Easy Fixes to Common Water and Pipe Issues and When to Call a Pro
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Plumbing issues are inconvenient and often messy. Letting minor issues go can have costly consequences, and life without running water or your toilet is not an option. We’ll go through the most common water and pipe issues and tips on what you can do yourself and when to call the experts.
Clogged Drains and Toilets
A buildup of hair often causes clogging of drains and toilets. Other small items that accidentally fall into drains or are flushed down the toilet can cause clogging, too. You can use a plunger to create a suction and pull out the blockage in your toilet or sinks in most cases. You can also use drain cleaning products designed to dissolve blockages.
If your sink or toilets are frequently getting clogged or plungers and cleaning agents aren’t doing the trick, it may be time to call in a plumber.
Running toilets are typically caused by a worn-out or broken flapper valve, imbalanced float, loose types, corroded handles, or a leak. This How To Fix Common Toilet Problems video reviews some typical issues and fixes to try. If you are still having issues, it may be time to call a plumber.
Leaky Faucets and Pipes
Usually, you will hear leaky faucets and pipes dripping or see the water damage they cause. Make sure to also keep an eye on your water bill for leaks that may be out of sight. Leaks may be caused by damaged seals, worn-out valves, joint damage, rusted pipes, or high water pressure.
This How to Fix a Leaky Faucet guide is an excellent place to start. You can also find videos to help with leaky valves and worn-out pipes. Remember, diagnosing the issue may be difficult, and fixes often require special tools and know-how.
Water Heater Issues
Water heater issues include lack of water, mineral deposit buildup, pilot light going out, leaks, corrosion, bacteria, or problems with the mechanics. If you are experiencing a lack of hot water, you can check that the pilot light is on and that the temperature is set correctly. You’ll want to call in a professional for most issues since they are complicated to fix and expensive to replace.
Experts recommend you service your water heater annually and that you check frequently for leaks.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure may be caused by water main breaks, leaky pipes, blocked pipes, or a buildup of minerals and sediment. Mineral and sediment buildup can be solved by soaking aerators or shower heads in vinegar. You can also check that your water valves are open all the way. Sudden pressure drops probably mean more significant issues and require a plumber.
Water Line Breaks & Sewer Line Issues
Public water line breaks or sewer line issues will be the responsibility of your local municipality. Leaks and breaks in the lines to your home that are your responsibility require immediate and professional attention.
Water and pipe issues can be expensive with higher water bills, potential damage to walls, floors, furniture, and more. Plus, they can be a huge nuisance if you have to spend days without running water or toilets. Spending time each month to check that everything is working properly can save you time and money in the future. Look for leaks, water damage, mildew or mold, pressure, draining and flushing issues, and higher than usual water bills.
Whether you want to fix issues yourself or call in a pro, these problems are best addressed immediately. If you plan to do it yourself, remember that water issues can be messy, so dress appropriately. Make sure you know how to turn off water, power, and gas if needed. Your local hardware store can be a great resource for tools, parts, and tips.
If you decide to call a plumber, make sure they are licensed and insured, ask neighbors for recommendations, and ask for multiple estimates to find a plumber with reasonable pricing and professional customer service.