How to fix your kitchen sink

This article was co-authored by Allen Lee. Allen Lee is a Home Improvement Specialist and the Owner of Honest Lee Handyman Services, a licensed and insured handyman business servicing Sacramento, California, and surrounding areas. Working with homeowners and businesses to get their small repairs done in a timely and efficient manner, Honest Lee Handyman Services provides gutter and dryer vent cleaning along with fixture, fence, drywall, and toilet repairs.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

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Sink replacement is a straightforward project that you can probably tackle yourself. After turning off the water supply, remove the sink by taking apart the pipes, cutting the caulk, and undoing the sink’s clamps. Installing the new sink is slightly different depending on whether you have a top-mounted sink, which is lowered into place, or an undermount sink, which has to be secured from below. Whichever type of sink you choose, though, you’ll have a pristine new feature that freshens up your kitchen.

How to fix your kitchen sink

Allen Lee
Home Improvement Specialist Expert Interview. 10 July 2020. Look under the sink to find both the hot and cold water lines. Twist the valves counterclockwise by hand to shut off the flow of water. If the shutoff valves aren’t under the sink, look in the basement. [2] X Research source

  • If you still can’t find a way to shut off the lines directly, use the main water line valve. It’s where the water line enters your house and will either be on the inside or outside. It’s usually by the water heater and has a red handle.
  • If you have city water, look for the valve near the water meter by the usage gauge. You can turn it off with an adjustable wrench. If you have well water, the valve by the pump can be turned off by hand.
  • The water utility company can also help you shut off the water supply.
  • If the water hasn’t been turned off in some time, these valves may start to leak. If this happens you’ll need to replace the valves yourself or hire a professional. [3] X Expert Source

This article was co-authored by David Balkan. David Balkan is a Professional Plumber, CEO of Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service, and President of Balkan Sewer and Drain Cleaning. As a hands-on owner of these companies for over 40 years, David is knowledgeable about water service lines, sewers, and drain line issues. David is a Committee Chairman of the Master Plumbers Council and has sat on the Executive Committee of the Sub Surface Plumbers Association of New York for over 30 years. His knowledge and solution-oriented approach contributed to Balkan Sewer and Water Main Service being the largest and most trusted service in New York City and the recipient of the 2017 Angie’s List Super Service Award.

There are 9 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 100% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 159,558 times.

Few household fixtures are used as much as kitchen sinks. They are clearly essential to a good working kitchen. After years of wear and tear, however, kitchen sinks can become outdated, stained, and even start to leak. A new sink can solve these problems, updating the look and function of your kitchen, but first you have to figure out how to get rid of the old one. Follow these steps to learn how to remove your old kitchen sink.

How to fix your kitchen sink

How to fix your kitchen sink

How to fix your kitchen sink

How to fix your kitchen sink

How to fix your kitchen sink

How to fix your kitchen sink

Disconnect the water supply lines from the underside of the faucet. Water supply lines that connect to kitchen sinks are most often flexible plastic tubing that connect on both ends, at the sink and the water shut off valve, with metal nuts. Because the connection to the sink is found on the backside of the bottom of the sink, it may be a bit awkward to get to. Use an adjustable wrench, channel-locks, or an open-ended wrench to loosen the nut on the water line, whichever you can most easily get into the space. Hold the line in place with one hand while you loosen the nut with the other, so that when it becomes disconnected you can keep the line upright. A bit of water will still be in the line, so have a bucket handy to pour out the water trapped in the line. [4] X Research source

  • It’s a good idea to spread towels across the bottom of the under-sink cabinet in order to catch small spills and reduce clean-up time later.
  • If the connection between your water lines and the sink are totally inaccessible, you can usually disconnect that lines at the water shut off valves. Remember, though, that you need to be gentle with the connections at these valves, as breaking them would send water streaming into your kitchen.

