The Sink is Leaking: Call a Professional or DIY?

Uh oh…the sink is leaking! Should you try to fix it yourself or immediately call in a local plumbing professional? Some plumbing problems obviously need an expert, but others are less clear. Leaky faucets and sinks don’t always need an emergency plumber…so should you DIY or call the pros?

First, identify the leak.
There are several kinds of “sink leaks” you can experience. The most common of which is probably the dripping faucet, which can slowly drive you up the wall. It’s also possible to have a leak underneath your sink. If you notice that the cabinet under a sink apparatus is wet (or if you can actually see the water dripping from the sink pipes), you’ve got a leaky sink.

Leaky sinks cost you money, waste water, and create a moist environment for mold and mildew to grow. They can’t be ignored for long!

Should you fix the leak yourself?
Leaky pipes are, surprisingly, often easier to fix than dripping faucets.

LEAKY PIPES: The first step to DIYing a leaky pipe is to identify exactly where the water is coming from. Pay special attention to the joints. Before you start the fix, turn off the water to the faucet to ensure you don’t inadvertently start a flood! If the leak is coming from joint, you might want to start by replacing the rubber or plastic washers located under each nut. You will probably need two channel locks for loosening metal nuts. PVC pipes are usually only hand tight.

If this doesn’t  seem to fix the leak, you probably need to replace the drain pipes under the sink. Over time, drain pipes, particularly metal pipes, will corrode and  wear out. A professional plumber can replace these pipes with less mess and hassle than you likely can yourself, and you can be sure it’s sealed correctly to prevent future leaks down the road.

DRIPPING FAUCETS: If you’ve got a consistently dripping faucet, you need to call a plumber. On older faucets, it’s  likely that the rubber/silicone washer forming a water-tight seal within the faucet when you turn off the water is worn out, brittle, or torn. Replacing these washers is more complicated than you might expect! You may even need to have the valve “seat” replaced.

Most newer faucets now use  some type of cartridge, ceramic or otherwise, particular to that faucet. Identifying and installing the correct one may be  a job best left to professionals.


Need a leaky sink repaired? Give 1 Call Plumbing a ring to get started – stop wasting water and listening to persistent drips! We’re your local plumbing pros and we’re ready to help.