Every homeowner has to deal with a few common plumbing problems. Clogged drains, low water pressure, a dripping faucet, and a running toilet can make your life miserable. Not only that, if you won’t fix these problems in due time you’ll have to pay an astronomic water bill.
Smaller issues can be settled with a little plumbing experience, household tools, patience, and elbow grease. If you let these problems fester for months you can end up with a flooded basement, burst pipes, and broken appliances.
Why do you need to fix them?
Let’s take a look at the five most common issues with sinks, tubs, and toilets and the DIY solutions to them. You might think that these problems are insignificant, but even two drops per minute from your faucet can lead to 70 gallons of water wasted per year. Can you imagine how much a running toilet is going to cost you? It’s one gallon per hour or more!
Removing the clogs
Plumbers sometimes find very unusual items stuck in the drain: dentures, coins, drugs, soiled diapers, mini-bottles of liquor, smartphones, and even toy dinosaurs! However, in most cases, clogs are caused by the build-up of dirt, soap scum, dead skin particles, pubic hair, and toilet paper.
While most of the waste can be washed away by using some common household appliances and drain-cleaning products, there are some notorious clogs that remain stuck despite gallons of solution poured on top of them. You will have to set aside the plunger and grab a drain snake. Feed it into the drain and twirl around a bit, until you get a hold of the clump of gunk that is preventing the water flow.
Finish the procedure by pouring a solution you have brought from a store. Or just use a quick and easy DIY combination of vinegar and baking soda. Rinse the pipes with some hot water. Now everything should work like new.
Upping the water pressure
The sink faucet is usually the culprit behind low water pressure. Before you start disassembling it, check whether both the cold and hot water flow is affected. If it is the case, you will need to replace the aerator. Calcium deposits tend to build up there over the months of using the faucet.
To deal with this issue, carefully remove the aerator by rotating it with a pair of pliers, cleaning it with a needle and a piece of cloth, and putting it back. Or you might just install a new one, these items are cheap.
If it doesn’t help, contact a professional plumbing service provider. An expert will come and check your cartridges and pressure at the water meter. Old water lines built with galvanized metal tend to have rust building up inside. You might have to replace them.
Fixing a running toilet
Toilets are known to be notorious water wasters. According to a report published by the American Water Works Association, toilets use up almost have the water in a typical family residence. Every one of five of them leaks.
Running water in the toilet can be caused by a few reasons. You should find the source of the problem before attempting to fix it. Open the tank and check the flapper valve first. In 80% of all cases, a toilet is running due to a broken flapper valve. The fill and flush valves can get loose and start leaking. You can do all the necessary repairs by purchasing a special repair kit.
If none of the valves seem to be malfunctioning, you might have a problem with the sediment build-up. To solve it, contact a certified plumber in your local area. For example, Chicagoans can click here to get in touch with an expert.
Dealing with leaky pipes
If you keep finding a puddle of water on your bathroom floor or in the kitchen next to the sink, you should check all the pipes and joints. Even a tiny leak can lead to a pipe bursting and flooding your home. After you have found the leak, shut off the water in your house. If you have a leaky joint you might need to unscrew it from the pipe and apply Teflon tape or a pipe joint compound before reinstalling it.
if you have a hole in the pipe, remove the section and install a new piece. A conduit bender hire might be a good idea if you need to bend water pipes. Besides saving you time, it’s more cost-effective as well.
If you are unsure about your handyman skills, call a plumber. It’s a usually quick job that won’t cost you much.
Getting rid of the sewer smell in your bathroom
Do you keep smelling sewer gas in your bathroom?
Check whether you have:
- broken or clogged drain pipes;
- clogged drains;
- an old wax toilet ring that needs replacing;
- a dry P-trap (especially during winter).
Some of these problems can be dealt with by using DIY remedies. You can remove the clogs using store-bought or homemade solutions and a drain snake. A dry shower trap is often caused by a long period of not using a tub. This situation often happens in guest bathrooms. Pour water down the tub and flush the toilet. You might add some nice-smelling detergent if you like.
For everything else, you will have to call a plumber. Replacing toilet rings and dealing with damaged waste pipes requires professional knowledge. There is a high risk of damaging your property if you attempt to do these things yourself without proper care or training.
The most common problems with sinks, tubs, and toilets are easily fixed. You should always keep a selection of simple tools, including a plunger, a wrench, a pair of pliers, and a drain snake for such occasions. Have a bottle of drain cleaning solution at hand, or know how to make one yourself from simple ingredients you can find in any kitchen.
If you run into a more complicated problem, don’t hesitate to call your local plumbing service provider.