How to fix your kitchen sink

David Balkan
David Balkan, Professional Plumber & CEO of Balkan Sewer & Water Main Expert Interview. 29 April 2021. This is usually a plastic nut that can be loosened by hand, with a bit of strength of course. When this nut is loose don’t pull the connection apart yet! You will also need to loosen the slip nut at the far side of the P-trap, which is a distinctive J- or U-shaped span of pipe in the drain line under the sink. Loosening this nut as well should allow you to take off the whole piece of piping between the strainer and the far side of the P-trap without damaging the piping. Remember to keep your bucket handy to capture spills. [6] X Research source

  • If you have a sink that is mounted underneath the counter, you may need to remove more drain piping in order to have space for the sink to come out. Remove your drain pipe further past the P-trap, giving space for the sink to be angled out. Whatever you take out can easily be replaced, as long as you leave at least an inch of pipe sticking out from the where it enters the under sink area.
  • A slip nut connection is designed for removal by hand but if you can’t get it off by hand, you may want to wrap a rag around the nut and gently turn the nut with your channel locks, so that the slip nut doesn’t get damaged. [7] X Expert Source

Even when we diligently use a sink strainer or garbage disposal, we work our kitchen sink drains hard. Inevitably, food particles, grease, and other not-so-lovely things make their way into the drain and we wake up one morning to a foul smell coming out of the sink. Blech! Now what?

Thanks to our Kitchn readers and my fellow editors, I’ve got 10 ways you can kick that kitchen sink smell to the curb (and keep it from coming back).

3 Tricks to Try If You Have a Garbage Disposal

1. Hot water and dish soap

Start by letting a sink full of hot, soapy water flush through the garbage disposal while it’s running. This is the first step, and may do the trick!

“Put a stopper in the sink and fill it with several inches of hot water. Add a squirt of dish soap. Turn on the disposal and unplug the sink to let the water flush through. This is different than simply running the tap like we usually do since the disposal will actually fill with water.”

2. Ice cubes, coarse salt, and lemons peels

If you’re still getting a funky smell, the next step is to make sure the disposal blades are clean and clear of lingering gunky food particles. The combination of ice cubes, coarse salt, and lemon is a three-punch cleaning wonder.

“We threw a few ice cubes and a handful of kosher salt down the disposal. The ice helps knock food off the grinder while the salt scrubs the sides. For good measure, we repeated the flushing and then ground up a few lemon peels for freshness. Voila! This seemed to do the trick and we haven’t noticed any odors since.”

“Back in the glory days when I lived in one of the 10 percent or so of NYC apartments with a garbage disposal, I loved the fresh scent that lingered in my kitchen after running a lemon half through the disposal.”

3. Vinegar and lemon ice cubes

A cleaning shortcut? Freeze lemon wedges in white vinegar, and then crush it in the disposal!

“Slice a lemon into small (quarter-sized) wedges and place in muffin cups, pour distilled white vinegar into the cups, let the cubes set up in the freezer overnight, remove the cubes from the tray, and pop a few down the disposal. Run a low stream of water and flip the switch!”

6 Tricks to Try If You Don’t Have a Garbage Disposal

1. Boiling water

The simple power of hot water is not to be underestimated. If you’ve just boiled water for something — a bit of pasta or a pot of tea, for example — don’t let it cool off on the stove. Instead, pour it down the sink. This may be enough to take care of milder drain smells. If not, keep going down this list to amp up the cleaning power, but as you’ll see, every tip ends with a good hot water flush!

“My former landlord taught me the old boiling water trick for clearing junk out of older, weaker pipes. Every time you boil a kettle, instead of letting the water cool again, just pour whatever’s left right down the sink. If you’re like me and use a French press a few times a week, it helps a lot.”

2. Baking soda, vinegar, and boiling water

The most popular trick among Kitchn readers for getting rid of sink drain smells? A bubbling, baking soda-and-vinegar mix, washed down with very hot water.

“1 cup baking soda plus 2 cups vinegar. Pour the baking soda, then vinegar on top; it will bubble up. Let it sit a couple of minutes, then run hot water.”

“I do the baking soda and vinegar thing, but instead of just hot tap water, I always follow it with a big kettle full of boiling water. The hotter the water, the more bacteria it kills. The more bacteria you can kill off and flush away, the longer it takes for the stink to come back.”

“I do baking soda and hot vinegar (microwave it) and then boiling water. I live in the humid south and my drains can get gross pretty quickly, but this works great.”

