Homeowners can often feel like kitchen sink repairs and installations are solely a job for a professional. But what it really boils down to is if you have the tools, the patiences, and (let's get down to brass tax) the skill to complete the job. However, we'll let you in on a little secret: Installing a new sink yourself could potentially be less of a pain than getting on the waiting list for professional installation. Here are a few simple tricks to mastering your kitchen sink dilemmas.

Frozen pipes: Although it's not quite the season for frozen pipes, prevention and preparation is the number one way to avoid a frozen fiasco this winter. When the weather begins to cool down, make sure your pipes are insulated. In this case, duct tape is the solution! Just wrap your pipes with foam and secure with duct tape. For those unbearably cold nights, keep your sink on a constant drip through the night to keep the water moving. If you are apprehensive to leaving your sink on, try tossing a handful of table salt down the drain last thing before bed. This will prevent the still water in your pipes from freezing over.

Clogged drain: Clogged kitchen drains are an all too common issue. Luckily, it's usually an easy fix. Before calling a professional, scoop out the excess water with a cup and throw a handful of table salt down the drain. If this doesn't do the trick, try using a plunger to unclog the debris. The most common drainage issues are usually fixed by these simple solutions, however, your pipes could also be clogged in the U-bend of your pipes. In order to unclog your U-bend, you must first get under your sink and unscrew the pipe that connects to your drain. Using a wire hanger, poke the pipe until the debris is clear.

Sink Installation: Kitchen sink installations are not as complex as one might think. Here are the five basic steps to installing that new kitchen sink.

  1. Trace the outline of your sink onto your counter: Make sure to install your sink at least an inch and a half from the front of your counter to keep the stability of your countertops. Note: Most kitchen sinks will come with a template that makes this step that much easier!
  2. Use a jigsaw to cut out the designated space for your sink: Do not worry about keeping terribly straight lines. The lip of the sink will cover the imperfections.
  3. Apply plumber's putty: Turn your sink upside down and apply a rope of plumber's putty around the underside edge of the sink.
  4. Attach drain and garbage disposal if needed. Make sure to also add plumber's putty around the perimeter of the drain to prevent any leakage in the future.
  5. Place sink in your designated area and press firmly on the outside edges to adhere putty to your counter. Attach clamps provided with your sink and properly secure your new sink.

Hopefully now you'll have everything and the kitchen sink to accomplish your next in-home project. And always remember if these hacks don't work, you can always contact your local Mr. Handyman for professional advice.

(source: 10,001 Hints & Tips for the Home)