While a properly built and maintained plumbing system should be fairly worry free, it is wise to become acquainted with common plumbing problems before they become your immediate plumbing issues.
1. Slow Drain
Accumulated hair, soap scum, and personal care products can build up in drains causing them to drain slowly. Slow drains are one of the most typical plumbing problems you’ll face. Remove the pop-off drain cover and clean any debris. (Warning: it’s gross. Consider wearing gloves). You can also use an auger to clear the pipe or if you do not have an auger, partially straighten a wire hanger and use it to pull up any debris (also gross). If that doesn’t fix the problem, try using a plunger to loosen debris. Flushing with baking soda and vinegar will help as well. Do not use harsh chemical drain cleaners! They can damage pipes. If the drain is still running slowly, call a plumber as it can mean you have bigger problems. Click here if you want to know how to unclog a shower drain.
2. Running Toilet
Don’t let your money go down the drain with a running toilet! Most running toilet plumbing problems are fairly easy to fix. It is usually just a matter of replacing a warped or broken flapper, getting a new chain, or readjusting the float. These are all quick, inexpensive fixes. Here is more about fixing running toilets.
3. Jammed Garbage Disposal
While garbage disposals are a convenient appliance, you mush treat them with care to keep them running smoothly. Common causes of a garbage disposal jam include running it without water, disposing of inappropriate food items like potato skins and cornhusks or foreign objects like silverware. If hitting the reset button doesn’t work, you’ll need to break out the tools to fix the jam.
4. Dripping Faucet
Leaky faucets are more then just annoying. They waste money and water by sending gallons of water down the drain everyday. Some causes of a dripping faucet include mineral deposits, corrosion, and broken or failing parts including washers, gaskets, and O-rings. See our blog on fixing a dripping faucet.
5. Low Water Pressure
Does your sink give you a drizzle when you need a strong stream of water? If it is just the hot water, first check to make sure that the hot water heater’s shut off valve is completely open. If that does not fix the problem, you’ll need a plumber to look at the hot water heater. If you are experiencing low water pressure with cold and hot water, the aerator is likely clogged. Clean it with vinegar or simply replace it. If your shower is suffering from the low water pressure, soak the showerhead in vinegar. Here is information on how to unclog a kitchen sink.
6. No Hot Water
If you have ever tried to take a shower and found that you have no hot water, you probably have a real appreciation for a properly working water heater. One of the most common causes of a sudden lack of hot water is the pilot light on a gas water heater going out. You can follow your water heater’s manual to relight it. If you get some hot water but not enough, the tank might need to be drained of sediment. Other possible problems include thermostat issues, a faulty thermocouple, or a faulty pilot. Water heaters can be dangerous and need to be serviced by a professional. Other than re-lighting the pilot or draining, they are one plumbing issue best left to the experts.
If your plumbing problems are too much to bear, Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can be there promptly to get your home’s plumbing running smoothly again.