If you want to know how to plumb a kitchen, you must understand the kitchen plumbing system. Understanding the plumbing system helps you understand how everything works and what to do in an emergency.
The kitchen plumbing system is made up of water and gas supply lines. The water system comprises two separate sections, the supply and drain lines; one brings clean water, and the other carries wastewater.
Proper installation and maintenance of the plumbing system are essential to the safety and functioning of your kitchen. If the water system is not working properly, you will deal with clogged drains and leaking sinks now and then. On the other hand, if the gas system is faulty, you will experience gas leaks. Gas is fatal when inhaled, and it could result to fire explosions.
Suppose you want to understand kitchen plumbing in detail. In that case, this article will help you understand it by looking at the components, the installation process, and common plumbing problems.
Kitchen Plumbing Components
The major components of the plumbing system include the following:
- Water supply- the water supply component supplies the kitchen sinks with hot and cold water. Additionally, it supplies water to kitchen appliances like the dishwasher.
- Dishwasher supply- these are pipes that supply and remove water from the dishwasher
- Drain- the drain line gets waste water out of the kitchen
- Supply tubes- these are flexible tubes that connect valves to the kitchen faucet
- The shutoff valve -controls water flow and water pressure from the kitchen. In case of a plumbing emergency that involves water flow, you should turn off the shutoff valve.
- Gas valves- they control the natural gas supply, and they are installed on the floors or walls.
Kitchen Plumbing Process
Now that we understand the components of the plumbing system, here are steps to a successful kitchen plumbing process:
You can create your kitchen plumbing plan or adopt one from the many designs online. The best plan for you depends on your kitchen space, preferences, and budget. If you are not an expert, hire a plumber to assess your kitchen to determine if the plumbing plan will work for you.
Hire A Plumbing Contractor
The kitchen plumbing process is simple, but professionals should only perform it. For instance, installing a drain pipe is not a complex process, and you can get numerous DIY guides online on how to do it, but it needs to be done correctly to prevent plumbing problems.
If the system is already installed but has problems, you should contact a professional plumber for repair and maintenance. However, choosing a plumber is a daunting task because many available options exist. The best plumbing contractor should:
- Be licensed and insured
- Have experience in plumbing the kitchen
- Have undergone an employee background check
- Provide several references of satisfied customers
- Be able to respond to emergency plumbing needs
- Provide an estimate upfront to ensure that you are not overcharged
- Have good online reviews and ratings
Installing The Kitchen Plumbing System
After deciding on the plumbing plan and hiring a contractor, the next step is to install the plumbing system. This includes installing the drainage system, insulating the pipes, water supply system, kitchen sink, garbage disposal, and gas line.
The drainage system takes out wastewater from the kitchen. It is installed angled downwards to drain water into the main drainage system. The drainage system is installed with traps to prevent gases from the sewer line from entering the house and air valves which open up to let air in for smooth drainage.
Insulating the pipes
Insulating the pipes protects them from damage. The pipes can be installed by pipe sleeves or placed behind foam wraps or wall insulation. Insulation is also crucial for coolers and water heater.
Water supply system
The water supply system brings cold and hot water into your kitchen sink. Previously, we could only get cold water into the kitchen. But with the high demand for hot water and advancements in plumbing technology, the water supply systems can now supply cold and hot water from different taps.
Kitchen sink installation
The kitchen sink gets water from the main water supply to be connected to a faucet, dishwasher, water filler, garbage disposal, and separate cold and hot water supply. The kitchen sink plumbing is also connected to a strainer that prevents large kitchen garbage from going down the drain.
A garbage disposal system is designed to help homeowners eliminate garbage and odors in the kitchen. It is designed to shred food particles into small particles that can go down the drain instead of taking them out into landfills.
Kitchen Plumbing Problems And How To Deal With Them
Kitchen plumbing issues are common, and they can inconvenience and can cause damage to the whole plumbing system. The best way to handle plumbing issues is to call a plumber, but there are home remedies that can save you time and money.
