When a sink isn't fitted properly in a countertop or it comes loose from the wall, it's an eyesore. Unfortunately, that's not where the nuisance stops. If your sink isn't mounted properly to the wall or in a countertop, there could be a problem in your future for the plumbing. Here's why it's so important to have your sink mounted correctly and what could happen if you don't do something about it soon.
The Way Plumbing Works
As you no doubt know, the pipes underneath your sink are what allow it to both draw in water and to expel waste that goes down the drain. These pipes are always made out of a stiff material, like hard plastic or metal. This allows them to tolerate the extreme heat that can go down a drain, as well as remaining relatively clear of debris and stuck-on waste. However, there are some problems that come with the hardness of the pipes, and they may strike when you least expect it.
The biggest problem you'll encounter when your sink doesn't sit right is that strain will be put on the u-joint under your sink. This is the u-shaped pipe that goes from the drain of your sink to the pipe emerging from the wall.
The u-joint is designed that way to help prevent backflow, or in other words, from waste water coming back up from the sewer or other drainage in your home. This type of plumbing typically works without any problems, but only when a sink is mounted correctly.
If a sink isn't mounted the right way, it can slide around, pull away from the wall, or be pushed from side to side. Unfortunately, the shape of a u-joint pipe isn't designed to tolerate this kind of strain. It's made out of the same hard material as all other pipes, and it's imperative that it keeps a strong connection to the pipe from the wall and the pipe from the drain. If it disconnects on either end, you'll end up with waste water emptying into the cabinet your sink is mounted on or directly onto the floor if your sink is simply attached to the wall.
What to Do
Having a u-joint pull away from one of the two pipes attached to it can be a major hassle, and it's one that could leave you with a major bill if water damage occurs under the sink. While attaching the u-joint yourself is a possibility, if you don't do something about the way that the sink is mounted, it will eventually work its way loose again.
The best thing you can do here is to contact a plumber to reinforce your sink's connection to the wall or to re-mount it in the countertop it's sitting in. By using new bolts or by putting down fresh caulk, your plumber can ensure that the sink stays firmly where it's supposed to be instead of moving around. This will prevent any strain from putting on the u-joint and will ensure that you don't end up with disgusting waste water leaking out into your cabinet or onto the floor.
Pipes are durable and can tolerate a lot of abuse coming down through the drain itself, but they're not meant to deal with movement and wiggling. If your sink slides around or pulls away from the wall when you try to use it, get help right away or you might end up regretting it in the near future.