Plumbing Problems: 5 FAQs From Homeowners
There are some common plumbing problems that all homeowners experience.
- What happens when the faucet starts leaking?
- Who do you call when the toilet starts running?
- What is your instinct when a pipe starts dripping?
- How do you fix that clogged drain?
For many people, some of these common problems means spending the weekend attempting to fix annoying issues or calling the local handyman or professional.
In our busy lives, especially homeowners with families that want to spend the weekend relaxing and enjoying family time, these minor problems can become a big nuisance.
Fortunately, some of the common plumbing problems that happen from time-to-time, can be fixed with a little know-how and can-do spirit.
If you want to know if your plumbing question or plumbing problem is simple or complex, then there are great online resources that are helpful and comprehensive.
Here are some common plumbing problems and questions, along with some simple solutions.
1. How Do I Fix My Clogged Drain?
Clogged drain issues are common questions around the plumbing industry.
Often, the best way to fix a clogged drain is avoid putting bad substances down the drain. For example, in the kitchen make sure to avoid:
- Do not pour cooking oil (or fat) down the drain because it solidifies in the pipes.
- Do not put skins (chicken, turkey), starchy (potato peels, rice), stringy (celery), or fibrous waste (coffee grinds, corn husks) down the drain because these substances cannot be broken down in the disposal.
- Turn the disposal on (with water running!) before putting food or waste down the drain.
- Allow the disposal to "catch up" after each cup of waste is poured down the drain.
For large families or if you are expecting guests over the summer, then remember that it takes some time to allow water to work through the drain.
- Try to wait about 10 minutes between showers because the drains need time to work (great for slow working drains).
- Avoid flushing hair or wipes (including cotton balls) down the drain because they do not dissolve.
Generally, clogged drains occur because people are not careful, particularly in the kitchen, about what goes down the drain.
If a clog occurs, then there is always baking soda and vinegar. The natural chemical reaction will help break up clogs.
To avoid clogged drains, be conscious and careful and you should avoid a clogged drain nightmare.
2. How Do I Fix My Constantly Running Toilet?
Particularly in older homes, many people must deal with running or leaky toilets. This question is one of the most frequent questions that people ask plumbers.
Ever wonder why jiggling the handle generally works to stop the running water?
That jiggle? The handle connects to the rubber flap with a chain, and jiggling it will reposition the flap so that it may seal more securely.
In general, toilets run because the flap in the bottom of the tank is not sealing shut. To fix a running toilet, take the top off the tank and flush the toilet while watching the rubber flap.
Does it completely close?
If not, some of the water that is entering the tank is flowing out through an unsealed flap. The unsealed flap means water continues to run because the float ball trigger is never activated to stop the flow since water never reaches the fill line.
For more information and details, then check out this do-it-yourself toilet fixes guide before having to call the plumber.
Also, along the same lines as a runny toilet is a leaky water faucet. Thanks to the folks at HomeZada for a nice infographic to help fix a leaking faucet.
3. What Caused My Water Bill to Suddenly Increase?
Did you know that toilet leaks can waste as much as 4 to 5 gallons of water per minute?
More importantly, did you realize that wasted water can cost up to $100 per month?
Frequently, questions related to a running toilet mean an increase in the water bill. If your water bill jumps, then the first thing to check is the toilets to ensure they are not running or leaking.
- If the toilet is not running, then check the fill valve, which is inside the tank, is not overflowing through the overflow pipe.
- Check for a small tube that should be connected to it.
- Confirm the water level is about 1 inch below the overflow tube or level with the manufacturer's mark inside the tank.
- Finally, check if it's the flapper.
- Add a couple of drops of food coloring to the water tank and let it sit for about 15-20 minutes.
- Check the water in the bowl and see if it changed color. If so, then it is time to change the flapper.
4. How Do I Make My Hot Water Heater Last Longer?
Many plumbers receive questions about hot water heaters because they are one of the more expensive (and vital) home appliances.
As one of Metro Atlanta's leading plumbing companies running thousands of service calls per year, we see tens of thousands of dollars worth of damages created by faulty heaters. Unfortunately, many of these issues could have been prevented.
In fact, the Georgia Insurance Information Service with help from the Allstate Insurance Company reported that water heater failures are one of the three most preventable sources of water damage in your home.
Since the average residential heater contains 40-50 gallons of pressurized water when the tanks rupture they cause massive damage to your home.
Ultimately, to protect and extend the life of a hot water heater, then preventative maintenance works best.
Take the time to have an annual inspection to ensure the hot water heater is working efficiently. In particular, there are some water heater essentials that will help your hot water heater live a long and prosperous life.
- Flush the tank
- Inspect the anode rod
- Test the temperature and pressure relief valve
- Inspect the Expansion Tank
After all, mayhem does occur when you least expect it.
5. How Do I Find a Great Plumber?
As they say, it's difficult to find great help.
And plumbing is no different, as many plumbers are asked how to find the best plumbers.
In general, it takes a little legwork to find a great plumber because you need to do some research.
After all, the plumber comes into your home to protect your valuable things from water damage. It is worth a little time to find a trustworthy and reliable plumber.
- Confirm the plumber is licensed in your local area or state.
- Consult the Better Business Bureau to learn about any complaints.
- Ask the plumber for references and call previous clients.
Additionally, since we have been providing our communities with plumbing service for quite some time, we put together a Guide to Find the Best Plumber to help hire a quality plumber that meets your unique needs.
Do you have a plumbing problem?
We'll snap to it. We offer the same high-quality service, anytime, any day.
If you have any plumbing issues that are beyond your technical capabilities to fix, then give us a call.