Kitchen pipes are among the household fixtures that are easy to forget about until they malfunction. If you live in an older home with pipes that have not been serviced for decades, it may be time call a plumber to inspect the fixtures. Furthermore, if you notice that the plywood in your kitchen sink cabinet is warped or see signs of moisture and mold growth, you probably have a tiny pipe leak that is slowly but surely causing major damage. The following tips can help you determine when it is time to replace kitchen pipes and how to maintain your new fixtures.
Knowing When You Need to Replace Your Pipes
Purchasing an older fixer upper house can be a great adventure, enabling you to enjoy the vintage style of a well-built home. However, when you begin to inspect fixtures like kitchen pipes, you may be in for a rude awakening. While the pipes may still be working, they could be on the verge of collapse if they are marred with corrosion and rust.
Other signs of defective pipe fixtures include:
- Leaking and deteriorated rubber couplers that hold pipes together
- Hard water deposits, a sign of slow leaks
- Slip nuts that are loose and cannot be retightened
If the pipes were made of materials that contain lead, you need to get them replaced immediately. The lead can enter your water supply and pose a health hazard. If the house was built in the 1970s, it may have polybutylene pipes that are more prone to crack and break than other pipe materials.
If you have no idea how to determine what types of pipes are in your kitchen cabinet, just call a plumber for help.
Do It Right the First Time
Replacing your kitchen sink pipes includes:
- Choosing the right type of materials such as PVC fittings that will adjust to extreme temperature changes during the winter
- Shutting off your water supply during the installation
- Accessing other pipes in the house that may be behind kitchen walls
- Cutting pipes to the right size and assembling all new the fixtures properly
- Insulating pipes to help them withstand freezing temperatures
If the previous owner of your home attempted a DIY repair of kitchen sink pipes, they may have used cheap materials or failed to properly assemble fixtures. If you have no expertise in plumbing beyond handling a toilet plunger, do yourself a favor and call a professional, like Two Men And A Snake, to install new kitchen pipe fixtures.
Protect the Kitchen Sink Cabinet
After your plumber installs new pipes, the chances you having of a kitchen leak should be slim. However, shifts in your home's foundation and problems with water pressure can lead to pipe damage. Furthermore, if you have small children, you must make sure that your kids do not drop small objects in the kitchen drain and damage pipes.
In order to prevent water damage to the plywood floor of a sink cabinet, line the floor with inexpensive peel-and-stick vinyl tiles. For just a few bucks or less each, you can purchase these tiles from a home improvement store. The thin tiles are easy to cut with scissors so you can resize them for a perfect fit.
Preventing Future Problems
You can prevent future problems with kitchen sink pipes by adhering to few simple guidelines.
Never pour cooking grease down the sink. Dispose of the substance in your trash after you pour it in a container. Over time the grease will build up and clog up your pipes.
Dispose of food from dirty dishes, coffee grinds, egg shells and other food items in your trash or compost. You can also ask the plumber to install a garbage disposal in your sink to help break down food that goes down the drain.
Finally, keep your pipes clean with eco-friendly drain cleaners instead of products made from harsh chemicals. You can also pour a half cup of baking soda followed by a half cup of vinegar down the sink to clean kitchen pipes.