Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them
While they can be relatively rare, home plumbing problems can strike at any time and it’s always best to take care of the problem as soon as you can. Fortunately, many of them can be repaired yourself without the hassle and costs of hiring a professional plumber. Below is a list of the most common home plumbing problems and tips on how to fix them yourself.
Probably the most common and possibly most serious plumbing issue people run into is clogged toilets, especially if you only have one in your home. While you may panic and be tempted to call for professional help, most toilet clogs can potentially be a pretty simple fix you can perform yourself with a plunger.
The first step is to make sure there is enough water in the bowl to completely submerge the suction cup portion of the plunger. Make sure you do NOT flush, as this could easily cause the toilet to overflow and create a whole new set of problems to deal with. If your regular plunger isn’t doing the trick, chances are you may need to purchase what’s called a bellows plunger. These plungers are easily recognizable by their according-looking shape, which provides more powerful downforce to help clear out tougher clogs that regular run-of-the-mill plungers fall short of.
Another problem many people may have run into at one point or another is running toilets. It sounds like perpetually non-stop running water as if someone has just flushed the toilet and can be both an annoyance as well as running up your water bill. There may be a number of causes, and therefore a variety of potential fixes that range from simple to complex.
One common cause is a stuck tank float or flapper, which can be determined by opening up the tank or by simply jiggling the flush handle to check for looseness. If either was the case, repairing the issue can be as easy as un-jamming the tank float or making sure the flapper closes on the drain. In some cases, the whole flapper may need to be replaced. While this may sound intimidating to the novice home plumber, it’s really not. A replacement flapper is relatively inexpensive and can be easily replaced on your own.
Clogged bath tub drains are another likely plumbing issue that many people may encounter at some point. More times than not, bath tub clogs happen fairly gradually so you are given plenty of warning before it becomes too serious of a problem. In the event of a clog beginning to form, you will notice that water will gradually take longer and longer to finish draining out of the tub.
If you notice any of these symptoms, one option is to use a drain snake. The business end of drain snakes is usually an auger which will help loosen up whatever is causing the clog. Another method is the use of drain cleaner products, with the “Drano” brand perhaps being the most popular. Just make sure that the formula is specifically designed for bath tubs, otherwise it could cause more harm than good.
As you can see, taking care of certain home plumbing issues can hardly be any sweat off your back. All it takes is a bit of knowledge and a few inexpensive tools you can find in most stores and it will probably be quite a while before a plumber will have to set foot into your home.