Two of the most valuable tools for any household when it comes to dealing with common kitchen leaks are both their ears and their eyes. By effectively using your ears and eyes, you should be able to spot a small issue well before it becomes a big problem. Simply listening and looking for home leaks on a regular basis can go a long way in helping you avoid these types of kitchen nightmares.
1. Check under your dishwasher and refrigerator
While this tip isn’t the most convenient, it’s important to check under your dishwasher and refrigerator regularly for leaks. Plan to do this at least monthly, and certainly follow this tip for a few weeks after buying a new device. Look for small damp spots, water collection or dripping from pipes or lines. By doing this, you should be able to effectively identify any type of leaks that occur with your main device. Often, you can even spot the problem early and get it under control before serious water damage occurs.
2. Consider leaving your refrigerator’s ice machine unplugged
If you want to limit the amount of damage that can occur in terms of your refrigerator, consider leaving your ice maker completely unplugged. If you don’t want to do this, regularly check the actual plastic hose that connects the ice machine to the water line to make sure it isn’t cracked or corroded. If it is, immediate replacement is required.
3. Alarms for water detection
If you’re serious about preventing kitchen leaks, installing a water detection alarm in your kitchen is something worth considering. These types of alarms are available at major hardware stores, and they help you detect possible leaks and alert you to them. Place them in various water-prone areas of your home such as the basement, kitchen, or bathrooms. Some of the more advanced alarms will go so far as to alert you even when you are not at home either through a pre-programmed phone number/system or home security system.
4. Check for condensation
A simple and quick daily check that any home owner can do is to look for condensation and/or corrosion around your kitchen pipes. Also, check the floor to make sure it is not bent and/or cracked which is typically a sign of a leak being present.
Even with your best efforts and superhero-style detection tactics, sometimes leaks happen. When they do, there are some easy ways to fix most of them.
5. Leaky faucet
When dealing with a leaky faucet, it’s helpful to first understand where your leak is coming from. It is also helpful to know what type of faucet you have. There are four different types of faucets, and each of them has a different type of valve. To buy the right parts, find out which valve you need before starting the repair process. The different types of valves are ball, ceramic disc, cartridge, and compression. The most common cause for a leak will be due to having damaged and/or completely loose O-rings and/or washers. However, if you are dealing with a cartridge faucet, it is likely that you will need to replace the entire cartridge.
6. A flowing washer
If you are dealing with a leaking dishwasher, first look to see if there is a clog and/or buildup in the drain. This is one of the most common causes of dishwasher leaks. Another common cause of a leaking dishwasher is that you have a damaged valve and/or hose. While some of these problems are easy solutions on your own, if you are unsure of the exact cause, consult a plumber for advice.
7. Leaky refrigerator
Leaking refrigerators are often related to a faulty line that connects to the water supply and the ice machine. To repair them, first check your defrost drain. When your defrost drain is clogged, water cannot move freely in the pan, and instead, it starts to flow out of the bottom of the refrigerator. Sometimes the line can be easily flushed, and replacing it is a simple chore with a wrench and parts conveniently purchased from the hardware store. If this is not the direct cause of your leak, it most likely results from a faulty connection between your ice machine or your filtration system. Sometimes, simply tightening the lines is all that is needed to remedy the leak.
If a kitchen leak is more than you can handle on your own, the good news is, there are professionals who can help you fix all these problems. If you come across a leak that you either can’t fix or don’t have the tools and skills to fix, hire a professional to handle the job for you.
Joe Crivello is the owner of AmeriDri, assisting clients with water damage and mold removal and inspection. In business for 25 years, his firm is certified by the IICRC and has an A+ rating with the Colorado Better Business Bureau. If you are in Colorado and need help with water or mold damage, learn more by visiting AmeriDri.com.