Home Repair Bathroom Pipe - Sink Repairs

In the world of home repair bathroom pipe repairs can be broken into two categories: leaks in the supply pipe and problems in the drain pipes. By definition, leaks in the supply line tend to be more critcial since the problem will persist until repaired while a drain problem may only be an issue when the water is turned on. Let's take a look at the supply side bathroom leaks first.

The Sink Supply Line: In newer bathrooms, the hot and cold water supply for the sink usually consists of a flexible pipe connecting a shutoff valve with the faucet fixture. In some cases, soft copper piping (small diameter copper pipe that can be easily bent) or pvc tubing may also be used. Most problems in these lines will be at the fitting on one end or the other. If the current supply line looks worn or is leaking it is better to replace it now than plumbing repair in the near future.

Home Repair Bathroom Pipe: How to repair/replace the supply line

Repair of a bathroom sink supply line is usually a simple home repair task. The only tools/supplies you may need are a basin wrench, teflon tape, and a crescent wrench. If the line is worn or leaking you should replace that as well. The cost of this type of repair should be under $10 in most cases.

    Tip: While supply lines are fairly standard these days, make sure you check the length and fitting size/type before you take a trip to the hardware store - better still, bring the old line with you. Since they are fairly inexpensive, you may also want to pick up a spare to keep on hand for future plumbing repairs.
    Tip: When working on overhead plumbing, make sure you have a ladder handy. It may seem easy enough to reach those pipe but working with your hands over your head and bending to pick up tools gets tiring very quickly.

Shut off the water supply - You should have a shutoff valve for the water right under the bathroom sink you are repairing. If you do, turn it off (hand tight only please). If the shutoff is not where you are working you will need to find the nearest one to you - worst case your main water shutoff. Before you start working, turn on the faucet to make sure the water is actually off and to release any water in the line.

Remove the old line - If the line is in good condition and leaking only from one end, you may be able to complete the repair by applying teflon tape to the threads and re-connecting the line.

    Tip: it is easier to remove the line from the wall first and the fixture second. When re-installing the line, connect to the fixture first and then to the wall supply.
    Tip: A basin wrench is invaluable for this type of repair. Attempting to remove the supply line from the fixture without this tool usually results in nothing more than frustration and a set of skinned knuckles - use the right tool for the job - if you don't want to buy one, borrow one.

Connect the supply line - after applying teflon tape to the pipe threads on both the fixture and the supply fittings re-connect the supply line (fixture first, then supply side). Make sure that you do not cross thread or over-tighten either fitting.

Turn on the water - Slowly turn on the water an check for leaks. If you don't see any, turn on the faucet and allow the water to run - don't worry about the noises and "spitting" when you turn it on - that is just the air in the line getting pushed out. Once the water is running, check again for any leaks.

    Tip - if your shutoff is not where you are working, have a friend turn the water back on so that you can see that your repair was a sucess (or yell to shut off the water if it was not!)

      Have a leaking or clogged bathroom drain you need to fix, click here for step by step instructions

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