“I use the time-honored baking soda and vinegar trick. Dump a good handful of baking soda into the drain, let sit (don’t run any water) for 15 minutes, then pour 1/4 to 1/2 cup white vinegar down. Watch the bubbles, hear the pops and fizz, and let it sit for another 15 minutes. Then, boiling water and voila! It will be right as rain … at least for about six weeks. Just repeat as necessary!”

“I have been using the baking soda/vinegar method to clean dirty and slow drains around my house for a while now. I had a seriously clogged and slow bathtub drain, and my landlord was concerned that he would have to call the plumber. I tried my baking soda and vinegar, followed by a kettle of boiling water — no need for the plumber after all.”

How to fix your kitchen sink

Kitchen sinks house some of the most disgusting clogs known to plumbers. Many a plumber has stories of year-old organic debris that has accumulated and then blocked a kitchen drain.

You can both prevent and fix a clogged kitchen sink on your own if you have the right tools and instructions and hopefully save yourself your own gag-inducing story.

Keep reading to learn the basic steps in how to fix a clogged sink.

Preventing Clogged Drains

You can best solve a clogged drain problem by never having one. Let your loved ones know that they should only allow water to go down your kitchen drain. Do not attempt to shove handfuls of organic debris like potato peels or strawberry hulls into your sink drain

Save the organic matter for your compost pile and run just water down your drain. Regularly run hot water into your sink drain to clean out any debris that might stick to the sides of the pipes.

How to Fix a Clogged Sink

When all preventative methods fail and your sink still clogs, you have several options for how to approach it before you call a plumber. Try these strategies to unclog your drain.

1. Clean the Garbage Disposal

Garbage disposals often play a big role in clogged drains. Run hot water into your garbage disposal and turn on the disposal. If your disposal has overheated or malfunctions, it won’t even turn on.

In this case, activate your reset switch to reboot it. If the disposal does not turn but rather hums with a low sound, you have a jammed or broken unit. Do not attempt to remove or work on your disposal until you unplug it, and never stick your hand in the disposal with it plugged in.

Once you’ve unplugged the disposal, attempt to manually unclog it by reaching your hand in and clearing out the debris. If this does not work, call a plumber.

2. Plunge the Drain

Plungers work on more than toilets. Once you’ve cleared out the disposal and discover you still have a clog, use a clean plunger to attempt to dislodge the clog.

Start by filling your sink halfway full with hot water. Set your plunger over the drain and begin plunging the drain up and down several times. Pull out the plunger to see if the water drains.

Try this method several times. If it does not work, move on to a different method.

3. Go All Natural

If grease or soap residue has built up and clogged your drain, your pipes just need some boiling water to loosen the blockage. Bring a half-gallon of water to a boil and then slowly pour it into your drain opening. Turn on your faucet and see if the water will drain normally.

If the water does not drain steadily, try boiling more water and repeat the method. If this still does not work, try a different method.

You can also attempt to break up a clog with baking soda and vinegar. Follow these basic steps:

  1. Dip out the standing water from your sink using a ladle, bowl, or cup.
  2. Pour an entire cup of baking soda down your drain. Push the powder into the drain with a spoon or spatula.
  3. Pour a cup of white vinegar down the drain over the baking soda.
  4. Put a cover or stop over the drain to seal it.
  5. Set a timer for 15 minutes and walk away.
  6. Take off the cover and run hot water down the drain.

If you’ve had some success, repeat the method and see if you make more headway. The chemical reaction between baking soda and vinegar will eat away at your clog. If not the method does not work, either contact a plumber or try a different method.

4. Check Your P-Trap

You may have a blockage in the P-trap under your sink that the regular methods will not reach. Your P-trap is the elbow-shaped pipe that sits just under your sink. Often the P-trap will hold debris that slows down the regular drainage.

If you’re confident in your plumbing skills, you can disassemble the pipe with the blockage. This process is a messy process, so wear goggles and gloves, and have a drainage bucket and towels ready.

