How To Locate And Fix Sink Rim Leaks

Kitchen sinks see a lot of heavy use, and so it is not unusual for leaks to develop as time goes on. Luckily, you can often solve such problems without having to call in a plumbing repair person. If you would like to increase your knowledge of home plumbing skills, read on. This article will teach you how to correct the common problem of a leaky sink rim.

Warning signs

Depending on the severity of the leak, you may not notice much water pooling up on the counter top itself. That said, you may notice that the caulk around the edges of your sink is showing signs of deterioration. Likewise, you will often find that the plastic laminate and/or tiles around your sink have become loose. 

Checking beneath the sink itself is also a great way to identify that you have a problem. Here you may find water stains, damp walls, or even puddles of water. You may also notice that the wood or particle board of the cabinet has become black with mold and mildew. Any and all of these are signs that you've got a leak on your hands.

Verifying that you're dealing with a rim leak

Signs of water damage--especially those beneath the counter top--may be caused by a number of different types of leak. To determine if what you're dealing with is a rim leak, have a helper use a sponge to dribble water around the rim of the sink. Carefully watch the bottom of the sink to determine if--and where--the water is coming through.

If your counter top is made of plastic laminate, rim leaks will often manifest as bubbles on the surface. These bubbles, however, often occur naturally as the adhesives used gradually degrade. Try inspecting the same spot on the counter from below. If you find that the particle board in that area is swollen or stained, you can be fairly certain a rim leak is the culprit.

Addressing the problem

There are three different strategies that you may use to help fix a leaky sink rim. Begin by tightening the faucet nuts using either a pair of adjustable pliers or, if you have one, a basin wrench. This will pull the sink more tightly against the counter, thus preventing water from working its way under the rim.

Your next step should be to replace the old caulk surrounding the rim. Use a plastic razor blade to remove the old caulk without scratching the countertop, and then reapply silicone caulk around the edges. With a little searching you should even be able to find a mildew resistant variety of caulk, which will help to preserve the cleanliness of your kitchen.

For professional plumbing services, contact a company such as Benjamin Franklin Plumbing.