A professional plumber should deal with serious plumbing emergencies like burst pipes and clogged sewer mains. However, most homeowners can tackle minor plumbing issues with a few tools and the correct instructions. Here are simple ways to fix common plumbing problems you may encounter over the years.
Clogged Drains are One of the Most Common Plumbing Problems
The simplest way to clear a clogged drain is usually with a plunger. Fill the sink or tub with water, and position the plunger head over the drain. Use force as you plunge, and keep the plunger as vertical as possible. Remove the plunger, and the water should go down the drain.
If plunging does not work, try boiling water on the stove. Pour it down the drain slowly. Hot water melts the soap scum or grease causing the clog.
A non-flushing toilet is one of the most common plumbing issues. To address the problem, begin by removing the toilet tank’s lid. Look at the chain connecting the flusher to the plastic flapper; this is the part that sits over the main drain opening. If the chain is broken, unhook it. Take it to the local hardware store and buy a replacement in the same size. Attach this new chain, and the toilet should flush again.
You can deal fix a dripping tap by replacing the faucet. However, it is usually possible to fix the leak without installing an entirely new fixture. Start by turning off the water supply to the tap. Remove the caps from the hot and cold water handles. Undo the screws that attach the handles to the faucet.
With the screws undone, remove the rubber gaskets and O-rings from the faucet mechanism. Take these to the hardware store and buy replacements in the same size. Put the new gaskets and O-rings into place, and reassemble the faucet. Replacing the O-rings should stop the leak, as damaged O-rings or gaskets cause most leaks.
Common Plumbing Problems: Leaking Toilets
If your toilet starts filling when you have not flushed it, there is a leak between the tank and the bowl. Usually, this type of leak is due to a damaged flapper.
Remove the tank cover, and locate the flapper. You can usually unhook it from its hinges simply by pressing on it. Buy a new flapper and hook it into place. Your toilet will use less water now that you’ve fixed this common plumbing issue.
The plumbing issues above are easy to address with patience and essential tools. Once you’ve replaced a flapper or unclogged the drain a time or two, you’ll be more familiar with the process and confident in your skills.