  1. Put a bucket under the P-trap to catch water and debris that comes from the pipe.
  2. Unscrew the trap’s connectors, and remove the P-trap.
  3. Clean the P-trap out by running water through it and scrubbing it with a brush
  4. Reconnect the P-trap.
  5. Run water through the pipe with your bucket underneath to make sure you reconnected the pipe securely.

If you still have a clog after doing all of these methods and removing your P-trap, it’s time to call the plumber.

When To Call a Plumber

A big mess of backed-up water means you have a clogged kitchen sink that the average person cannot handle. Your inner stubbornness might believe that you can still fix this yourself and do not need a plumber.

But truthfully, any time is a good time to call a professional, especially when you’re dealing with something as precarious as your plumbing. Here are a few of the more obvious signs that you need to give the professionals a call:

  • More than one drain has backed up
  • You can smell sewage
  • A plunger won’t clear the drain
  • You do not have the adequate tools, like a drain snake, to fix the problem

There’s no shame in calling local plumbers to fix your clogged kitchen sink. They have the training and experience that will fix your problems quickly.

Don’t Panic Over Clogged Sinks

Now that you know how to fix a clogged sink, you have no reason to worry or panic. Just follow the basic steps for fixing the clog. Check your garbage disposal, try some natural methods, and release your P-trap.

And if these steps don’t work, you can always call a professional plumber to help unclog your sink. Keep the end goal in mind, and you will find yourself with an unclogged sink in no time.

If you found this article helpful, keep visiting our site. We have a variety of home improvement and maintenance articles that educate the average homeowner wanting to tackle his own problems.

How to fix your kitchen sink

Any slow draining sink is a nuisance. But different sinks tend to have different clogs. For instance, shower drains tend to collect hair. Kitchen drains, on the other hand, tend to have more problems with grease and food particles. The team at Herrmann Services put together these tips specifically for how to unclog kitchen sinks and garbage disposals.

1. Don’t Get Boiling Mad, Just Get Boiling

When grease, or greasy liquids, get poured down your kitchen sink, they go down the drain in a liquid state, but as they move through your pipes, the fat cools. As the fat becomes solid, it coats the inside of the pipes.

This coating will get thicker and thicker as more grease builds up until you get a slow draining sink or a completely clogged sink.

To unclog a slow draining kitchen sink, before you go out and buy drain cleaner, try this first. Boil a pan full of water on the stove. A tea kettle will do nicely as well. Pour a half cup of baking soda down your drain followed by a half cup of white vinegar. Let it fizz and bubble for five to ten minutes or so.

Then, carefully pour the pot or kettle full of boiling water down the drain. Turn the faucet on and see if it’s draining faster. Because the clog usually contains a lot of grease, the boiling water melts the grease, thus removing the clog.

2. Take the Plunge

If hot water doesn’t improve the problem, the culprit may be something other than grease buildup. It’s time to pull out the plunger. If there is standing water in the sink, remove it until there is only an inch or two so you can see what’s going on.

Place the cup of the plunger over the drain opening and pump up and down rapidly several times. Quickly pull the plunger off the drain opening. If this did not dislodge the clog, it may be trapped in the P-trap. Don’t forget to plunge both sides of the sink.

3. Remove the P-Trap

Large food particles like vegetable peels that become trapped in the curved pipe beneath the sink (known as the P-trap) are another common cause of kitchen drain clogs. Removing the P-trap sounds difficult, but is really not that involved.

You will need a channel-type pliers. Have a bucket handy, because water will spill from the drain when you remove this piece. Dump out any debris you find and rinse the pipe thoroughly before replacing it.

How to fix your kitchen sink

4. Use a Drain Snake to Unclog Your Sink

If the P-trap doesn’t appear to be the problem, the clog may be located further down the pipe. If that’s the case, you can use a drain snake to try to remove it. Most homeowners don’t have these on hand, and they are not cheap to rent or buy. At this point, it may be best to call a qualified plumber.

5. Keep Pipes Clean with Enzymes

Natural enzymes eat organic matter and were originally used to reduce the amount of organic waste buildup in septic tanks. Enzymes are now available for all types of plumbing needs, and if properly maintained, enzymes will help keep the pipes free and clear of buildup when used on a regular basis.

