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How to fix a leaky sink trap

So, you heard a “drip-drip” coming from your sink cabinet and found a little puddle of water when you opened the cabinet door. Fear not—this is a fix you can handle without calling a plumber! In many cases, fixing a leaky sink trap (P-trap) can be done in seconds and without any tools. Even if your case is a little more complicated, a quick trip to the hardware store is usually all you need to get the job done yourself.

1.Shut off the water supply and put a bucket or towels under the P-trap

Remember that there’s always some water in the P-trap, so have either the bucket or towels ready to go before you disconnect it. It’s also a good idea to shut off the water supply so that someone (even you) doesn’t accidentally turn on the tap and send water gushing down the sink drain and into the sink cabinet.

2. Undo the slip-joint nuts at both ends of the trap to remove it. 

Twist counterclockwise to disconnect the nut that attaches the P-trap to the sink’s tailpipe, then do the same to disconnect the nut that joins the P-trap to the drain line. Pull away the entire P-trap and pour out its contents into the bucket or pile of towels.

3.Inspect the P-trap, including all nuts and O-rings, for signs of damage. 

If you’ve already pinpointed the location of the leak, check there first—you’ll usually find that either the slip-joint nut is damaged or the rubber O-ring that fits inside is crumbling apart. Continue to check all other parts of the P-trap assembly for signs of wear, damage, or (if metal) corrosion that you may not have noticed. It makes sense to replace everything that isn’t in tip-top shape.

4.Take the whole P-trap assembly to a store to get replacement parts. 

There’s simply no better way to make sure that you get the exact matching parts you need! No matter what condition they’re in, buy all new rubber O-rings for each slip-joint nut. Also replace any nuts that are damaged or deformed in any way. If the removed trap had multiple leaks, widespread damage, or was noticeably out of alignment, it’s best to just buy a whole new P-trap setup (pipe sections, nuts, and O-rings) to assemble and install.

5.Reassemble the P-trap with any replacement parts you bought.

 If you’re threading a new slip-joint nut onto the P-trap, make sure to line up the threads so that the nut isn’t attached to the pipe at an angle. Also be sure to put a rubber O-ring inside each slip-joint nut before connecting any two sections of the P-trap pipe.

6.Secure the P-trap back into place and test it out. 

Make sure the top of the P-trap and the bottom of the sink’s tailpipe are properly aligned, then tighten the slip-joint nut by hand (for PVC) or with a final 1/4 to 1/2 turn with slip-joint pliers (for metal). Repeat the process where the end of the P-trap meets the drainpipe that disappears into the wall or floor.

Content created and supplied by: MasterEric (via Opera News )

P-trap

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