As a homeowner or renter, you’d like to be prepared for every plumbing emergency (or at least common plumbing problems): clogged toilets, drains, sinks, water leaks, etc. You’ve got a few necessary tools and basic knowledge of how it all works, but sometimes the extra elbow grease just doesn’t cut it. Repairing these common plumbing problems seems great at the time, but could ultimately lead to bigger problems down the road.
The water won’t go out: you’ve got a clogged drain. Common drain cleaners and clog removers can be safe for use on a moderate basis, but if you’re using them regularly you could be damaging your pipes. Plungers dislodge a clog with air pressure, but most times they can’t remove the blockage completely. If you can spot the problem by shining a light, try using tweezers or pliers to remove the clog. For future prevention, drain screens can stop things from traveling into drains and getting stuck.
A running toilet could be an easy fix and a good use of a toilet repair kit. The flapper valve that allows the water to pass from the tank to the bowl could be not fitting correctly, or the fill tube can come loose. These things require little effort to fix or install. However, if none of those things appear to be the source of these common plumbing problems, your toilet could have a more complex issue. If you’ve noticed high water bills, there could be a silent leak. To test a silent leak, add drops of food coloring to the upper tank and check back in a half hour. If there is a leak, you’ll see the food coloring in the bowl.
Leaky pipes can result in a big water bill if not fixed fast! To temporary solve these kinds of problems, shut off the water valve to the pipe, and then turn on the faucets to drain the leftover water in the pipes. After allowing the pipe to dry completely, use a putty knife to put epoxy on the leaking area. Cover the leak with a clamp and let it set for an hour. As an added protection, you should go back and use water resistant tape to cover the clamp. Test the fix by turning the water valve back on. Of course, this is only a temporary fix!
If you own or rent a house, you should have a few necessary tools and basic knowledge to hold you over until a professional plumber can come out to help. Plumbing problems can be messy, time consuming, and a pain to deal with, so you should always know of a trustworthy plumbing company you can call when the time comes. Don’t put off seemingly “minor” common plumbing problems, because ultimately they could be costing you a lot of money and become BIG problems down the road.