Plumbing is a vital part of every home maintenance checklist. As even a small leakage can result in substantial financial costs, many people decide to call companies offering plumbing services as soon as they notice the first signs of a problem. However, you do not have to follow this path with every issue you encounter. Sometimes, you can take care of it yourself. This way, you can quickly get rid of the trouble and save some money.
In this article, you will learn the most common plumbing problems and how to solve them. If you have a few essential tools at your disposal and are willing to learn, read on.
A leaky faucet is usually easy and quick to fix. The first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply. Then, you should make sure that the faucet is not in the “on” position. This way, the water will not flow into the sink once you turn the supply on again.
Next, you need to remove the faucet handles. If they are connected with a stem, you can unscrew it. If not, you will need a wrench to loosen the nut. Both cases require you to turn the faucet handle counterclockwise. Then, pull it out and remove the faucet cap. Finally, you can take out the O-ring or the washer, depending on the type of faucet you have.
Often, the washer and the O-ring are the reasons for a leaky faucet, which means that you need to replace these parts to fix the issue – thankfully, both of them are inexpensive. When it comes to the O-ring, sometimes you don’t need to buy a new one – you can just soak the old one in hot water for a while. This will make it flexible again, so that you can push it back into its place.
Clogged drains are another common plumbing problem. You can easily notice them, as the water will stop draining. Usually, this happens when grease accumulates in the drain and clogs the pipe. You can try to remove it with a plunger or a drain snake – a metal cable with a sharp point at the end.
Another very common method of fixing a clogged drain is using baking soda and white vinegar. Just pour a cup of baking soda into the drain, and about the same amount of vinegar – there will be some fizzing. Once that stops, let it sit for around 15 minutes, and run hot water to see if the clog has cleared.
Slow Draining Sink
If the sink does not drain as well as it used to, you can try to fix it. This is not a complex task, but it can be time-consuming. You will need to remove the drain stopper and disassemble the drain pipe. Then, you need to remove debris blocking the pipe.
You can use a pair of channel lock pliers to remove the stopper. First, you need to unscrew the knob. Then, you need to twist the stopper in a clockwise direction. If it does not come out, you can tap it with a hammer. If it still does not come out, you can try to loosen it with a hacksaw.
After removing the stopper, you should remove the P-trap. If it is made of plastic, you can use a channel lock to unscrew it. If it is made of metal, you can use a hacksaw to cut it. Then, you can remove the blockage with a pipe cleaner.
A clogged toilet is another common plumbing problem. You need to distinguish between two main types of clogs: hard and soft. The first type usually happens when you flush too much toilet paper. For these clogs, you can use a plunger. It is not an ideal tool, but it can clear the clog in some cases.
The second type of clog is much harder to deal with. It usually happens when you flush something that is too large or too heavy. In this case, you will need a toilet snake. You can use a pipe snake, a closet auger, or a plumber’s snake.
To clear a clogged toilet, you need to pour a bucket of hot water into it. Then, you can use a toilet snake to pull out the clog. You can push the cable into the toilet and move it through the pipe until you reach the clog. Then, you should pull it back.
To fix a running toilet you need to remove the toilet tank lid and check the flapper. If it is not in place, you should put it back. If it is in place, you should inspect it for holes. Sometimes, the flapper is not in place because it is broken. If this is the case, you will need to replace it.
Another possible, although not very common cause of a running toilet is the float ball. If this is the case, you will need to remove the float ball and replace it.
If we were to list all important things that need to be included in a maintenance list of any property, plumbing would definitely be somewhere at the top – after all, can you imagine living in a house where you are unable to go to the bathroom, or take a shower? Because we sure can’t.
Unfortunately, plumbing won’t be in great shape forever, which means that at one point or another, you are bound to experience some issues with it. And while you can call professionals to come and take care of it, depending on the issue you might be able to fix the problem yourself – as we have shown above. Good luck.