4 Kitchen Plumbing Problems and How to Avoid Them

Aside from the bathroom, the kitchen is the most common place for plumbing problems to arise in your home. And although there’s just the kitchen sink, it has many components and opportunities for malfunctions.

In this post, we’ll discuss parts of a kitchen sink, as well as some of the more common kitchen plumbing problems and how they occur. We’ll also take a look at several different ways to avoid such issues, and let you know which problems need immediate professional attention. When in doubt, call a licensed plumber to deal with the problem.

All About Your Sink

Plumbing should whisk away used water and what’s in it. However, the simple fact remains that pipes aren’t built to transfer a buildup of solid matter. Even kitchen sinks with a garbage disposal unit can struggle with draining issues. To combat this problem, let’s first examine the components of a kitchen sink:

  • Faucet
    • Aerator
  • Bowl
  • Drain basket/food catch
  • Garbage disposal
  • Pipes under the sink

Now that you know that basic parts of a kitchen sink, it’s also good to learn what each part does. The Faucet brings clean water to your sink, whether hot or cold. The aerator is a small attachment at the end of the faucet that distributes an even stream of water. The bowl is the basic structure of your sink that contains water and other matter.

The drain basket or food catch is the piece that sits in the drain to prevent large food bits from going down the drain. Garbage disposals reduce the amount of large food matter in your pipes by pulverizing pieces into smaller more moveable bits. The pipes under the sink handle used water, although there are also pipes that bring clean water to the faucet.

With a basic understanding of kitchen sink parts, we can now address the more common problems.

Common Kitchen Plumbing Issues

Clogged or Slow Drains

The best way to keep things running is to limit (or eliminate) the amount of food bits and solid matter going into your sink. You can do this by using a drain basket or food catch, and emptying it regularly. It’s these constant food bits that contribute to countless plumbing issues. Even a small amount every day adds up to a legitimate drain or pipe clog.

Although a somewhat unpleasant task, emptying the drain basket will save you time and money when it comes to a clogged sink. A drain basket used in tandem with a garbage disposal will work best for eliminating food from your pipes.

Aerator and Washer Problems
Another common plumbing issue is a leaky faucet or poor water pressure. The faucet contributes to this issue. Old and worn out washers loosen and let water leak through, but are fairly easy to replace. Part of your regular semi-annual checks can include checking washers and replacing them if necessary. Of course, if you’re not comfortable, don’t hesitate to call your local plumber.

It’s also good to check and empty the faucet aerator of hard water buildup and particles. This will help maintain water pressure. If that doesn’t work, you should call a professional plumber to check your water heater and the rest of your plumbing system.

Leaky Pipes
High water pressure or a buildup of hard water deposits can often cause leaks in your pipes. Again, regular semi-annual checks will identify this problem early on, hopefully before damage occurs. This type of issue is usually more complex, and often calls for a pipe replacement and further inspection. Leave this one up to the professionals.

Jammed Garbage Disposal
When your garbage disposal is struggling, you should do the following:

  • Turn it off completely
  • Clear out as much debris as possible
  • Press the red reset button of the underside of the unit
  • Try it again

If this process does not yield any results, the fastest way to solve your problem is to call a licensed plumber. You can avoid the above problems and many other potential repairs with regular plumbing checks.

Regular Maintenance

But you can actually avoid or reduce the majority of plumbing issues. Do this by completing or getting regular plumbing maintenance and checks. This involves testing and monitoring several different factors around your home.


  • Drain speeds
  • Water pressure
  • Flush time

Looking for:

  • Wet spots or discoloration
  • Mildew
  • Old caulking
  • Slow drains
  • Loose connections
  • Rust or breakage

Keep watching and looking for these issues. If you receive a  full plumbing check once every six months, you can add years to the life of your system. This will also help you catch any problems as they are developing, lessening their severity and cost. Remember, if you’re unsure of how to deal with a plumbing problem, just call us at Hillcrest Plumbing & Heating. We have the skills and knowledge to resolve even the most difficult plumbing issues.

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