Kitchens are one of the most used rooms in every North Carolina home and can really define an interior space. Kitchens are also completely dependent on a reliable water supply and stable plumbing system – safety and sanitation are top priority. And when things don’t run smoothly, we notice. Instead of worrying about kitchen plumbing problems, give PlumbV a call! We can handle issues before they worsen and get your kitchen up and running again.
Potential Kitchen Plumbing Problems
Our modern kitchens have a lot of moving parts. When issues arise, they generally fall into one of four categories: (1) faulty parts, (2) degraded materials, (3) needed maintenance, or (4) a broken fixture. Knowing what’s at stake and pinpointing a root cause will help you to determine when it’s best to call a professional.
Garbage disposal. Making light work of kitchen scraps and food debris is a messy job. And not everything that ends up in the garbage disposal should be there. If you’re hearing unusual grinding, humming, squealing, or metallic clicking, things aren’t quite right and the unit needs some attention.
Sink and faucet. Dripping, startling noises, inconsistent pressure and temperature, discolored water, slow drains, and foul odors are all common sink and faucet complaints. If you’re experiencing any of these problems, some investigation could point to old parts, material lodged in the drain, deposits, rust, a malfunctioning water heater, and perhaps even backflow issues. Or you may need a sink to be unclogged. But these annoyances could be symptoms of issues that run deeper.
Drains. Large food pieces, soap scum, and cooking oils can build up in the line and reduce flow. If you’re noticing slow draining, strange gurgling sounds, or drains that just won’t clear, you’re likely dealing with a clog from a lodged piece of food, a kitchen utensil, or other object. DIY solutions are out there, but they may not tackle the problem and could even cause damage. A broken water pipe or pooled water in the main drain line could also be contributing factors. These bring along more serious risks, like mold and insects.
Dishwasher. If a unit stops cleaning dishes, springs a leak, or starts making odd banging, grinding, rattling, or squealing noises, there’s a problem. Low pressure and insufficient heat are also signs to take seriously. The fix could lie in a replacement part, but you can’t know without some investigation.
Water supply. Hard water and environmental factors can quickly age water lines. Mineral buildup can compromise connections and influence water pressure — both can lead to leaky lines. “Water hammer” is a situation that develops when excessively high water pressure is sustained in the line. When valves are opened and closed, the force of the water jolts the pipes which can then flex and bang against nearby structural elements. Loud sounds after turning water on or off are key signs to be aware of.
Foul odor. Grease, oil, or other fatty substances could collect in the P-trap and build up inside pipes — foul odors could waft up as they decompose. If the stench is paired with slow-draining water or a clog, you might be looking at a break in the main supply line. On the other hand, odor could be coming from a cracked or broken vent line. A musty, moldy smell could be evidence that a leaky sink, water supply line, or drain pipe has leached water into the cabinetry or drywall. Moisture not only breeds mold — which can aggravate allergies or other breathing problems — but it also creates the ideal environment for insects to call home.
Installation and replacement. If you’re working on the kitchen of your dreams, you’ll want to start with a solid foundation. Getting plumbing right the first time and using high-quality materials and fixtures can help to prevent headaches later on. If your current plumbing or appliances aren’t functional and you plan to replace them, take time to thoroughly assess your plumbing needs and spot potential problems while the area is exposed and easier to access.
Contributing Factors and Solutions
Pressure. Mineral buildup can restrict flow and removing it is an easy fix. Or a new part — like an aerator — might be needed, along with a thorough cleaning of the faucet head. Backflow issues or a cracked supply pipe could also be to blame. The problem could even stem form corrosion, low pressure in the local water supply, or an old plumbing system. High pressure can wear on the water system and potentially cause damage and leaks. The solution could be simple or you might need help from a pro.
Temperature. Water that never seems hot enough or is inconsistently hot points straight to a faulty water heater. It may be older or wasn’t meant to handle your plumbing system’s new, larger load. Sediment or a leak could make it difficult for the unit to retain enough hot water. Replacing faulty parts or flushing out the reservoir could solve the issue. This is a messy, sometimes dangerous process that should be best left to an expert.
