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8 Residential Plumbing Problems – What To Know

There are various plumbing issues that homeowners may encounter that would require them to call professional plumbers to take care of the issue. But not all plumbing problems require you to enlist the aid of professionals.

In this post, we have put together a list of some of the most common plumbing problems that people deal on more than one occasion and how it’s possible for homeowners to repair them and save on money.

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1.   Dripping Faucets

There is not one home in the entire world that doesn’t come across a leaky faucet every now and then. And it’s not simply the case of water being wasted, it also pushes up the water bill and can cost you plenty more to repair if not taken care of right away. Just one leaky faucet can drain over hundreds of gallons of water from your home in over a year.

In most cases, dripping faucets are due to internal washers becoming torn, stiff, worn or dislodged over time. It is possible for the average homeowner to fix this problem, as long as they have the proper tools for the occasion.

2.   Clogged Shower or Bath Drain

Shower and bath drains can typically be clogged up by hair and soap. To clear the blockage, it is necessary to equip yourself with a plunger or a snake. If those are not available, you can dissolve the clog using baking soda or vinegar.

If the problem is not taken care of immediately, it will only get worse later on. You can prevent this issue further by buying a drain guard to catch hair clogs.

Here’s how you can unclog a drain with a plunger:

  • Add petroleum jelly to the suction pad’s edge to improve the seal.
  • Ensure that the shower is getting enough water for the end of the plunger to be submerged.
  • Plunge aggressively.

3.   Slow Draining Sink

Like clogged up bath and shower drains, there are sinks that at times, can drain at a slower pace than they’re supposed to. The reason why this is so is that your sink may contain unwanted foreign objects that may clog it, such as congealed fat as well as food remnants. For bathroom sinks, the slow draining could be caused by knotted hair and soap.

To clean a clogged sink, you need a plunger, some vinegar, baking soda or some chemicals to pour down the and remove the clog, or use a plumber’s snake. Remember, if you don’t take care of this now, it will only worsen with the passage of time until the sink can’t drain anymore.

You can get some of the best plumbing supplies online to save yourself the trouble of traveling to and fro to know what works and what doesn’t.

Here’s what you use chemicals to unclog a sink can drain:

  • Correctly and diligently follow the directions on the packaging and make sure not to use too much.
  • For safety reasons, wear gloves and goggles.
  • Ensure not to mix the chemicals as they can produce poisonous gases.
  • Finally, pour the chemicals down the drain.

Warning: Don’t take this method lightly as constant usage of chemicals could damage the drainage pipes.

4.   Running Toilet

Having a running toilet can weigh so much on your wallet, as you could lose up to 200 gallons of water a day. The usual suspect, in this case, is a faulty flapper valve that controls the water that passes from the tank to the bowl. Fixing this is a straightforward task which requires a toilet repair kit that can be bought at any hardware store.

Sometimes, running toilets can be caused by sediment that affects the flushing as well as the filling. If you notice your water bills scaling up, look for silent leaks. Try putting some food coloring in the upper tank and see if it goes to the bowl without flushing.

5.   Clogged Toilet

A clogged toilet is one where the bowl fills up without draining. This blockage is typically caused by a combination of paper and human waste. This issue can be taken care of with a plunger. If you don’t get any results from that, you can use a plumber’s snake or a drain auger to loosen up the blockage.

6.   Low Water Pressure

Older homes normally experience a phenomenon known as low water pressure, which is when water trickles instead of gushing out. This issue is caused by leaking pipes that have become worn, broken or corroded over the course of many years.

Besides that, it can also be caused by a build-up of minerals and sediment deposits on aerators. You can fix this by mixing up the aerator in vinegar to clean it up. And if it’s the shower head that is the problem, then you can fix this issue by soaking the showerhead in vinegar or just replace it with a new one.

Here’s how you can clean the showerhead with vinegar:

  • Dismantle the showerhead and remove any dirt or soap
  • Soak a toothbrush in vinegar and use it to scrub or loosen up any mineral deposits.
  • Use a toothpick or a safety pin to poke out any loose deposits.
  • Soak the other parts that contain any leftover deposits in vinegar overnight.

7.   Faulty Water Heater

You better hope you discover this problem when washing dishes first and not when you’re in the shower. A water heater may give out due to a handful of reasons, like the pilot light going out for which you have to reignite it. It could also be that there is sediment build-up in the tank or perhaps the thermostat is on the fritz.

It is possible for an average homeowner to relight the pilot light. But if it’s anything else, then you have no choice but to call in the professionals.

8.   Leaky Pipes

Do not ignore leaky pipes for even a moment. If left as it is then, it will cause damage to your house’s furniture and floors, and can also invite cockroaches in due to the dampness. Leaks can occur mostly at pipe joints. You can temporarily fix the problem with compounds, tape, and fillers, but for a more permanent fix, we recommend replacing that piece of pipe or related fillings where the leak is occurring from. Leaks occur more commonly during the winter when the water freezes, expands and cause the pipes to burst.

Here’s what you can do prevent pipes bursting in winter:

  • Let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water helps prevent the pipes from freezing, even if it’s just a trickle.
  • Ensure the thermostat is set at the same temperature for both day and night.
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