Avoid plumbing leaks
This time I’d like to talk about what’s inside your cabinets, under your sinks. We all have things stashed under there…it is a cabinet after all. However, I’d like to draw a little attention to just what and how we store those items. Quite often when I look in the kitchen sink base or bathroom vanity I find things to be packed in there and even piled up on top of each other. The problem with this is there is plumbing under there. And depending on the type of plumbing used, could determine how much more likely a leak is to occur because of our attempt to fill these cabinets with as much as we can possibly fit in there. When these things are stuffed in there (to the extent as I’ve occasionally found) they can put undo stress on the plumbing feed and drain lines leading to leaks.
Even a properly installed faucet and water feed system as well as drain connections can fail prematurely due to our pack rat ways. The water feed system may make itself noticeable right away if it’s a leaky shutoff valve or supply line feeding the faucet inside the cabinet as it will leak constantly, since it’s always pressurized. And again, depending on the type of feed line used, it could result in a sudden fountain of water…..I have seen feed lines break loose shooting a steady stream of water flooding bathrooms and kitchens. If the damage has occured to the supply lines inside the wall, before the stop valves, it may go a long time without notice, causing even more damage to the structure itself rather than just the cabinet. A leak in the drain connections may not be readily noticed either, since it will be an intermittent leak only happening while the fixture is actually in use. And of course with all our things stuffed under there it may be some time before that slow leak is even noticed.
I’ve repaired these sort of leaks numerous times. Sometimes without too much water damage having been caused, other times where cabinets needed to be repaired, and still other times where cabinets needed to be removed to make wall and floor repairs because of how long the leak had been occuring and the extent of the damage done.
Best practice is to take care, what items and how they are stored around the plumbing. Allow room around the plumbing lines without items being stuffed in there to the point that valves, lines, pipes are not being pushed sideways, up and down, or pulled outward/pushed inward.