Leaks. Faucet and sink leakage can stem from a broken seal, corroded components, or even mineral deposits that eat away at fixtures and seals. Outdated and aging materials could be the source, along with poorly done repairs inherited from previous homeowners. Far from just being annoying, leaks and broken parts waste valuable water and resources. Replacing seals and gaskets could be a first defense. But if you notice your bill steadily going up, you could be looking at more serious repairs to the main water line. Either way, it’s best to get to the root of the issue by calling in an experienced professional. Shutting off the water supply to a fixture or appliance, or possibly using leak tape and a compression clamp can stave off leaks until a plumber arrives.
Faulty parts. From worn seals and latches, to failing housing gaskets and electric controls, many small parts can break down. An aerator could hold the key to your dripping faucet. And a new O-ring could stop it from leaking at the base. Appliance and fixture manuals can often direct you through the troubleshooting process, but you might lack the needed tools and be unable to find replacement parts. Before deciding to disassemble pipes or remove appliances, it’s worth calling out a professional to diagnose the issue.
Outdated materials. As new products come on the scene, old options become obsolete. In some cases they’re even deemed unsafe or inefficient. Previous repairs may have added inferior materials or ineffective fixes. And old fixtures can break down over time, introducing leaks, odors, and water waste. Original vent pipes can crack, allowing noxious gases to leak into your kitchen. In cases like these, consulting with a plumbing professional will give you the most comprehensive view of your plumbing situation and the best course of action. And if you’re planning to upgrade appliances, new water supply lines are always a good idea.
Food debris. Garbage disposals see their fair share of lodged items. And if a metal utensil, bone, or other large object makes it into the garbage disposal, it could spell trouble. Even some common kitchen scraps will gum up moving parts or clog the sink. It can be tempting to work on a malfunctioning garbage disposal yourself, but this is one time it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry. A PlumbV technician will be happy to investigate.
Mineral buildup. Most homes in the U.S. have some degree of hard water. Alkaline minerals in the water supply will naturally build up in areas that water flows. The insides of pipes, supply lines, appliances, faucets, and exterior of fixtures are often affected. A white, crusty coating is a telltale sign of hard water buildup. Vinegar or other acidic products will break up deposits you can see, but some elements in water can lead to internal corrosion. A thorough water assessment can give you a detailed analysis and a professional plumber can clue you in to any softening or filtration systems available.
Clogs. Some things that make it down the drain are thick and sticky and can collect on the interior walls of pipes or within P-traps. The resulting buildup can bring odors, clogs, and slow drains. DIY and retail options are plentiful, and oftentimes a sink plunger can do the trick. Harsh and caustic drain cleaners are available, but we wouldn’t recommend them. Instead of dumping noxious chemical agents into the water supply, it’s a better plan to find the root cause of the clog and remove it. but if your clogged sink is a persistent condition, this is a sign of a more serious problem. For example, a clogged main drain line could be the culprit. A plumber can diagnose the problem and unclog your drains using professional tools.
DIY or Professional?
With homeownership comes experience and knowledge. You could feel confident in tackling plumbing repairs. But a seemingly simple problem can unfold to reveal a more complex situation. Plumbing can be a dirty, messy, frustrating business. And most plumbing projects also demand specific tools, supplies, and professional expertise that the average person just doesn’t have available. Besides being efficient and fast, a professional plumber knows what they’re up against and has the experience to handle stressful or emergency situations.
If you’re a property owner and you’re looking to remodel or build, think about adding a plumber to your construction team. On paper it can seem that the sky’s the limit, but when you get into the mechanics of incorporating water lines, drain pipes, and vents, the complexity grows. Getting infrastructure details right the first time will ensure that the project runs smoothly and brings the best results. And plumbing is one thing that no one wants to get wrong. That could spell property damage, unsanitary conditions, and major inconvenience.
Trust Your Local Plumbing Experts
At PlumbV, our professional team has the knowledge, skills, and resources to solve your kitchen plumbing issues. We recognize that some repairs are just too dangerous or complex to tackle alone. And what begins simply can easily become involved. But it’s good to know that you have a trusted, local expert to turn to. We understand the causes and solutions for leaking faucets, clogged drains, and a broken dishwasher and can get yours in order.
A safe and sanitary kitchen is vital to your family’s health and wellbeing. That’s why we do what it takes to quickly get things back to normal. We’ve spent years building a strong reputation as the Triangle region’s go-to for all plumbing services, repairs, and installations — we’re ready to help! So if you are in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Cary areas and your kitchen is in need of some plumbing experts. look no further. Give us a call at (919)932-8890 or send us a message and we’ll gladly discuss your current or future plumbing needs.