How to fix a leaking sink

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A leaking sink isn't just a nuisance – escaping water can do serious damage to your home, and you might not always see the effects before it's too late. That's why we've put together these simple steps to show you how to fix it, so you can get a head-start on the problem as soon as you suspect that something might be wrong.

1. Get your tools together

Before you start to tackle a leaking sink, you'll need:

  • protective glasses and gloves
  • an adjustable spanner and a flat-headed screwdriver
  • a bucket
  • a cloth or some kitchen towel

2. Find the source of the leak

Carefully check all of the pipes under the sink to see where the water's coming from. Run your gloves or a dry paper towel over the plastic waste pipe, the cold tap feed and the hot tap feed, checking for moisture or drips.

3. Tighten up the waste pipe

The compression fittings on the waste pipe should be tightened up by hand. Just make sure you don't overdo it.

4. Tighten up the water feeds

Both the cold and hot water pipes should be tightened up using your adjustable spanner. And again, don't use so much force that you risk doing damage.

5. Test the plughole

If the pipe fittings are already tight enough, but you've still got a leaking sink, it could be your plughole that's causing a problem. Put the plug in the sink, fill it with cold water, and then wait to see if the water level drops. If it does, you'll need to try cleaning the parts around the plughole.

6. Remove the trap

Place your bucket underneath the waste pipe. Then carefully unscrew the compression fittings until you can remove the trap, making sure that you catch any drips in the bucket.

7. Empty the trap

Once you've carefully removed the trap from the fittings, pour out the water from the trap into the bucket.

8. Remove the plughole

Insert the screwdriver into the centre of the plughole cover and find the screw. Hold on to the plughole underneath the sink with one hand, and use the other to unscrew the plughole from the sink. Once the screw is undone, you should be able to remove the plughole completely.

9. Clean the plughole and its parts

Use a damp cloth or kitchen towel to wipe both sides of the sink hole and each part of the plughole. You might need to give the parts a soak in some water to make them easier to clean.

10. Put the sink back together

Reattach the top part of the plughole, put the rubber seal in place and put the bottom part of the plughole into position under the sink. Tighten the screw on top to fix your plughole securely back into place.

11. Test your sink

Screw the waste trap back in by hand, plug the sink and fill it with water again. If the water level doesn't drop this time, then you've managed to fix it. These simple steps should hopefully help you repair your leaking sink. But if you're still in trouble, or you're not comfortable tackling the problem yourself, you can get one of our engineers in to sort things out instead.