Let’s face it. Plumbing in our homes only becomes a priority when there is a problem. Some plumbing problems are easily fixed using your own tools and DIY skills, but others require specialized tools and the know-how of professional plumbers. The team of professionals at Plomberie Lalonde in Gatineau, Quebec, offers these tips and tricks to solve the 5 most common plumbing problems yourself. Of course, we’re always here to help, so don’t hesitate to ask for advice or book a service call. Our mission is to help you keep your plumbing in top condition!
Here are 5 common plumbing problems you might encounter around the home and how to fix them.
1. Clogged kitchen and bathroom drains
A clogged drain in your kitchen or bathroom is a common problem that must be addressed at the risk of seeing the problems build up (pun intended!) Indeed, if the problem is denied for too long, it can lead to costly repair and possible replacement of your device by a professional plumber. If you notice that your kitchen sinks or toilet sinks are draining slower than usual, this may be a sign that your drain is clogged or partially blocked and it is important to unclog the sink drain before you start. it is not completely blocked.
The first step to take when unclogging a drain is to use a rubber plunger to dislodge whatever is clogging the pipe. Start by adding hot water to your drain to loosen debris, then completely cover the drain inside your sink with the plunger head. Press down to create suction, then release the handle to allow the plunger to return to its original position. When repeated, this vacuuming action should dislodge any buildup in your drain, and you can use tongs, tweezers, or even kitchen tongs to grab and remove debris.
2. Dripping faucet
Leaking faucets are a waste of water and can add a significant amount to your water bill over time. Dripping faucets in the kitchen, toilets, or utility sinks do not fix themselves, so once you hear one of them dripping in the middle of the night, act to fix it immediately. your leaky faucet.
The most common reason a dripping faucet is because the washer is damaged (torn, dislodged, or stiff) and no longer seals completely when the faucet is closed. Replacing this piece to stop a leaky faucet can be a DIY job, but don’t hesitate to hire a plumber if you don’t have the right tools to do the job right. A poorly replaced seal can lead to even more water loss and sleepless nights!
3. Leaking sink pipes
All pipes under the sink have joints that allow the pipes to twist and bend to allow draining from the sink and to connect with the pipes in the wall or floor, and these joints deteriorate with time or become damaged, then break off slightly to create a slow drip or leak.
Hoses can also leak when they cannot handle an increase in water pressure, sometimes caused by a blockage (see number 1 for how to fix it!). If it only gets worse, a slow drip or leak can lead to a major crack, unwanted water spray, and potentially flooding.
Note: Shower and tub pipes are more complicated to repair due to the fact that the pipes are often located inside the wall or under the floor. In the case of leaking pipes in your shower or tub, we recommend that you hire a professional plumber for the repair work. Repairing a leaky pipe under the kitchen or bathroom sink most likely involves replacing one or 2 segments where the gasket is leaking and can be done by yourself or with help from a professional plumber.
For a DIY type repair to a leaking pipe under your sink, start by taking pictures of the pipe configuration, shut off the main water supply, place a bucket to catch the standing water in the pipes and remove it. them with the appropriate tools. Bring your old pieces of pipe to the hardware or plumbing store with you for an exact replacement. Don’t be fooled by the memory – there are a wide variety of plumbing pipe diameters and shapes to choose from! Replace the hoses, turn on the main water supply (keep the bucket handy just in case) and enjoy your leak-free plumbing!
4. Clogged shower drain
Shower drains easily become clogged with hair and soap/shampoo buildup. Using the techniques in tip number 1 to unclog a kitchen or bathroom drain may work in your shower, but you need to use a shower-specific flexible tool in order to extract the likely culprits. After removing and cleaning your shower floor drain, pour boiling water, vinegar, and baking soda down the drain to loosen as much of the buildup as possible. This eco-friendly household plumbing mix is also a very efficient and cost-effective way to maintain your shower drain pipes to prevent or at least delay another clog or build-up.
5. Constantly flowing toilet
A toilet that keeps “filling the tank” after flushing it is a relatively simple problem to identify and solve. While toilet operation is not an immediate issue for the comfort or safety of your home, it is a major waste of water and can add to your water utility bill. (Note that we’re not talking about an overflowing toilet… we’ll leave that for another article!). There are several different causes for a running toilet and several can be fixed with a quick DIY solution.
• Flapper: Test the flapper by pushing it down with a stick when you hear the water flowing. If it stops, the valve will not seal properly on its own and should be replaced.
• Fill Valve + Overflow Hose: Test the fill valve by flushing the toilet and lifting the toilet float arm as the tank fills to see if the water stops. Adjust the toilet float arm by bending it slightly to stop filling the tank 1/2 to 1 inch below the top of the overflow pipe.
You will see if the toilet tank fill valve is still leaking and you can replace it to fix the problem. Often, this simple adjustment of the height of the overflow pipe is enough to stop a running toilet.
If you are having any of these 5 common plumbing issues and would like more advice or help with your blockages, leaks, drips, or just getting the toilet working, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are always here to help!