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Kitchen Resources

When to Replace vs Repair Your Kitchen Sink

Dreaming of a farmhouse sink basin? Or maybe when you fill up your coffee pot in the morning, you’re smelling the tinge of rust? These are just a couple of signs it might be time to replace your kitchen sink

Replacing a kitchen sink is a fairly simple process that comes with high reward — either in functionality, design, or a high return on investment (ROI) when selling. Still, how do you know if it’s time to opt for a full-on replacement versus a repair? Here’s what you should know. 

Kitchen sink

Table of Contents

Signs of Kitchen Sink Damage

There are some telltale signs to keep in mind when it comes to evaluating if your kitchen sink is damaged or not. 

They include: 

  • Rusty Pipes: Often, you’ll smell rust before seeing it. If your water seems tinged when washing your dishes or filling a pot with water to boil, it could be a sign of rust and that your kitchen sink’s pipes should be replaced.
  • Mold: Typically, the only mold you want in your kitchen is cheese-related. But mold appears in kitchen sink pipes when moisture from hot water’s steam or water leaks is trapped. The only way to completely get rid of the mold is to replace the impacted fixture entirely.
  • Outdated: Kitchen sink styles are constantly evolving. Depending on how long it has been since the fixture has been replaced, it might be time for an aesthetically pleasing update.
  • Space Isn’t Usable: If the space in your kitchen sink’s surrounding area is messy or cluttered, it can be a sign that a bigger or more functional vanity might benefit your lifestyle — both in the basin and below.
  • Looking for ROI: If you’re preparing to sell your home, updated appliances are always appreciated. 

When to Repair and When to Replace 

Good news: lots of small problems you might notice with your kitchen sink are easily repaired. Clogs, leaks, and chips in the basin are all problems you can probably fix yourself, or, if not, can hire a plumber to help you resolve.

But if you’re in a situation where you’ve repaired your sink multiple times and keep having the same problem come up, it might mean it’s time to replace it completely.

“Repair or replace” can be a tough call to make. Here’s a quick guide to reference to help you decide what you want to do.

Repair or Replace Kitchen Sink
IssueRepair or Replace
An expert finds multiple problemsReplace
Faucet is leaking for the first timeRepair
Faucet is leaking for third, fourth, fifth, etc. timeReplace
Size won’t accommodate washing dishesReplace
Worn-out O-ring Repair
Worn-out washerRepair
Garbage disposal is brokenRepair OR Replace

Broken garbage disposals don’t necessarily mean you need a new sink, but if your sink or disposal are more than 10 years old, you may find you have trouble replacing the garbage disposal with a unit the same size. If you need a garbage disposal in a new size, you may also need a new sink that can accommodate it.

Benefits to Replacing vs Repairing a Kitchen Sink 

Ultimately, replacing your kitchen sink can be an excellent way to breathe new life and personality into your space. It can also add new functionality to your kitchen, be it through cabinet space below or a deeper kitchen sink basin for food prep, dishwashing, and even a drying rack. But the new design and functionality will come at a cost – repairing the sink will almost certainly be the cheaper option.

It’s worth discussing your options with a trusted, licensed contractor. The severity of sink trouble will help indicate whether a repair or replacement is the better choice. 

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