What are the Most Common Plumbing Problems?

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How You Can Fix Them Yourself

Plumbing problems that occur in your home come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. There are the relatively minor types of problems, such as a faucet that won’t stop dripping or a toilet that continues to run after you have flushed it.

Then there are the more serious types of problems like raw sewage backing up into kitchen sink or the bottom of your water heater springing a major leak.

While some of these plumbing problems may require a more professional touch, other plumbing problems are relatively easy to handle and you can probably handle the repair job yourself.

Let’s take a look at some of the more common plumbing problems we see and how to fix them.

leaky-faucet

The Most Common Plumbing Problems & How to Fix it #1
Leaky Compression Faucet

A leaky compression faucet is not only one of the most common plumbing problems we see, it’s also one of the most annoying.

In most cases, if a compression faucet is leaking it means that the rubber washer and/or O-ring has worn out and needs to be replaced. Luckily, this is fairly easy to fix.

To replace a rubber washer and/or O-ring follow these nine steps:

  1. Find the shutoff valve under the sink and turn off the water. Warning: failure to do this may result in water shooting out of the faucet and hitting the ceiling like a gushing geyser.
  2. Close the sink drain so you don’t lose any of the faucet parts when you accidentally drop them into the sink bowl.
  3. Remove the decorative cap on the handle of the offending faucet.
  4. Remove the handle screw and pull the handle off.
  5. Use a crescent wrench to remove the packing nut.
  6. Unscrew the stem and remove the worn-out washer and/or O-ring.
  7. Take the old worn-out washer and/or O-ring with you when you go to the home improvement store, so you can easily identify their replacement.
  8. Replace the washer and/or O-ring and reassemble the faucet.
  9. Turn the water back on and inspect for additional leaks. * Please note: there are many different types of valves and faucets, If you are unsure of the type you should be using or if this method will work on your particular faucet, we recommend you call a professional”

clogged-toilet

The Most Common Plumbing Problems & How to Fix it #2
A Clogged Toilet

If your toilet bowl fills up, but doesn’t drain or even worse – overflows when you flush it, then your toilet has a clog.

A clog is a blockage that has occurred in the s-shaped trap of the toilet or somewhere along the drain line.

A clog is usually caused by a mixture of too much toilet paper and human waste, although we’ve also seen clogs form from feminine products, toothpaste tubes, and even toy soldiers who were sent down into the big porcelain bowl on an aquatic mission.

You can usually fix a clogged toilet with a plunger, but if that doesn’t work you may need to use a sewer snake or drain auger to help loosen up the blockage and send it on its way.

If it seems like your toilet is constantly clogging, you may find that you have a low flow toilet.

These were toilets that were popular from about 1994 to 1997. They were made to help save on water, but the reality is that their smaller tanks just can’t handle everything they are asked to do.

If you do have a low flow toilet with a constant clog problem, we have found that installing a new toilet that has a little more water power will usually take care of the situation.

clogged-bathtub

The Most Common Plumbing Problems & How to Fix it #3
Clogged Bath Tub or Shower

As we discussed above, a clog is when you have a blockage somewhere in a drain line. In the case of your shower or tub, this is usually caused by a buildup of hair and soap.

The biggest problem with clogs that occur in bath tub and shower drains is that if it is not dealt with, the clog will get much worse over time. You can actually help prevent this from happening by using a drain guard to catch the hair.

Since it is hair and soap causing the problem, you may find that you can dissolve the clog by using baking soda and vinegar.

If that doesn’t work, you can usually clear the blockage from a bathtub or shower drain by using a plunger (preferably one that hasn’t been used in a toilet-gross).

Make sure that there is enough standing water in the tub or shower, so that the head of the plunger is completely underwater. Plunge quickly and vigorously over the drain hole to free the clog and get the water moving again.

water-heater

The Most Common Plumbing Problems & How To Fix It #4
Water Heater Not Heating Water

Is there anything worse than when you’re taking a shower and the water goes cold? One minute you’re singing your favorite rock, rap, or country tune, and the next you find yourself practicing an audition for the soprano role in the opera.

There are quite a few issues that can cause a water heater to suddenly stop heating or completely giving up the ghost. At its simplest – you may find that the pilot light went out for some reason and you just have to relight it.

Unfortunately, there are other problems that can occur that can be more serious. A build-up of sediment in the bottom of the tank could cause an issue or the thermostat in the water heater may have gone out.

When this is the case, we usually recommend letting a professional handle it. We not only can fix or replace your water heater; we also offer a 3-tiered maintenance plan that includes routine inspections and maintenance to help keep your water heater running good as new.

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