The Most Common Kitchen Sink Leaks

The kitchen sink is the most frequently used in the house. You use it from everything to filling up the coffee carafe with water to brew a pot of joe to cooking dinner, to washing dishes and even just getting a cup of water to slake your thirst. Generally, you shouldn’t have any problems with the sink, but if you’re experiencing leaks, it can be frustrating. That’s because there are just so many places that a sink might leak, and you need to check them all if the source of the water isn’t obvious.

Leaking Faucet

Many faucet leaks are easy to spot. The water will puddle on top of the sink around the faucet when you turn it on. However, it’s possible that a faucet leak will actually run under the sink, and the only way to spot this is to check under the counter. In most cases, faucet leaks are nothing more than worn gaskets or failed washers, but sometimes it will require that you replace the entire faucet (which isn’t that involved a process, actually).

Water Lines

Your kitchen sink has at least two water connections, but possibly three if you have a separate sprayer. Each of these can spring a leak and cause problems. What’s more, because the connections are out of sight, you might not notice until the leak has soaked your cabinet and everything in your under-sink storage. Water line leaks can be due to corrosion, or more commonly, to failed gaskets in the connectors. Replacing the gaskets is usually enough to stop the leak. In some instances, the connection just needs to be tightened.

Leaking P Trap

The P trap is the curved section of pipe under your sink. The curve is there to prevent foul odors from coming out of your drains, but sometimes it can be a problem. Gunk, debris and small pieces of food can collect here and either block water from draining properly, or even cause a leak. Other possible causes include corrosion in the case of metal parts, or even something as simple as a loose connection. Again, this one is out of sight so you might not notice it immediately.

Drain Leaks

The drain itself might be the problem. It’s usually sealed with plumber’s putty to prevent this problem, but the putty might have dried out or been too thin to begin with. This is a pretty simple thing to fix, and it just requires removing the drain, repacking it with plumber’s putting, and then reattaching it. However, if the drain is old and worn, it might be well worth your time to replace it completely (and still repack it with fresh plumber’s putty).

These are a few of the most common types of sink leaks. With a little patience and some time (and probably a flashlight), you should be able to determine the source of your trouble.


  • Taylor Bishop

    May 9, 2019 at 11:57 am Reply

    Thanks for helping me learn more about kitchen sink leaks. You mentioned that there are two water connections in a sink where a leak can happen. I’m interested to leak if you can easily look at these connections to find a problem or if you should ask a plumber for help.

  • Matthew Mangarella

    May 9, 2020 at 5:30 pm Reply

    What if water is coming onto the counter of the sink if the water’s turned off from the sink faucet. A plumber came up and did not know why that happens.

    • admin

      July 30, 2021 at 5:27 pm Reply

      Sometimes this happens by accident if homeowners have a dish drying rack next to the sink that does not properly drain. There could also be an issue with your faucet fixture that leaks water onto the counter. Even if the faucet is turned off, water can leak after a time if the seal at the base of the faucet is dirty or old. If your faucet valve is also worn or loose, it can make water drip from the faucet even in the off position.

  • Michael Henderson

    September 16, 2020 at 6:42 am Reply

    Hi. Maybe you can help with my kitchen sink link. There is no leak under the cabinet. Water can sit in the basin, still no water leak but when I run water, either using the sprayer or not, either on the hot or cold side, doesnt matter, water will stream out of the top of the counter top from the edge of the sink where it meets the countertop. Also, it comes out, not under the outside edge of the cabinet but literally between or through the cabinet wood and the laminate layer. It doesnt seem possible for it to happen. Is it the seal between the edge of the sink and the countertop or is it coming escaping through the sink hole or the faucet lines? I can look underneath wit a flashlight and see no water but I do see there is no silicone in the spot underneath where the sink edge meets the underneath counter edge, if that makes any sense. I just picture the sink as a solid shell and dont understand how water can actively stream up and out of the edges and not in the usual places.

    • admin

      July 30, 2021 at 5:36 pm Reply

      Hi, Michael! That is an unusual problem, and I can understand why you’re concerned and a little confused by your issue. It sounds like there is either a leak in the pipes to your sink, the sink needs to be redone to be properly sealed, or the caulking has gone bad. It’s hard to tell without looking at it myself. I hope that you’ve called a local plumber to come take a look and diagnose the issue. If you haven’t gotten this issue fixed yet, I urge you to call someone as soon as possible to prevent water damage and mold damage in the cabinet (and maybe in the wall.)

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