Enzymes are not as effective at removing an existing clog immediately, but regular use will keep your pipes clear of any organic buildup which helps you avoid clogs in the first place. Plus, natural enzymes are very easy on your pipes, unlike chemical drain cleaners.

How to fix your kitchen sink

Why does my faucet have low water pressure? The kitchen sink is the most-used water fixture in your home. Water pressure drops and low water are frustrating. Fortunately, fixing the problem is usually quick and inexpensive.

Before you get to worried, check beneath your sink and ensure that one or both of the water supply valves did not somehow get turned so less water is allowed through. It sounds simple, but it can happen!

If cleaning the aerator (found at the tip of indoor water faucets, a screen unit screwed onto the faucet head to create a stream of water without splashing) does not resolve the problem, our technicians at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can help. We can inspect the entire line and determine what parts need to be cleaned and which need to be replaced. We have a great deal of experience with “hard water” systems (water that is high in dissolved minerals like calcium and magnesium) and we know effective ways to filter hard water, as is common in the Bay Area, so that mineral deposits don’t chronically block water flow and damage your valves and joints.

First Things First: Are You Sure It’s Just Your Kitchen Faucet?

  • Go through your house turning each faucet on, one at a time. If the water pressure is normal everywhere else, you’ve isolated the problem to your kitchen faucet.
  • If the problem is affecting the entire system, both hot and cold water, check with neighbors and see if they are having the same problem. The issue could be with your city water department. Routine repairs and breaks in the main water line are beyond your control, but knowing this issue is neighborhood-wide will save you a lot of needless work.
  • If the problem is just with the hot water in your home, suspect a problem with the hot water heater or the hot water line. We recommend calling the team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing to get the issue sorted out. Resolving it may be fast and easy but is usually more than a simple DIY solution.
  • Do you have a leaky sink? If so, your problem could be in some portion of the sink plumbing. If you are not familiar with how to identify the source of a leak, call our team at Benjamin Franklin Plumbing – we can find and solve it fast.

Check the Aerator

The aerator is a screen at the end of the faucet. It catches solid particles that have come through the water line. It can get clogged and is also a place where hard water mineral deposits can accumulate over time. This is a simple fix.

  • Using channel lock pliers and thick tape or towel (to prevent scratching the faucet finish), unscrew the aerator from the faucet.
  • Once the aerator is off, inspect it for debris or sediment in the mesh.
  • Run the water without the aerator on. Has the pressure improved? If so, problem solved. If not, it is still a good idea to follow the rest of these steps.
  • Rinse off the aerator under hot water. If this doesn’t clean it thoroughly, and if it is caked with mineral deposits, soak the entire assembly in distilled white vinegar for at least six hours. Overnight is ideal. Make sure you don’t drop any loose parts down the drain!
  • Using a soft brush, clean away any remaining loose material and rinse fully.
  • Replace aerator.

Cleaning or Replacing your Faucet Cartridge

If the aerator isn’t the issue, it may be that the cartridge that sits deeper in the faucet assembly is clogged. Most modern faucet units have cartridges and they contain small holes that pass water through that can become clogged.

Because every model of faucet is slightly different, we can’t give you detailed steps, but here are the basics.

  • Turn off your water supply beneath the sink. These are usually two shut-off valves, one for hot and one for cold. Run the water until all the remaining water runs out.
  • You will need to remove the valve handle, and to do this you must find and remove the screw cap and screw that is holding down the faucet, usually requiring an Allen wrench.
  • Lift off the shut-off valve handle.
  • You will need to lift out the cartridge and this may involve removing a retaining clip and nut and washers. Be careful to organize everything you remove in the proper sequence so you can reassemble correctly.
  • Lift out the cartridge and inspect it. Is it heavily scratched? Is it heavily encrusted with lime scale? You can clean it by soaking it in 50/50 water, white vinegar solution but we recommend replacing it. Take the one you removed to a hardware store, so you buy the correct type.

Blockage in the Line?

