Oh for Pete's sake

| Last Friday I ran the dishwasher in the morning, having forgotten to do it Thursday night before I went to bed, and that's how I found out I have a leak in the kitchen.

After working on a website for a while I went back to the kitchen for a second cup of coffee, which needed to be reheated in the microwave. While standing there waiting for the magic to happen, I realized that my feet were getting wet. Yikes! the floor was covered in water, apparently coming from under the dishwasher, as well as seeping out from under the other side of the island. Jumping to what seemed an obvious conclusion, I assumed that a hose under the dishwasher must have popped off or sprung a leak, and, not waiting to stop what I was doing, I put down some towels to absorb the water and went back to my task. A hose I can probably fix myself, said I to myself. I'll tackle it later.

Fast forward to yesterday, Monday. I had cooked up a storm Saturday evening, making things to take to Opera in the Park on Sunday; since I believed there was a leak under the dishwasher, I just stacked up the dirty dishes—and there were a lot of them—on the counters. But now the moment of reckoning had arrived. I would have to wash the dishes before I could tackle the (supposed) dishwasher-leak problem.

What ho?! While standing there washing dishes, rinsing them under running water in the other sink, I once again felt my feet getting wet. Dishwasher not running. Water  leaking onto kitchen floor. Ergo, dishwasher leak not the problem. OK, I give up. I called the plumber, who would come this afternoon.

"I found it," called the plumber excitedly. I went to look. He had cut yet another hole in the panel at the back of the under-sink compartment, and there, staring me in the eye was a T-shaped plumbing fitting that had been tight against the wallboard but without a cap on the T! Over time, the wallboard had weakened enough that it no longer kept the draining water inside the pipe.

The uncapped T fitting

The amazing thing is that it must have been this way since the house was built in 2005. What a wonder that the leak only developed now. Obviously, neither I nor the previous occupants used the sink all that much, and the small amounts of water that did escape dried up before anyone noticed them.

In a jiffy the "technician" — AKA "plumber" — did a repair, but did not just put a cap on the T. He put in an extension up at an angle with a venting cap on it, also providing an access point to the drain (in case of future clogs).

The repair

Thankfully he did not have to cut into the outer wall of the island to find the leak. The baseboard on that side is warped and pulling away, however, so it will have to be replaced once the sheetrock has a chance to dry out. I probably should, but doubt that I will, do something about the holes that have been cut in the under-sink partition.


The plumber said that when the house was built they were supposed to have performed a number of tests on the plumbing, including a pressure test that would have revealed the missing cap. Oh, well!


Last updated on Apr 13, 2018



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