A Homeowner’s Guide to Kitchen Leak Detection


Leaking water under the kitchen sink isn’t just wasteful and a drain on your water bill, it can also lead to major damage to cabinetry, wall boards, and insulation. If allowed to progress, mold can eventually take hold and ruin your entire kitchen. Leaks can go unnoticed since the undersink cabinet is often home to bottles and containers of liquids that are sometimes spilled. Fortunately, there are ways to find out if the real problem is a leak, as this guide will show.

Check your meter

One of the first things to do if you suspect that there is a leak is to look at your water meter. Begin by shutting off all water in the house. Don’t forget about things that run automatically, like the ice maker. Then, record the reading on your meter. Wait one hour, making sure to run no water, and then check the reading again. If it’s changed, then you likely have a leak.

Perform the pipe test

Condensation can sometimes buildup on water supply pipes, making it difficult to determine if there is a leak. This test will help.
1. Wipe the supply pipes dry with a towel.
2. Wrap each pipe in tissue paper and tape it in place. 3. Turn on the hot water water and watch the tissue. It will darken and become wet where a leak is present. Repeat the the cold supply line. Finally, repeat the entire test on the drain pipe if the water lines are leak-free.

You only have a water leak in the supply lines if the tissue darkens. The tissue test also allows you to pinpoint the exact location.

Inspect the cabinet and wall board

If the supply lines and drain pipes aren’t leaking, the next culprit may be one of the pipes in the wall. This check is relatively simple. Empty out the cabinet and then prod the back of it gently with a screwdriver. If you feel any give, or if the cabinet or wall board appears wet or moldy, then you likely have a leak. You will need to call in Springfield plumbers to determine the exact location.

Don’t forget the faucet

A common source of leaks is your faucet fixture. The leak usually occurs near the base of the faucet, which is where the o-ring is that seals against such leaks. To check, dry the area around the base of the faucet and then turn it on to full blast. If water begins dripping out from the base, you’ve found your culprit and you need to replace the o-ring.

Kitchen leaks aren’t something that you should ignore. Knowing the steps to recognizing and diagnosing the exact cause of a leak can save you lot of expense and stress down the road.

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