If you are a homeowner, then the odds are that you have experienced some sort of plumbing issue at one point or another. Being adept at identifying common plumbing issues and even being able to fix them is an asset to saving money by stopping the money from practically dripping down the drain and the expenses saved by not having to defer to an expert.
Even though many of these issues can be done by yourself, don’t be Mr. or Ms. Do It Yourself with every single issue, make sure you actually contact a plumber for more complicated issues. Trying to tackle serious plumbing complications on your own can make it worse or even cause bodily harm.
When something is amiss with your home’s plumbing, here are a few common issues that you can diagnose and potentially fix on your own:
1 – Low Water Pressure
Maybe one day you turn on your sink and you notice that your sink really isn’t giving it’s all. This could be caused by a low water pressure issue. First, identify which taps and water sources have these low water pressure outputs by testing each sink and shower on hot and cold water. If only the hot water is lacking pressure, the issue may be with the water heater. If this issue is only affecting a specific location, check the aerator and pipes around the area to see if there are any clogs slowing the flow.
If all outlets seem to be facing this issue, then it may be an overall water pressure problem that needs to be fixed. Check your pipes and outlets for leaks, these could be a huge factor in determining how much pressure actually goes through your pipes. Check your pressure reducing valve (PRV) to see if this is in proper working order as well. A faulty PRV will need to be replaced and then your pressure should be as good as new. If none of these seem to be the issue, then it might be time to call in a plumber to get a professional opinion.
2 – Blocked Drain
One of the most common issues is also one of the easiest to fix: blocked drains are caused by some sort of build-up or foreign object that obstructs the flow of water and often causes a back-up. Using a basic drain cleaner or watered-down vinegar solution can be very effective in breaking down any built-up scum from years of use.
If the blockage is a bit more severe than that, ‘snaking’ (using a flexible, elongated plastic tool to dislodge the blockage) or plunging the block is sure to build up enough pressure to dislodge it.
3 – A Toilet That Keeps Running
When your toilet continues to run and run without stopping, it can be a terribly irritating issue. Open up the toilet tank and test the flapper by holding it down with a stick. If you hear the running stop, then you know that the issue is with the flapper and it’s time to replace it. It’s also possible that the flapper may just be dirty and may need to be placed in a vinegar solution to break down any blockages in it. If neither of these problems are the issue, check to see if the valve is leaking. If it is, that’s the part of the tank that needs replacing.
The chain that pulls on the flapper can also be an issue if it’s either too long or too short. If that’s the case, then adjust the size of the chain so that it does not detach every couple of flushes. Too much water flowing into the tank may also be a factor in causing the toilet to run all of the time. If all of the parts in the tank appear to be in working order from what you can tell, then it might be time to call in a professional plumber to help diagnose and solve the issue for you.
4 – Leaking Faucets
This is definitely one of the most common problems you can experience with your plumbing, usually pooling around sinks, showers and tubs. If this leaking water begins to pool out onto your floor, it’s important to stop the issue before it actually does damage. If you have the correct tools and caulking products, you can recreate that watertight seal around the base of your faucets and other water sources.
Depending on the type of faucet you have, you may have to deconstruct the entire apparatus and ensure that everything is securely tightened. Since different types of faucets require specific repair procedures, you may have to do further research into how to handle the hardware you have. If this issue seems too daunting, then it may be time to contact a professional plumber. You don’t want to make the problem worse by taking it on yourself.