4 Must Know (& Fantastic) Home Plumbing Tips
The time of year that we spend decluttering and cleaning our homes is coming, but we're not there just yet. Mother nature hasn't quite made up her mind about whether or not we get sunshine and cool breezes or gray skies and snow.
However, there are things in our home that may not be able to wait for blue skies and flowers before we work the elbow grease and fix some issues.
Namely, plumbing issues won't wait. While a good, hearty dusting or scouring the tile can wait until the hibernation truly wears off, a clogged drain will not.
Here are some tips on how to care for some common home plumbing problems.
Home Plumbing Tip #1: The Running Toilet
Have you ever flushed your toilet, heard the running water, but could still hear it sometime later after it has usually stopped?
Usually, we jiggle the handle and hope this fixes the running water sound. And it often works!
The most common cause of a running toilet is a loose or imbalanced flapper valve, which means water from the tank is able to flow into the bowl.
Frequently, a simple handle jiggle will set the valve right, but if this doesn't work, you may need to replace the flapper valve, the float apparatus, or the fill tube. To fix those issues, e issue yourself, you will need a toilet repair kit.
However, if the issue persists even after you have done the appropriate fixing and replacing, you will need to call a trusted plumber because the issue may be more complex and could lead to bigger problems.
Take note that a running toilet coupled with broken pipes can lead to a flooded home.
Home Plumbing Tip #2: The Leaky Faucet
Sometimes, having a leaking faucet in your home can feel like a nightmare. But there is hope.
Water pours from our faucets with the twist of a knob or the lift of a handle due to pressure. Part of the magic is a washer that seals the pipe connected to your faucets, blocking the flow of water when you don't need it.
Sometimes, this washer can become torn, stiff, or dislodged, allowing some of that pressurized water to trickle through. By replacing the washer you can fix the leak without need for a professional.
However, if you are unsure of your abilities or the new washer does not fix the leak, then call a professional.
Home Plumbing Tip #3: Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure could mean a weak stream while showering, which is a horrible way to start the morning.
If your water pressure has dropped from a strong, steady stream to a spotty dribble, then the issue may be with the pipes in your home.
One frequent cause of reduced water pressure is a buildup of deposits or sediment on the faucet aerators.
To remove this buildup remove the aerator, or the end of the faucet, give it a scrub with a toothbrush under running water, and then submerge it in vinegar. If you cannot remove the end of the faucet, showerhead, or tub faucet, you can affix a plastic bag filled with vinegar to the end with a rubber band.
Let the aerator soak in the solution for at least an hour (or better yet, overnight), rinse, and replace. Your water should run freely once again.
If your water pressure is still low, you may need to replace the aerator or you could have a greater issue at hand and should call a reliable plumber.
Home Plumbing Tip #4: The Clogged Drain
Hearing a gurgling sound and seeing your kitchen sink slowly fill with water while trying to do the dishes isn't the best feeling in the world. Plus, the worst is when you have a clogged drain with guests over (which is frequent due to common foods that clog drains!).
However, keep in mind that there are some simple and quick fixes because the problem lies with the garbage disposal.
First, try removing the clog with a plunger by:
- 1. Partially filling the sink with water.
- 2. Working the plunger vigorously to break up the clog.
- 3. Removing any waste that comes into the sink.
You want to remove the waste because you don't want to force it back down the drain. Also, and this is important:
Do not plunge the sink if you tried a commercial drain cleaner.
Allow the drain cleaner to work through the sink because the chemicals are dangerous if they touch your skin while plunging the sink.
In general, using chemicals can do more harm than good on the drain pipes.
If the plunger doesn't work, then move on to the garbage disposal.
Some people may think that a garbage disposal can churn up anything you put into it. Yet, this is not the case. Avoid a clogged drain by keeping certain foods out of your drain. These include cooking oil, poultry skins, potato peels, and rice, corn husks, pasta, and coffee grinds. Also, make sure you have the water running when you use your garbage disposal.
- Turn the disposal off and unplug the unit.
- Check to make sure there are no tripped breakers in the fuse box.
- Attempt to clear the clog by turning the blades manually with an Allen wrench. (There should be a hole at the bottom of the disposal.
- Plug in the disposal and turn it on. (It might need a minute to cool off - if so, press the reset button on the bottom and try again.)
If the drain persists, but the garbage disposal is clear and working, then there you will need to take some additional steps. As always, once you feel out of your element, then consider finding some help to avoid larger issues or injuries.
Do you have a plumbing problem you are unable to fix? Snappy Electric, Plumbing, Heating, & Air offers reliable and trustworthy plumbing services to the greater Atlanta area. Call us today for help!