If you haven’t found the problem yet, it may be that the water pipe leading to the faucet has become clogged with mineral deposits. If that’s the case, cleaning your aerator and replacing the cartridge may have helped, but the problem is not fully solved. You may need to flush the supply lines.

  • Turn off the hot water valve under the sink by turning it clockwise. This valve is normally on the left. Place a bucket below it.
  • Detach the flexible water supply line from the valve and hold it over the bucket.
  • Turn on the faucet all the way in a neutral temperature position. The hot water line will flush into the bucket.
  • Reinstall the hot water supply hose and repeat with the cold water line.

If Only the Hot Water Pressure is Low

If the pressure is only low with the hot water, affecting the entire hot water system in your home, the problem is almost certainly with the hot water heater. Check the hot water shut off valve. It should be open. If it isn’t, open it and check the pressure again. If this doesn’t improve the water pressure, it is most likely that you have a problem with the pipes going into the hot water heater or with the unit itself. This is the time to call us. We recommend all work done on a hot water heater be performed only by a professional plumbing technician for your own safety.

If the problem is with the hot water limited to being at the kitchen faucet, and flushing the line didn’t resolve the issue, the problem is most likely with a clog in the hot water line after it branches to your kitchen sink. In these cases, you need a professional plumbing technician. Our expert diagnostics can pinpoint the problem fast and our years of experience helps us restore water pressure at your kitchen skin at the minimum time and expense.

How to fix your kitchen sink

You’ve probably all been here before. You are sitting in the kitchen and notice a strong, unpleasant odor. It almost smells like rotting food or raw sewage. However, this doesn’t make sense because the garbage has already been taken out and there are no piles of dirty dishes in the sink? More than likely, the culprit is in your kitchen sink. Below we will discuss a few common causes and some remedies that may help.

Common culprits

  • The garbage disposal needs to be cleaned: Assuming that you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, it is important to remember that inspecting and cleaning these units should be done from time to time. Begin by using a flashlight to inspect the disposal to see if you find any mold, gunk, or food particles that may be contributing to the smell. A good remedy is to run warm water in your sink while pouring a half-cup of baking soda down the drain. If you have a dishwasher, run it with detergent but empty of any dishes inside. Since the dishwasher is connected to the disposal, it will allow the cleaning product to disinfect the unit. Another thing to consider is that garbage disposals typically last approximately 8 years. If not functioning correctly, it may be time for a replacement.
  • Build up in the drain pipe: Perhaps one of the most common culprits for strong kitchen odors is a build up of food, grease, and bacteria in your pipes. Most plumbers will caution you from using harsh chemicals to clean your drains, particularly if you have older cast iron sewer piping. For this reason, enzyme treatments can often help as they are living organic bacteria that feed off biodegradable waste and turn it back into water. Of course, if unsure, it is always recommended to have a professional plumber address the issue instead of possibly creating more harm.
  • A dry P-trap: If you look underneath your sink, you will notice a U-shaped bend in the pipe. This is known as the P-trap, or water trap. In fact, if you ever accidentally lose a valuable item such as a piece of jewelry down the sink, this is where you will likely find it. However, the functional reason for this pipe is to hold water which then creates a barrier from strong odors further down the sewer line. Oftentimes, this may be the culprit if you are returning to an empty home after a long vacation and the water that normally sits in the P-trap has evaporated. In this case, the simple remedy is to run the water for a few seconds to refill the P-trap.
  • A clogged vent pipe: You may not realize this, but your kitchen sink should have a plumbing ventilation stack that directs sewer gases away from the home. Typically, these pipes lead upward through the roof to carry out these foul odors. With this said, these stacks may become clogged due to animals nesting on them or other elements of nature. When these become clogged, this can lead to strong sewer odors coming back through the kitchen sink and into your home. If feasible, you may inspect these plumbing stacks on your roof. If unsafe, you may want to call a professional plumber to assist.

Summary

As a homeowner, it is always wise to be thorough with your preventative maintenance to prevent costly repairs down the road. Since plumbing can be one of the most expensive repairs in a home, it is always a good idea to ensure that it is in good working condition. After all, nothing is more unappealing than strong, unpleasant odors in the kitchen. By utilizing the tips above, you should be able to avoid or remedy these odors in the future.

