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7 Common Plumbing Issues That You Can Fix Yourself
No one wants to fix problems with the plumbing in their own home, even common plumbing issues.
We all dread that day when something having to do with the plumbing malfunctions. Most people haven’t the slightest clue how any of that stuff works. You turn on the tap, flush the toilet, or use the dishwasher and it’s all supposed to work.
When it doesn’t, you’ve only got two options: call a plumber or fix it yourself. If your plumber doesn’t work nights or weekends, that limits your ability to get it fixed, so you’ve got to resort to doing it on your own.
Don’t worry, because in this post we’re going to tell you how to fix some of the more common plumbing issues in your home. You might not be as good as a real plumber, but read on and you’ll be able to keep your problems at bay until the real help arrives. Let’s get started.
Fixing Common Plumbing Issues On Your Own
You don’t have to be a professional to diagnose basic issues with your plumbing. Things like drainage issues, leaky faucets, and pressure issues happen all the time. If you don’t want to call up the plumber for small issues, you should learn how to fix them. That’s what we’re here for.
1. Kitchen Sink Not Draining
We’ve all been there. Kitchen sink drainage issues are common in households without dishwashers. It’s often a result of too many solids and other substances going down the drain and coagulating.
Food, coffee grinds, and other substances mixed together creates a blockage and restricts the flow of water down your drain. Then it builds until you’ve got a sink full of kitchen water.
There are a couple of ways to go about fixing this. One is to mix baking soda and vinegar or buy some chemicals and pour them down the drain to disintegrate whatever’s down there. You can also buy a cheap drain snake, pop the drain cover off, and slowly break down the clogged substances.
2. Toilet Issues
When the toilet has trouble flushing, it’s often because there’s something wrong with the flushing mechanism or the tank isn’t filling. This is a common problem and thus, very fixable.
Open the tank and look for anything obstructing the toilet’s ability to fill and remove it. Sometimes, the chain will shake itself loose after many flushes, preventing the toilet from flushing properly. If this is the case, reattach the chain to the flushing mechanism.
A running toilet can get quite expensive if it goes unfixed since your water is always going. If you can’t find the source of the issue, you can get a toilet repair kit from a hardware store, but sometimes it’s better to get the plumber in to make sure it’s functioning well.
It could also be clogged with a mixture of things. Of course, your first choice should be to use a plunger, but if that doesn’t work, you may have to use an auger or drain snake to break up the blockage.
3. Low Water Pressure
When you’re in the shower or brushing your teeth and the flow of water weakens, you’ve got a drop in water pressure. Before you panic, wait to see if the water pressure comes back. It’s common for dips in water pressure to occur, but if it continues, you could have a litany of issues.
The most common problem is a build-up of sediment on the aerator of your faucet or showerhead. Try soaking them in vinegar to break down the build-up, and then use a toothbrush to clean the aerator.
If you reassemble everything and you’ve still got water pressure issues, it’s probably something to do with your pipes. If this is the case, it’s much safer to call a plumber to diagnose the situation.
4. Bathtub Drainage
Like your kitchen sink getting clogged with bits of food, soap, and liquid, your bathtub and shower drain get clogged with mixtures of hair and soap. It’s gross, but it’s a common problem that most people experience.
Once you get this sorted out, buy a drain guard to catch the hair. These minimize the clogging, and you can throw out the hair after you shower. But, for now, you need to fix your drain.
You can try the baking soda and vinegar mixture again, or you can fill up the tub with a decent amount of water and start plunging forcefully. If this doesn’t remove the clog, try out a drain snake to get in there.
5. Clogged Garbage Disposal
Not everyone has mastered the art of using the garbage disposal. When you throw in larger bits of food, turn it on without running the water, or drop silverware inside it, it’s eventually going to stop working.
Use an allen wrench to try and manually free the motor from whatever’s blocking it. Carefully remove the item in question and turn it on again to see if it works. If you tried to use it with some foreign object inside, it could have damaged the unit.
6. Dripping Faucet
Dripping water is more than an annoying noise. It can also cause your water bill to go up.
A lot of the time, the problem is a dislodged or worn down part. Try and fix it by turning off your water underneath the sink and closing the drain. Then, get your tools and take apart the faucet.
Usually, the culprit will be the rubber seat washer. If it looks like it’s a bit worse for wear, take it to the hardware store and get a new one. Then, reassemble the faucet and see if you’ve fixed the problem.
Know When You’re Overmatched
It’s important to know when you need to call a real plumber. Some things seem easy to fix, but you can go down the rabbit hole and make your common plumbing issues a lot worse. If a fix goes beyond clearing a drain or taking a faucet apart, then you need the help of a plumber.
At Williams and Fogg, we can help with your common plumbing issues as well as your more complicated ones. Visit our website or call us today to talk about your problem and get a free quote for our services. While you’re there, check out our blog for more plumbing, heating, and electrical tips.
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