Your kitchen sink spray-wand may be leaking even if you never use it.

A very common source of leaks under the kitchen sink is at the sprayer head.  Every time you use the sink faucet–whether you use the sprayer or not–the hose to the sprayer is “pressurized.”  In other words it is made ready for use.  Of course the sprayer head sits looking pretty in its little cradle and if there is a leak it is going to end up in the cabinet below–not in the sink.

Depending on how much storage is under the sink–and of course nobody ever has any storage under the sink–this leak might go unnoticed for considerable amounts of time.

It is a good idea to occasionally check for leaks under the sink.

At a recent inspection I had a leaking spray attachment that I only figured out was leaking when I saw the evidence in the crawl space.

Of course hidden behind all the stuff under the sink there was plenty of evidence of past/ongoing leaking of the sprayer.

By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Why does it sound like someone is peeing in my crawl space?

Before I can answer that question I would have to know “who” was down in the crawl space at the time?

Nobody you say?

Oh—that’s right you said “sounds” like someone was!

When I entered the crawl space I could hear the all too common ticking sound of water dripping on the plastic ground cover.  I could see it dripping off the bottom of a pipe right under the dining room area.  It was the drain from the kitchen and the laundry beyond the kitchen. 

Looking back at the crawl space entrance I could see my client peering in after me so I asked him to go and turn the kitchen sink on.

I waited a few seconds. 

Pretty soon it became quite obvious why it did indeed sound like someone was peeing in the crawl space.

peeingincrawl1

A closer view of the bottom side of the pipe revealed a rather large hole that would allow “zero” water to actually go down the drain—but instead dumped it all right in the crawl space.

peeingincrawl2

I cannot imagine what could create such a big hole in this drain pipe.

Regardless the drain needs a plumber–and right now!

By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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Mommy—the disposal spit at me!

One of the things I do while inspecting the kitchen is to run water at the sink and then turn on the garbage disposal.  While this is not a functional test it will tell me whether it turns on and how noisy it is.  You have to love the sound of a disposal digesting a spoon for example–or even a bottle cap.

At a recent inspection, the disposal came to life and spewed water all over the place–including all over me.  The disposal was brand new–as was the sink.

It was the sink that was the real problem–although the sink was only a problem because of the drain location.  When the home was built it was customary to have the wall outlet for the drain higher than they are in modern construction.  Even if the original shallower sink was still there, it is unlikely that the disposal would have drained properly–but who can really say.

Regardless, the new sink was a deeper sink and by the time the disposal was attached to it, the drain outlet in the wall was WAY too high.  The result can be seen in the bluish overlay in the following picture.

disposerfull

All of the bluish color appropriately corresponds to the parts of the disposal and the drain that are filled with water–and stay full of water all the time.  As you can see it is full right up to where it goes down the drain at the wall and is also full right up to the bottom of the sink.

It is little wonder the dang thing blasted water back out through the flaps when I turned it on.  Satisfactory repairs will likely involve installing a new drain.  The drain is the original 1938 galvanized drain pipe, so no big deal really–it is past its expected life anyway.

By Charles Buell, Real Estate Inspections in Seattle

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