First Apartment Tips: 3 Quick Fixes For The Kitchen Sink

Posted on: 23 March 2015

You've moved into your first apartment and have settled into a life of independence – and household maintenance. Sure, your apartment complex might have a fix-it team on staff, but there might be a wait and they usually aren't available late at night. If something minor goes wrong with your kitchen sink, it's often easier for you to fix it instead of calling maintenance or a plumber.

Here are a few quick kitchen sink fixes every renter should know.

DIY Drain Cleaner

Have you recently started to notice signs of a drain clog? You can often clear out sink clogs using a do-it-yourself solution made with two common household products: baking soda and vinegar.

Start by warming up a cup of water until nearly boiling on the stove then pouring it down the clogged drain. You should only do this if your drain is letting water through the pipe. You don't want a sink backed up with boiling water.

Next, dump a cup of baking soda down the drain. Follow quickly with two cups of white vinegar. Block the drain with a plug or a washcloth to keep the mixture in the pipes and out of the sink. The combination will cause bubbling action that will travel down your pipe and hopefully knock out the clog.

Didn't work? Call the plumber to bring in the heavy duty cleaners.

Garbage Disposals Have Reset Buttons

The first rule of garbage disposal repair is to never stick your hand into the area where the blade spins even if the switch is turned off. An electrical surge or other malfunction could happen and turn your attempt at doing dishes into a hospital visit to reattach your fingers. The second rule of garbage disposal repair? Check the reset switch.

The exact location of the reset switch varies between models. But it's easy to find the switch if you get under your sink, taking a flashlight if it's a closed-in cabinet, and looking around the bottom of the garbage disposal that's sticking out down there. It might be an actual button you can just push with your finger or a hole that you need to put a paperclip or toothpick into to trigger the button.

Hitting the reset switch is often all you need to do to get your garbage disposal up and running. If the reset switch didn't do the trick, wait for a maintenance person or plumber to do the repairs involving the blades.

Weak Water Flow? Check the Aerator

If your kitchen sink faucet has suddenly experienced a drop in water pressure, the problem could be as simple as a clogged aerator. The aerator is a screw-on filter that covers the opening of your faucet and helps regulate how much water comes out at one time.

You can remove the aerator by simply locating it visually, placing a rag around the exterior of the faucet, and then using a wrench over the rag to twist off the aerator. The rag helps protect your faucet from surface damage from the wrench.

Does the aerator look dirty? Use your kitchen sprayer – or a stronger pressure sink such as the one in the bathroom – to put water through the gunk. Use a paper towel to wipe up any surface residue that remains. Then you can reattach your aerator and test the water pressure again.

Still have a problem? Contact maintenance or a plumber such as Rapid Rooter Inc to take a look at your pipes.