Clogged kitchen sink
The sink is an important fixture in residential and commercial properties. A clogged sink is a common plumbing issue because food remains, grease, and soap scum easily clog the kitchen drain.
To prevent your sink from clogging, you should drain your sink regularly, purchase a drain cleaner and place a strainer over the drain to prevent large food particles from entering the drain.
How to unclog the kitchen sink
- Remove the P-trap and remove debris.
- Pour boiling water down the drain to melt grease and oil
- Pour baking soda and vinegar solution down the drain
- Turn on the garbage disposal
- Use a plumbers snake to push the clogs down the drain
If these methods do not work, this is when you should call a plumber for your clogged drain issue so they can identify the source of the drain, repair it, and put in measures to prevent it from happening in the future.
Jammed garbage disposal
A broken or clogged garbage disposal causes the sink to back up. It is designed to grind all kitchen waste, but the motor can stop working when it grinds hard objects like bone or grease. To prevent the garbage disposal from jamming or clogging:
- Do not dispose of grease in the drain
- Avoid disposing of hard foods and objects in it
- Open the tap for 15 seconds before grinding and 30 seconds after grinding
- Clean the disposal regularly
If the garbage disposal stops working, press the start button, and it might run again. However, never put your hands in it because the motor will injure your hands. If you decide to check the cause of the breakdown on your own, ensure that it is turned off and unplugged from the power. Moreover, wear gloves to protect your hand from the sharp motor and bacteria inside the fixture.
Contact a professional plumber if the garbage disposal does not turn on even after clearing the obstructions. If the motor is completely damaged, the only solution is to replace it.
The dishwasher can start to leak as a result of a broken float switch or damaged spray arms. Both issues can be easily solved using a screwdriver, but contact a plumber if you are unsure of the leak’s cause.
The dishwasher can also develop drain issues, where you find a pool of water at the bottom. In case of drain issues, run the washer again because it might have turned off mid-way. Contact a licensed plumber for diagnosis and repair if the water does not drain.
Low water pressure
If you notice low water pressure in your kitchen faucets, you might be experiencing a clogged aerator. The aerator clogs when water minerals collect on it. The good news is, it is easy to unscrew and clean using a wire brush.
If you continue to experience low water pressure, contact a plumber to check clogs on the pipes taking water to the faucet.
At times the low water pressure is caused by issues with the main water pipes, and this is evident if the pressure is low when taking a shower or if the toilet takes longer to fill.
To restore water pressure in all parts of the house, contact a plumber for the correct diagnosis and repair.
Leaking pipes under the sink
Many people only realize a leak under the kitchen sink when it is too late. If you are lucky to catch the leak before it leads to mold growth and structural damage, call a plumber immediately for diagnosis and repair.
If it is too late and the damage is already caused, the plumber will fix the leaking pipes and repair the damaged wall.
It is crucial to keep an eye on the pipes under the cabinets and call a plumber immediately for repairs. If left unattended, such leaks lead to burst pipes which are more damaging and costly to repair.
A dripping faucet is a common kitchen plumbing issue when the faucet’s washer wears down. To stop the dripping, check and retighten the washer. The retightening process is simple, and you can do it independently. But if the dripping persists even after retightening, contact a plumber for proper diagnosis and repair. If the washer is completely worn out, the plumber will replace it, and it will serve you long before it wears out again.
Kitchen Plumbing Maintenance
Kitchen plumbing issues are inevitable, but you can reduce the frequency of the issues through regular maintenance. Regular maintenance has the following benefits:
- Plumbing effectiveness
- Low water bills
- Less water damage risk
- Longer lifespan of the plumbing system, fixtures, and appliances in the kitchen
Understanding the kitchen plumbing system is for more than just professional plumbers. We encourage homeowners to understand the plumbing system because plumbing emergencies can happen anytime, and it helps to know how the system works and what to do when. However, it is always recommended that you hire a plumber for any plumbing issues because trying to solve them might get you hurt or worsen things.