Published on August 26th, 2014 | by Peter Young

A Quick Guide To Checking For Leaks Under Your Sink


Did you know that a leak of only one drop per second will waste over 3,000 gallons of water a year? Not only that, it wastes 3,000 gallons of water you’ll end up paying for and never getting to use. Luckily there is a quick and easy way to find out if any of your sinks have a leak. Just follow these easy steps.

Things you’ll need for the job:

  • TP
  • Flashlight

Instructions: how to check your sink for a leak

1. Check under your sink for signs of water damage. This can include stains, visible moisture, or finishes that are “bubbling”. Use your flashlight and just do a quick visual once-over.

2. Turn on your sinks cold water.  No need to use anything other than cold water for this test instead of warm or hot since using hot water will add to both your electric and water bills. Run it for just a few seconds.

3. Look under you sink. Take the flashlight and give the pipes and connections under your sink a thorough visual inspection. If you notice any water pooling under the sink or dripping off of the pipes odds are you have a leak. Usually, signs of a leak aren’t quite this obvious though.

4. Wipe down all the pipes and connections. Take some TP and be sure to wipe any and all connections and piping while the water is running. If at any point your TP absorbs water, odds are you’ve found a a leak. The TP will be the most sensitive diagnostic tool for the job–you may just touch the piping, but your fingers may be moist from sweat or from not drying them thoroughly prior to testing the pipes.

5. Turn off the water and call your local green plumber. If you’ve spotted a leak during this process it’s probably time to call a plumber to have them take a closer look at your sink. Sometimes all you need to do to fix a leak is snug up a connection(s) somewhere along the line. However, if you don’t feel comfortable doing this, it’s best to have a professional do it for you. We recommend Green Home Directory to help you find qualified, sustainable-minded contractors for your home improvement needs.

If you’re looking for more ways you can save on water around your home, try installing a water efficient shower head or flow valve.

Be sure to check out some of our other green home improvement projects: Green Living Ideas, after all, is a top 20 home improvement website!

Photo courtesy of Home Tone.

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About the Author

graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) with a degree in journalism and has made sustainability and eco-conscious living mainstays of both his professional and personal life. It was during his time at PLU that he began his journey with sustainability and it's what has led him to writing for Green Living Ideas. He currently resides in Honolulu and works for Pono Home, an energy efficiency company focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting a healthier, greener lifestyle.

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