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Old 08-30-2012, 08:59 AM   #1
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Access through kitchen cabinet to pipes

I am not sure which forum this belongs to, but I thought I would start here. The plumbing under my kitchen sink between the garbage disposal and the wall fell apart earlier this week while I was washing dishes. I called a plumber, who came and said that the garbage disposal and plumbing had been improperly installed and the drain and disposal were at the wrong levels. He was able to give me a temporary fix so I can use my kitchen, but said that the kitchen plumbing has to be completely redone.

I bought my house earlier this year and have an American Home Shield warranty that (thankfully) covers this fix. What it doesn't cover is cutting into the back of the under-sink kitchen cabinet to get to the pipes. I am not sure if this is something I can do myself or if I should hire someone. I have no clue how thick the cabinet is, nor do I know how close the pipes are to the wall behind the cabinet. I asked the plumber who would do the work if I could pay extra to have them cut into the cabinet to access the pipes. I was told absolutely not. I've got no woodworking experience, and the area under the cabinet is really tiny.

I also have very little confidence that things will be as they should back there. The person we bought the house from had contractors do some work on it before we moved in, and the contractors were definitely amateurs -- especially in the plumbing department. We've already gotten several incorrect plumbing installations repaired, thankfully most of them before we closed on the house.

Should I call someone, and if so, what kind of professional? If I took one of my saws to the back of the cabinet, would I be likely to cut a pipe? I do very much want to use my warranty for this repair -- I imagine this would be an all-day job for some plumbers, and I'd prefer to pay my warranty copay of $60.
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Old 08-30-2012, 09:40 AM   #2
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Post a picture, need to see why they need to be moved.
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Old 08-30-2012, 01:28 PM   #3
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a pic would help but in general if making a cut you do not want to cut deeper than the thickness of the back of the cabinet material. The face of the drywall behind the cabinet is the stopping point for the cut depth. after the cabinet back is off an access hole in the drywall will be needed, to be re patched later....
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:57 PM   #4
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What kind of countertop is in place? I would be tempted to remove the sink, counter, and pop the sink cabinet right out, depending if the counter could be fairly easily removed and put back.

If it could work out like that would make the plumbing repair way easier, and is a bit more proper than hacking out the back of a cabinet. I would imagine they would need a fairly big hole to reposition the drain, in fact I wouldn't be surprised if they needed to open up more of the wall to reslope the drain, if i'm understanding correctly what the issue is.
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:09 AM   #5
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A multi tool will make opening the cabinet back an easy job. Have a repair panel ready ---after the new T is installed---use a hole cutter and add that panel---then the plumber can make up the piping under the sink.
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