6 Most Common Plumbing Problems and Solutions

Plumbing problems are one of the major concerns in the household. Although, these issues may cost from cheap to expensive maintenance repairs. Just when you think that you have to call your plumber, this article will help you think twice about what’s worth calling or what’s worth rolling up your sleeves. Now, these are pretty common plumbing dilemmas, however things could go in different directions if you remain lost and lose control in keeping your everyday household intact.

Here are 6 most common plumbing problems and the easiest possible ways to fix them:

Clogged Drains

As a common occurrence in your sink or toilets, clogged drains are commonly due to fallen hairs or soap that have been stuck like a hot mess in the bathroom or just a few irresponsible disposal on the sink’s drain such as coffee grounds, grease, cigarette butts, flour, rice, and etc. First you must understand that you cannot pour or dispose of anything in your drain and the next important thing is to fix it! In order for you to be able to resolve this clogged up issue, here are steps for you to take note:

  • Put a litter gallon of water to boil
  • While boiling the water, get a handful of salt and let it sit on the sink for 10 minutes.
  • Once the water is ready, pour the hot water into the salt and sink
  • You may notice strong smell as other gunk in the drain and pipe steam out
  • Wait for a few minutes and it should work.

For rare instances that this solution doesn’t work, try this other technique:

  • Get a suction pad and apply petroleum jelly on the sides, don’t use your bare hands because we know it’s filthy.
  • Open the tap or shower to have running water.
  • Continuously plunge the suction pad until you notice the water goes down the drain again.

Dripping Faucets

Did you know that 3,000 gallons per year are wasted due to leaky faucets? That’s the amount of water needed to take more than 180 showers!  As per United States Environmental Protection Agency, “Household leaks can waste nearly 1 trillion gallons of water annually nationwide.”

Before you head to Home Depot, you may have to take note a few important things in order for you to be able to fix a leaky faucet:

  • Make sure you have the tools. In this case you will need a C wrench, adjustable wrench, flat-head and or a phillips screwdriver, replacement washers and O-rings, and penetrating oil such as CRC or WD-40
  • Turn off water supply. Before you flood and make the faucet station worse, make sure to locate your water valve and turn it off so you can be able to work properly.
  • Loosen up screws. Unscrew the knob from the stem by locating the screws that link the stem to the knobs. Use the oil to loosen them up as gunk or water mineral deposits may harden it up.
  • Use a wrench to loosen the packing nut. Once you unscrew them the whole thing will just pop right up and then you can inspect the stem and the valves that were connected to the pipes underneath.
  • Replace washer and O-rings. Depending on which has deteriorated, you may replace them after being able to troubleshoot them. These parts are made of rubber so they get worn out over time which mostly causes the leak.
  • Call a plumber for broken pipes. After troubleshooting your faucet and the problem still occurs, it could possibly be out of your league as there might be a problem with your pipes. For pipe replacement, it is best to call a trusted plumber for permanent solutions.

Faulty Water Heater

Let’s just hope it’s not winter when you discover that you got a faulty water heater. This is normal and common in the household that your showerhead may release ice cold water or may not let out water at all.

  • Sediments. We know that appliances after a long exposure with water may cause mineral deposits or sediments to clog up the rims of your shower or your water heater.
  • Thermostat. After inspecting for build up sediments and it’s still not working properly, check on the thermostat and it may cause the fault.
  • Pilot light. This could be the lesser evil from the rest. Turn back the switch and make sure the pilot light is turned back on before you scramble on the parts.

Low Water Pressure

This is a common problem in old homes that may depreciate over time. This problem is due to 2 main reasons: a leaky pipe that may have corroded or worn out over time and it may also be because of sediments coming from water minerals. If your problem is the latter then you are lucky since you can fix it yourself. Here are steps how:

  • Dismantle your shower head or faucet aerator and clean it initially by brushing it with soap and water.
  • Use vinegar to brush them off. The vinegar is the most helpful component in cleaning the sediments.
  • Get a safety pin or a toothpick that is sturdy enough to poke off any loose deposits.
  • If the sediments are still present, you may soak them up overnight.
  • Wash them off the next day with soap and water and make sure it won’t stink of vinegar the next time you shower or wash your hands in the faucet.

Clogged and Running Toilet

This is just a normal bathroom dilemma that may cause your own demise if you happen to be the unlucky person to get caught up with a clogged toilet. A clogged toilet may be caused by paper or human waste that gets stuck and may cause your toilet to overflow. Since this is mostly unavoidable, the first thing that comes in handy for you is a plunger. Once you’ve tried vigorously plunging the toilet bowl and the water still doesn’t go down, you may need help from the big league tools such as a  drain auger or sewer snake that can be used to loosen up the blockage.

On the other hand, did you know that a single running toilet can contribute up to 200 gallons of water being wasted? All you need to get fixed though is the flapper valve, its common culprit. The flapper valve controls the water that passes from the tank to the bowl.

At some other point, if your flapper valve is not defective, the running toilet may also be caused by sediments that are being stuck causing the flapper valve to not totally close. To troubleshoot, you may use a food coloring solution on the upper tank of the toilet and observe if the color dissolves without flushing. If so, you may need to clean your upper tank.

Leaky Pipes

Leaks commonly happen on pipe joints. A temporary fix would be using tapes and fillers to stop the leak. Although, the most helpful advice is to replace old pipes with new ones that are designated for the job. Leaky pipes should be addressed right away as they can cause  damage to ceilings, floors, and furniture. It can also cause infestations as water attracts pests like cockroaches, ants, and even mosquitoes if paddles come up from unattended leaks.

In most cases, you have to be more wary about this during the winter season as bursted pipes are common during winter  when water freezes out in the pipes and expands the pipes causing them to be broken. Get a grip on the situation right away by calling in the professionals. The problems above can be fixed if you have the resilience and patience to do so. Although, pipes are for the big leagues and you have to trust the professionals on this one.

Save Water!

Not only does it waste a huge amount of water and you get a pricy water bill, but plumbing problems at home has to be addressed properly and with urgency as it can ripple down to more structural damages at home, pest infestations, growth on molds and bacteria, and even a very cold shower on the winter. Fixing them doesn’t have to be expensive, you just have to grab the right tools or call the right plumber to trust.

News Reporter