Maintaining your home comes in all forms, but none are more important than maintaining the quality and efficiency of your plumbing system. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face and have provided some quick fixes and easy repairs so you don’t have to call a professional plumber. Implementing some of these fixes will save you time, money, and a lot of frustration.
Hair is the most common debris that clog drains, especially in your bath tub. When the drain is blocked due to clumps of hair stuck in the drain, you’ll be standing in a large puddle of water, which could lead to flooding. An excellent method to unclog your drain is utilizing a “snake” — a flexible and long steel cord — to grab ahold of the stubborn debris to pull it out, or simply push it through the clogged drain. You can also bend a wire hanger to substitute a snake if you’re not able to purchase one. It also helps to pour boiling water down the drain once a month to loosen up any buildup and soap scum.
One of the common ways to raise your water bill is a pesky, leaking faucet. As water drips from the leaky faucet, water is wasted down the drain, and you’ll be charged more money than necessary. Before beginning to fix your faucet by yourself, you should determine what type of faucet you have. Generally, to fix a leaky faucet that has two handles, you would need to turn off your faucet, and remove the components of the faucet to release pressure. Next, check the O-rings, or washers, to see if they are dry, cracked, or split. If they are, replace them with new O-rings from a hardware store. With one handle faucets, you can simply replace the valve stem if it is damaged.
Once the cold season rolls around, your pipes are susceptible to freezing temperatures. When water freezes inside a pipe, it can cause the pipe to swell and expand, often resulting in a crack or burst water pipe. To prevent freezing pipes, there are a number of preventative steps you can take.
- Disconnect garden hoses.
- Empty the water lines of your sprinkler system by shutting off your water valve and turning on the system until not more water appears.
- Allow your faucets to release a slow drip throughout the night.
- Insulate your pipes.
- Open you cabinets to let warm air in.
- Shut off water valve when on vacation.
If your pipes still freeze, you can thaw frozen pipes by wrapping electric tape around them. Electric tape slowly thaws the pipes to ensure eroding is limited. Another great method is to wrap pipes with hot towels to melt away the frozen condition. You may also want to invest in a portable hair dryer to thaw out pipes.
When you have a running commode, or toilet, it can cause leaks, floods, and raised water bills. With an average of 2.6 gallons down the drain on each flush, you wouldn’t want to waste water or money on running toilets! If you hear your toilet running, check to see if the float inside the toilet tank is loose or too tight. The float controls the level of water that flows into the tank, so you can either tighten or loosen the screw on top of the unit. If the float is not working properly, you can simply replace it. After you have checked the float, you should now examine the stopper to see if it is seated on the valve properly. In some cases, you are able to adjust the valve’s hinge to make the stopper sit properly; however, if you can’t get the stopper to seal completely over the valve, replacing it is the only option.
Clogged Shower Heads
As you’re taking a nice, hot shower, you notice that your shower head isn’t depositing as much water as you want. Most likely, your shower head is clogged with mineral buildup. Clearing out your shower head from mineral deposits is a simple task that only requires pure vinegar or CLR, which is a well known cleaning agent. Twist off your shower head, and you can either place it in a bowl of pure vinegar or a CLR mixture to break down the mineral buildup in your shower head. Usually, CLR dissolves the mineral deposits in a maximum of four hours. Vinegar, which is the cheapest of the two methods, cleanses the shower head completely by soaking overnight. Depending on your finances and preferences, you can use either of these products to clean your shower head.
With these plumbing repair solutions, you’ll be prepared for those common plumbing problems that can be easily fixed yourself.