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The toilet (and plumbing, in general) is never a glamorous subject but it’s something we all use every single day. When things malfunction, it can cause anything from an annoying dripping sound to a potentially catastrophic flood. Find out some of more common toilet & plumbing problems and how they can be fixed … and most importantly, when to call in a pro!
Common Plumbing Problems (And How To Fix Them)
1. Trickling Water
Many of us have heard that all-too-common trickling of water into the bowl. It can certainly be annoying and it may seem like a difficult problem to correct. The truth is that it’s caused by a slow leak of water from the tank into the bowl. One common cause of this problem is a bad flapper. Simply drain the tank and bowl and replace the flapper. If you don’t have experience with basic plumbing, hire a licensed plumber to do the work. Find out more about finding a qualified plumber to handle your plumbing issues.
2. Low Water Pressure
When someone complains of low water pressure, the problem is commonly at the sink faucet. Here’s how to trouble-shoot the issue: start by checking if both the hot & cold water lines are affected by the low pressure. If both are affected, replace or clean the aerator. Over time, calcium deposits (from hard water) can cause a build-up on the aerator that reduces water pressure. To clean the aerator, simply remove it and scrub it clean with a toothbrush. If a clogged aerator is not the source of your low water pressure, hire a plumber to look into the issue.
3. Stuck Garbage Disposal
I use the garbage disposal every single day and I don’t really think about it much… that is, until it gets jammed. Sometimes too much food (or the wrong types of food) can cause the disposal to get jammed. If you lost the key that came with the device, simply use a 1/4 inch Allen wrench to un-jam it. Insert the Allen wrench into the opening at the bottom of the disposal and turn it slightly in both directions until the motor starts to move freely.
4. Slow Draining Shower
A lot of stuff goes down the shower drain, including hair, soap, shampoo and grime. These substances accumulate over time and gradually reduce the effective pipe opening. To improve the draining speed, you can try a natural mixture of vinegar and baking soda. If that doesn’t work, you can try an auger snake to dislodge any hair that is caught in the drain. If that doesn’t work, you can consider store-bought drain-cleaning solutions. However, these can be quite caustic and could potentially be damaging to certain types of pipes. When in doubt, call in a pro.
5. Clogged Toilet
The fearsome toilet clog is another common problem facing many homeowners. One common solution is to use a standard plunger, which can be quite effective for minor clogs. Repeat plunging as necessary until the clog is cleared. If this does not seem to improve the situation, an auger is the next tool to try – simply twist the handle as you push the rotor downward. If these measure do not improve the situation, hire a plumber.
Have you ever experienced nay of these common plumbing problems? Did you fix it yourself or do you always call in a pro?