Common Plumbing Problems + How to Fix Them
We get it. If there are small plumbing problems around your home, it can be an easy choice to take care of them yourself. It seems like the most cost-efficient option and can add a new skill to your proverbial (and actual) tool belt. Here, we’re sharing the four most common plumbing problems and how to fix them yourself.
We’re starting with the absolute most common problem you can run into. Dripping or leaking faucets might start as simply a nuisance but quickly turn into a larger problem—potentially costing you money on your next water bill.
The reason: In most cases, dripping faucets can be traced back to washer or O-ring issues. If you look closer at your internal washer and notice it seems worn, overly stiff, or dislodged, it is time to get it replaced. Similarly, internal O-rings can become torn or dislodged—affecting your faucet’s performance.
The fix: If, after a quick inspection, you notice your washer or O-ring has deteriorated, replacing it can be an easy fix, as long as you have the appropriate tools. Most likely, you’ll need a 4-in-1 screwdriver, an adjustable wrench, and faucet washers and O-rings that fit snuggly in the recess of your valve stem.
Slow-Draining Sinks, Showers, or Tubs
There is nothing worse than taking a shower only to be standing in a lake halfway through, or washing some dishes only to have dirty water build up in your sink. While this is undoubtedly annoying, there are some fixes that most homeowners can do themselves. These small drainage issues, if not taken care of right away, can lead to more serious problems, so always think about fixing these sooner rather than later.
The reason: The most common reason for slow drainage is a partial clog somewhere in the plumbing system. Even when you are cautious, hair, grease, shaving foam or soap scum can build up and clog your drains. While a single slow drain can be fixed easily, multiple slow drains can be symptomatic of a larger problem and you should contact your local plumber for solutions.
The fix: The quickest drain cleaning fix is an old remedy. This solution can be an effective way to clear a drain without damaging your pipes with harsh chemicals. You might even have the ingredients in your home already. You’ll need ½ cup table salt, ½ cup baking soda, ½ cup vinegar, and some boiling water. First, pour the salt into the drain, followed by the baking soda, and finally the vinegar. Let this sit undisturbed for about 20 minutes. Then, add the boiling water to the drain; pouring the water in for a few minutes. Feel free to repeat the process if necessary. If the problem persists, it might be time to try a chemical drain cleaner or call your plumber for drain cleaning options.
Low Water Pressure
Like slow drainage, low water pressure can be incredibly frustrating. This problem can look like your washing machine taking longer to run, your shower not getting to the right water pressure, or your sink barely filling up enough water to wash dishes.
The reason: When your water pressure is low, the first step is to diagnose if the issue is specific to one fixture, or a problem with multiple fixtures around your home. Possible reasons for low water pressure are:
- Your water meter valve is not fully open
- Faulty pressure regulators
- Debris buildup
- Leaking pipes
- Corroded pipes
The fix: Some of the above problems have simple fixes. For example, if only one fixture seems to be producing low water pressure, the cause might be debris or mineral buildup. This can be solved by simply filling a plastic bag with vinegar and wrapping the bag around your showerhead or faucet with a rubber band. Let your fixture soak in the solution for a few hours.
The other reasons for low water pressure have more complex solutions and often require a professional plumber to diagnose and resolve.
While a running toilet might not seem like a big issue, it can waste hundreds of gallons of water and produce a larger-than-life water bill. This running can sound continuous, or intermittent, so pay attention to what type of issue you have.
The reason: There are a myriad of causes for a running toilet. Some reasons include:
- Flapper issues
- Improper water levels
- Worn gaskets
- Fill-valve malfunctions
The fix: Toilet flapper wear and tear is a leading reason for a running toilet. The good news is that replacing your flapper is a fairly straightforward process. You will need to first shut off the water valve underneath your toilet and flush your toilet to drain excess water. Unhook your old flapper so you can find a replacement of the same type. From there, it’s as simple as following the instructions on the package. After installing, hook the flapper chain onto the lever, keeping enough slack for there to be some give when the flapper closes.
As you can see, plumbing problems can take many forms—and some are easier to solve than others, so when in doubt, call your local plumber. All Klear Plumbing, Heating and Cooling is the leading name in plumbing in the Springfield area and has the expertise to get your plumbing problems solved.
Give All Klear Plumbing, Heating and Cooling a call today at (417) 228-8252 so we can turn your plumbing problems into a thing of the past.