All About Kitchen Sink Drainage | Common Complaints We Receive
Sometimes we take daily activities for granted. We hit a light switch; lights turn on. We put something in the refrigerator, it gets cold. We flush a toilet, and thankfully, it flushes. We turn on a faucet, we expect water to come out, and the water to drain.
We, at DirectSinks also make it a habit to read reviews about product. We will check out the competition and search brands we carry and do not carry to see what people say.
Drainage is one of the most common complaints in kitchen plumbing. These are the complaints I've observed regarding kitchen sink drainage:
1. Sink does not drain completely.
2. water left over creates water spots
3. water pools and does not drain
We want to address these three complaints and explain the causes.
"Sink does not drain completely. "
First - Let’s talk about pitch.- and not vocal pitch. Pitch is the change in elevation over a length. Pitch is important in a sink because this determines the direction water will move. When using a sink, we need a sink to be somewhat "flat-ish" so plates and things we clean have a flat surface that we can work with. If the pitch of a sink drain is too steep, using the sink will be more difficult.
Let's take this a step further. If, for example, a sink bowl measures 28" left to right and has a drain in the center. The pitch may be 1/2 inch from the side wall to the center drain. Now the overall height from top to bottom is 10". Next - Now let’s move up a size in sink and go to a 30" bowl. The larger sink will have the same height of 10" as the smaller. What does this mean? It means that the pitch is more gradual. When the water travels to the sink’s drain, it will travel slower and further.
Hopefully I did not loose you!
Cohesion: Water is attracted to water.
Adhesion: Water is attracted to other substances.
Have you ever washed a car? When you hose the car off, does all the water roll off the doors and windows? No. It never does. Even when waxed! - This is adhesion.
The same applies to your sink. Regardless of the pitch or slope of the sink to drain, water drops will remain. You can't fight science.
"Water left over creates water spots"
Keeping what you just read above water drops will stay. But what we want to know is why does the water left behind leaves spots.
Let us now discuss the composition of water in relation to kitchen sink drains. Two hydrogen molecules and one oxygen molecule. We drink it, we bathe, cook, swim, and often over 70% of our bodies are made of it.
Water we are supplied with in our homes comes from different sources. It could be well water, town/city water, and reservoir.
Regardless of where your water originates, it is not pure. (It would have to be distilled water in a sterile environment, or purified with reverse osmosis)
Commonly, we can expect traces of minerals in our tap water. Depending on our source, these can have wildly different concentrations. Often you can find Calcium, Magnesium, and Sodium. Some people may discover traces of iron, lead, sulfur, and fluoride in their kitchen plumbing. Still with me? Good!
Now, take the adhesive water drops left in your sink that have trace minerals. Let the water dry. The water, not the minerals evaporate. Minerals are left behind. This is now a water spot.
Water spots are not a deficiency of the sink.
I repeat, water spots are not a deficiency of the sink.
Water pools and does not drain.
Here is where things get exciting.
If water is pooling, one of three things are wrong.
1. Sink is warped. Metal has a reverse pitch and moves away from the sink drain.
In my over 15 years of building material supply, I have seen this once, just once.
2. Cabinets are not level. Cabinets should be level before a countertop is installed.
The countertop sits directly on the cabinet walls. If the cabinets are not level, the top is not level. If the top is not level, your sink is not level.
3. Counter tops are not level.
We have heard of it happening on level cabinets. A countertop that is not level can have a piece of debris on one of the cabinet walls that cause a tilt. Your sink is attached to the counter top. If the countertop is not level, neither is your sink.
Out of all three issues, #2 and #3 are the most common..... by a long shot
I know what you are thinking:
"If I can't escape water spots, how can I reduce them?"Let's bring up the science stuff again; remember the "Adhesion" effect?
- If water sticks to things, we need the water not to stick to things.
- Fancy Word Time! - Hydrophobic - The resistance of water to adhere or mix with a substance. (Like oil)
Create a more hydrophobic surface on your kitchen sink drain. One method is to apply a stainless steel polish or wax to the surface of your sink drain. Personally, I use a stainless wax that I get from a large home store.
Keep in mind, if you use a wax/polish, the water may still stay in the sink, but beaded up (Like a freshly waxed car). If the water drops dry, those pesky trace minerals can still leave a spot. However, having a polished surface under the spot help clean that spot off much, much easier.
Another method is to apply a dab of olive oil to the surface of your kitchen sink drain with a paper towel. You do not need a lot!
"I have water spots and I want them gone!"
- Clean and rinse out your sink.
- Spray white vinegar all over the sink and let stand for about five minutes to break down the elements of the spot.
- Sprinkle a light dusting of baking soda evenly on the sink.
- Using a soft sponge, scrub to remove spots
- Repeat as needed until the water spots are removed.
Tip - Use a 50/50 white vinegar water mix on stainless appliances and weekly on the sink to maintain sheen.
One of the cleaners we use personally for our stainless is the Weimans Stainless Cleaner and Polish. It leave a really smooth surfaces for water to drain.
Bonus Info: What about bathroom sinks?
If you have a glass vessel, try "Rainex" . This works great on shower doors, too!