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How to fix your kitchen sink

You’ve probably all been here before. You are sitting in the kitchen and notice a strong, unpleasant odor. It almost smells like rotting food or raw sewage. However, this doesn’t make sense because the garbage has already been taken out and there are no piles of dirty dishes in the sink? More than likely, the culprit is in your kitchen sink. Below we will discuss a few common causes and some remedies that may help.

Common culprits

  • The garbage disposal needs to be cleaned: Assuming that you have a garbage disposal in your kitchen sink, it is important to remember that inspecting and cleaning these units should be done from time to time. Begin by using a flashlight to inspect the disposal to see if you find any mold, gunk, or food particles that may be contributing to the smell. A good remedy is to run warm water in your sink while pouring a half-cup of baking soda down the drain. If you have a dishwasher, run it with detergent but empty of any dishes inside. Since the dishwasher is connected to the disposal, it will allow the cleaning product to disinfect the unit. Another thing to consider is that garbage disposals typically last approximately 8 years. If not functioning correctly, it may be time for a replacement.
  • Build up in the drain pipe: Perhaps one of the most common culprits for strong kitchen odors is a build up of food, grease, and bacteria in your pipes. Most plumbers will caution you from using harsh chemicals to clean your drains, particularly if you have older cast iron sewer piping. For this reason, enzyme treatments can often help as they are living organic bacteria that feed off biodegradable waste and turn it back into water. Of course, if unsure, it is always recommended to have a professional plumber address the issue instead of possibly creating more harm.
  • A dry P-trap: If you look underneath your sink, you will notice a U-shaped bend in the pipe. This is known as the P-trap, or water trap. In fact, if you ever accidentally lose a valuable item such as a piece of jewelry down the sink, this is where you will likely find it. However, the functional reason for this pipe is to hold water which then creates a barrier from strong odors further down the sewer line. Oftentimes, this may be the culprit if you are returning to an empty home after a long vacation and the water that normally sits in the P-trap has evaporated. In this case, the simple remedy is to run the water for a few seconds to refill the P-trap.
  • A clogged vent pipe: You may not realize this, but your kitchen sink should have a plumbing ventilation stack that directs sewer gases away from the home. Typically, these pipes lead upward through the roof to carry out these foul odors. With this said, these stacks may become clogged due to animals nesting on them or other elements of nature. When these become clogged, this can lead to strong sewer odors coming back through the kitchen sink and into your home. If feasible, you may inspect these plumbing stacks on your roof. If unsafe, you may want to call a professional plumber to assist.

Summary

As a homeowner, it is always wise to be thorough with your preventative maintenance to prevent costly repairs down the road. Since plumbing can be one of the most expensive repairs in a home, it is always a good idea to ensure that it is in good working condition. After all, nothing is more unappealing than strong, unpleasant odors in the kitchen. By utilizing the tips above, you should be able to avoid or remedy these odors in the future.

Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? Now more than ever, it is critical to have a qualified real estate team and the proper search tools behind you. At Live South Florida Realty, Inc., we have been a leader in the South Florida market for many years. Let our team of professionals assist you with buying or selling your piece of paradise today! In addition, our recently launched “Florida Home Search” app is now available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. With real-time MLS feeds, this app lets you set your own alerts to notify you as soon as a property meeting your needs hits the market. Furthermore, it will also let you know of recent closed sales in your area so that you may be even more educated on the market. Be sure to download this app for your smartphone or tablet today!

How to fix your kitchen sink

If you hear a gurgling sound from your sink while the water is running or your dishwasher or washing machine is draining, there are a few things you can do to remedy the issue. Luckily, it’s generally an easy repair. Today, we’ll be walking you through how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink in five simple steps.

Why is Your Sink Gurgling?

Before learning how to fix a gurgling kitchen sink, it helps to know what actually causes sink gurgling in the first place.

    Unvented drain or a blocked vent pipe: Imagine you’re holding a bottle of water. When you flip it over, and the water starts flowing out, air bubbles rise in the opposite direction, creating a deep gurgling, sputtering sound.

