Troubleshooting Common Plumbing Issues

October 15, 2021

Troubleshooting Common Plumbing Issues
 
Plumbing issues can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. You may be able to fix some things on your own, but if not, being able to diagnose the problem will make it easier for you to hire a professional to get the job done. Here are a few common plumbing problems you may encounter and ways to overcome them.
 

Broken pipes

 
Nation-wide, many municipalities face aging infrastructure, including water pipes coming to the end of their useful lifespan. Of course, much of the pipe replacement is the city's responsibility, but some of the financial burden will fall on local residents. If you're experiencing any signs of a major leak, be it reduced water pressure, damp spots in your yard, or a sewer smell in the house, contact a plumber right away.
 

Leaking faucets

 
Leaking faucets can run up your water bill and cause damage if the pooling leaks in a place you can't see. Even a slow drip can cost you. In most cases, a dripping faucet is caused by a faulty seal on the valve that holds back the pressure of your water supply. To fix this, turn off the water supply and then remove the faucet assembly. Usually, the problem is the seat washer. Take the old washer with you when you go to buy a replacement, as you'll need one exactly the same size.
 

Slow drains

 
If only one drain has slowed, it's likely to be a localized clog. In that case, your first step should be to inspect the drain and see if anything obvious is clogging it. If not, try using a plunger to clear it. You can use a toilet plunger or buy one specifically for sinks. If this doesn't work, try putting a half cup of baking soda down the drain and chase it with a half cup of vinegar. Let that sit for a couple hours and then send down some boiling water. If you believe grease is the problem, use a half cup of salt and a half cup of baking soda and a pot of hot water. Let it sit overnight. If you experience constant drain problems, look into having the pipes inspected and replaced.
 

Toilet problems

 
If you're not getting enough water in the tank to fully flush the bowl, try bending the float arm up just a bit. This will allow the tank to fill higher before the water turns off. If there's plenty of water in the tank but not enough makes it into the bowl, check the tank ball on the flush valve and consider resetting the guide. If neither of those solutions work, there could be buildup from hard water in the small holes that sit under the rim of the inside seat. These small holes are where the water comes out, and buildup can block the water. Trying using a mirror to inspect them and a wire coat hanger to unclog them.

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