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posted: 7/31/2011 12:01 AM

Ask the plumber: Old pipes causing trouble for new sink

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  • Rust can harm a new sink and faucet, and it isn't great for drinking water, either.

    Rust can harm a new sink and faucet, and it isn't great for drinking water, either.
    Scripps Howard News Service/Courtesy of DIY Networ

By Ed Del Grande

Q. Thanks for helping out all of us homeowners who have plumbing questions and need to be pointed in the right direction. We live in an older home and recently replaced our kitchen cabinets, countertop and sink. We especially love our new kitchen sink and faucet. Since the new sink is in the same spot as the old one, I reconnected it myself to the existing water and drain lines. Well, now it appears that my old galvanized water lines have been blocked with rust and I'm afraid they will harm our new sink and faucet. I know I'll need a plumber, but what are some options we have to replace just the water lines going to the kitchen sink without disturbing the entire house?

A. Aside from the rust that can harm your new sink and faucet, remember that most kitchen sinks are the main supply of drinking water for a home. So, have your water tested as soon as possible. Once your water-quality issue has been addressed, here are three additional points to discuss with your plumber before starting the job.

First, decide on the type of material you would like to use for the new dedicated water lines that will supply water to the kitchen sink. Copper, CPVC and PEX piping are popular replacement pipe choices for older systems. PEX is long, flexible piping that uses very few fittings. If your codes allow it, PEX can make replacement piping work on older plumbing systems a little easier.

Second, choose the proper "tap in" location for the new sink lines to your existing house system. For the cold-water line, get as close to the water meter or well tank as possible. For the hot line, as close to the water-heater outlet as possible.

Third, look at installing small inline water filters under the sink as a last line of defense to capture any remaining rust and other debris before they get to your kitchen faucet.

If you address these areas of concern, this can help reduce installation costs while also improving your kitchen sink's water quality.

Bottom line: Your goal is to save some green and keep your water clean.

• Master contractor and plumber Ed Del Grande is author of "Ed Del Grande's House Call" and hosts TV shows on Scripps Networks and Visit or write