is present and in good condition can keep your disposal from leaking.

Does your dishwasher discharge feed into your disposal? Then check this line, too. It may be broken or cracked. If this is the case, replace it with one made up of stainless steel fibers, which are less likely to leak.

You should also check your p-trap. If it’s corroded or the washers around it have degenerated, it can be the sources of your leaks.

If you’re not comfortable doing all of this work, that’s fine. We would be more than happy to look at your sink and get it running well again.

Is your sink having trouble draining? Usually, this indicates a problem with the sink’s stopper. Push on the lever and watch. Does the stopper open? If it doesn’t, it is the reason why your sink won’t drain.

Start by manually pulling out your stopper. You may need to use a credit card or a tweezers to get under the rim and lift it out. In order to get it all the way out, you’ll need to look under the sink. Most stoppers are attached to a vertical rod by a horizontal level. Unscrew some screws and you should be able to remove your stopper entirely.

You may notice that one of these pieces is broken. If this is the case, it is quite possibly the reason why your stopper isn’t working. Replace the piece, or the whole assembly, and see if things drain better.

If you notice that one of the pieces has rusted through, consider getting a brass one. Brass will not corrode or change when it comes in contact with water, so it should never cause you problems.

Similarly, you may need to replace the stopper itself. Once again, be sure to buy brass. After all, you don’t want to have to repair it again in a few years!

It can be fun for homeowners to work on their own homes, and it’s definitely helpful for us when you can point out a leak or tell us exactly what seems to be the problem with your sink. If you’re up for the job, that’s great! If you’re not, though, give us a call. We would be happy to come out quickly, diagnose your problem, and get it fixed for you fast! After all, that’s what homeowners have been trusting us to do for years. Let us show you exactly why they call us!

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