However, when you poke a hole on the bottom of the bottle, the water will come out smooth with an uninterrupted flow. That’s how your plumbing is supposed to work. Your vent pipe is like the hole in the bottle. If you don’t have one, or it’s blocked, gurgling can result.

  • Damaged pipes: Similar to a blocked vent pipe, damaged pipes upset the proper flow of water and air within your plumbing system.
  • Clogs or dirty pipes: Food, grime, and other waste material can build up in your drain or pipes and cause a blockage, which can lead to gurgling. The blockage doesn’t necessarily have to be in your kitchen sink drain. Though toilet gurgling is more common in deeper system blockages than sink gurgling.

5 Ways to Fix a Gurgling Kitchen Sink

There are 5 different repairs that typically resolve kitchen sink gurgling. Identifying which sinks in your house are gurgling can help you choose which option to try first. If the gurgle is only in your kitchen sink, the issue is likely in the drain or pipes of that sink.

Start with your P-trap. If your bathroom sinks or other drains in the house are also gurgling, you might have a problem with your main vent or a mainline clog. As the main vent is easier to fix, start there.

1. Flush Your Home’s Main Vent

Your plumbing system’s main vent is very likely on your roof above your primary bathroom. To clear blockages in the vent that may be causing gurgling, you can shoot water with a considerable amount of force into the vent opening or rent a sewer auger. Note that if you opt for an auger, it should reach all the way to your sewer.

While you can clear a main-vent clog yourself, a professional is generally recommended. As the repair requires roof access and high-pressure water or specialized equipment, it can be a complex and even dangerous task.

2. Fixing the P-Trap

Under your sink, there is a U-shaped pipe commonly called a P-trap that holds water that acts as a barrier so that sewer gasses can’t waft into your home. If the P-trap is an improper distance from the vent and the drain, it creates a vacuum that siphons water away from the P-trap and gurgling results.

The total length of all tailpieces, arms, and fittings between your drain and the P-trap should be 24 inches or less. For example, if you have a drainpipe that’s roughly 1.5 inches long, the vent must be 3.5 feet from the lower part of the trap. If yours is closer than that, you’ll need to modify the piping to create more distance.

3. Fixing an Air Admittance Valve

Some drains have an air admittance valve instead of a vent. In a conventional setup, all the plumbing fixtures connect to a vent that passes up through the roof and allows air into the drain to replace water as it disappears. In some systems, this vent is replaced with an air valve just after the P-trap. If this valve is broken or clogged, air pressure in the system is upset.

A clogged or broken air admittance valve is very easy to replace—you can unscrew and re-screw them by hand. They cost $10 to $20 at The Home Depot, and they’re good for 20 to 30 years.

4. Flush the System

If your main vent or air admittance valve and P-trap all look good, before you try more complicated repairs, we recommend trying the simplest fix—run water. Just turn your water on hot and let it run for about 15 minutes.

There may just be a slight clog somewhere in the line, and a quick flush can solve the issue. If you have an older home, it may also be worth hiring a professional to clean the system.

5. Clean the Drain

If flushing the line doesn’t work, the next step is to clean your drain. Even if you are diligent about using a screen, some food debris will inevitably make it down your kitchen sink. Especially in homes with well water, mineral build-up can also be an issue.

Place a bowl or pan below the P-trap and remove it—be aware that there will be water inside. Dump the water and anything else inside into the bowl. In addition to its sewer-gas-blocking ability, your P-trap also catches things before they can pass into—and potentially clog—your pipes. Coincidentally, they can also be a lifesaver if you lose something like a ring down the drain.

Once empty, clean the trap and replace it. You can use a cheap nylon brush to get the inside good and clean.

Is Your Kitchen Sink Still Gurgling?

If you try all the above and your kitchen sink is still gurgling, your best bet is to call a professional.

It’s possible there is a blockage further in your pipes, or an installation error you overlooked somewhere. Either way, the repair is likely beyond simple DIY tasks. Whatever you do, don’t ignore the problem if you can’t fix it.

Sink gurgling might seem like a small issue, but it’s almost always a warning sign of an underlying problem just waiting to turn into a big, expensive mess.