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Facing plumbing problems at home is a frustrating experience. These problems may range from a clogged drain to low water pressure or jammed garbage disposal. Whether you sort out these issues yourself or call a professional, here is some information to make you aware of the possible solutions. Know what you can do and which tools can help you resolve your common plumbing issues. ~ Ed.
One of the most common things that homeowners need to face is plumbing issues.
For most people, they call their handyman to do the repairs or do it themselves. The latter can save you a lot of money for simple issues, but you may need to call the professionals for serious problems.
You can read more below to find out the solutions for some of the common plumbing issues you might encounter.
5 Common Plumbing Problems at Home and Their Solutions
The most common plumbing problem at home is a clogged drain or jammed garbage disposal. But here are other plumbing issues that may torment you with suggestions about how to resolve them.
A clogged drain can happen in your sink, bathtub, showers, and toilet. Knowing how to remove the obstructions from these areas will help you save a lot of time waiting for a plumber while experiencing a slow draining sink or toilet.
You can use either a toilet auger or a drain snake, depending on the situation. Click here to get instructions on how to use these tools. The toilet auger is usually used to remove blockages in toilets and the drain snake is good sinks, showers, and washing machines.
Low Water Pressure
If you’re experiencing low water pressure from both hot and cold water, you’ll need to check the aerator. Calcium deposits can build up and cause the faucet to have low pressure. You can fix this problem easily by carefully removing the aerator and clean it thoroughly.
You can also check your water valves, particularly the meter valve and the house main shutoff valve. The former is for personnel use so you don’t usually meddle with this while the latter is the shutoff valve for the house.
If the water pressure is low all throughout the house then you may want to check those two valves. The meter valve might be placed outside or near the garage or basement. Check if it is fully open. The shutoff valve can be located also outside and it can be opened by turning it counter-clockwise by its handle or by using a special wrench.
One of the main causes of low water pressure is pressure regulator issues. They are not usually common in regular houses, they are to regulate the water entering the house to keep it a safe level. If you have this system installed you might want to check if it’s still working fine.
First, check if it’s reading the correct pressure by using a pressure gauge on the hose spigot near the main entrance or the regulator. You can replace them yourself, but it will require you to shut off the water from the main valve and replace the broken regulator.
Running Toilet Water
If you noticed a sudden rise in your water bill, you’ll immediately suspect a leaky pipe or loose faucet. One of the most common areas where you might be leaking water is the toilet. There are many causes for constant running toilet water.
- Flappers – These are plastic or rubber caps that prevent the water from draining from your tank. The material will deteriorate and become brittle with time and affect its ability to seal. Sometimes the chain disconnects from the flappers and it will hinder the valve.
- Water-logged float – If you’re flat is drawing in water, it won’t float and will leave the valve partially open.
- Fill valve – It controls the water coming into the tank. If you have a submerged float valve then you might have a non-stop flow of water into the tank.
Jammed Garbage Disposal
There are a lot of symptoms of jammed garbage disposal. One is that it doesn’t make a sound even if it’s on. You can first check the circuit breaker for the disposal if it tripped and if not you can then check if something is ajar. This is because some motors switch off when something is jammed to prevent it from burning out.
It can be fixed by its key or an Allen wrench. You can turn it in any direction to unjam the motor. You can also detect if something is jammed if you hear a low humming sound. You must be careful because it means the motor is still exerting force while something is stuck and it might get damaged.
Water Heater Maintenance
This is one of the most common parts that can be damaged easily. It is important to practice safety measures to maintain its usability because it can be expensive to replace one.
There are some simple measures you can do to prolong your heater’s life.
- Flush the tank – You can turn off the water supply and attach a hose to drain the valve into a large container. Do this until clear water comes out. If not then you can turn back the water on to stir the remaining debris and repeat the steps again. Do this a few times a year to remove sediments accumulated in the tank.
- Test Temperature-Pressure Relief Valve – You can do this by discharging the valve a few times while checking for leaks.
- Check the Anode rod – The rod usually lasts for about three years so you can do this inspection at that interval. Here are some signs that the rod needs to be replaced:
- If the exposed core steel wire is more than 6 inches.
- The rod is covered with calcium deposits.
- If the rod is half an inch thick
- Insulate – If you have the older model water heater, it’s recommended that you apply some insulation. You can use a fiberglass jacket and avoid contact with the glue. It is also recommended to insulate the pipes running the cold and hot water.
- Vacation Setting – If you’re going to be out of the house for a few days, make sure to set the gas heaters to “vacation” mode. This will prevent it from heating the water regularly.
Wrapping It Up
In order to solve some if not all of these common problems in plumbing, you’ll need to invest in tools. Knowing how to do things is one thing and doing it with the proper tools is another.
Imagine working without the right tools, if you’re not an expert, your alternative tools will either do nothing or make things worse.
So the next time you find yourself in the cleaning or drain cleaning aisle of your local hardware store, be kind to yourself and invest in these tools.
Over to you
Did you ever face plumbing problems at your home? What did you do to resolve them? Share your tips and experiences in the comments.