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Question DetailsAsked on 11/10/2014

water leaking under the cabinets at the clean out

The floor of cabinet is dry. When the water runs in the sink it floods under the cabinet. I removed the kick plate(it was soaked) and can see water running on the floor where the clean out is located.

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1 Answer


As I read this, instead of putting the cleanout (which would be unusual for a sink, because when you remove the trap the drain pipe stubout from the wall acts as a cleanout anyway) in the open area under the sink, they put it lower down on the wall so it lies in the cavity under the cabinet ? BTW - commonly the bottom floorboard under the sink is not nailed in and can be bumped up from below or pried up with a screwdriver to provide some access from above, though actually getting it out (as opposed to tilting it up) usually requires cutting it in half.

After stuffing a towel or bunch or rags and a pot or baking pan that will fit in there to catch the water, I would have someone run the water a bit so you can see (with flashlight) if it is a cracked water or drain pipe or fitting leaking, if it is leaking around the cleanout plug threads, a leak from the faucet itself, or maybe from the spray head hose coming off the faucet, or even a leaking dishwasher discharge hose or air gap - lots of possibilities, though like you say if dry inside the cabinet more likely not those other causes. Cleanout plug usually looks like this -

maybe with square nut cast into the face like shown, sometimes a square or hex recessed place for a square or hex male socket wrench to fit into, sometimes a slot for an oversized screwdriver.

If leaking from split pipe or a fitting joint, unless you have plumbing experience (and maybe depending on whether glued plastic or cast/galvanized/brass metal), this probably calls for a plumber. If leaking from the plug, then you can turn it out (counterclockwise) and wipe the threads clean, put teflon plumbers tape (a non-sticky teflon tape to seal the threads) or plumbers dope on the plug threads and screw back in, tightening snugly (more than hand tight) but not reefing on it - just needs to be good and snug, not in there till doomsday comes. Not uncommon for these to work a bit loose with continual heating and cooling, especially if put in without thread sealer.

Be sure to leave kickboard out for several days to let it dry out - putting a fan or forced-air portable heater on low heat in front for 4-6 hours or so to accelerate the drying would help too, and of course check downstairs (if applicable) for any water damage down there.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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