Drip … drip … drip. Plumbing problems are not only annoying, they create a hole in your wallet. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a slow-draining sink or low water pressure, fixing the issue is often achievable by the average homeowner, but it requires the correct tools and the ability to assess what the problem is. There are also some things that you want to avoid taking a chance on—better leave it to the professionals.
Here are some simple solutions for the most common plumbing problems. For a blocked drain, use a drain cleaner but make sure to avoid options with harsh chemicals as those can damage your pipes and affect your water. Look for safe, environmentally friendly brands. To cure a leaky faucet, the most common culprits are damaged or broken washers on the tap which are supposed to form a watertight seal but can dry out or become loose over time. Simply remove and replace. Do you have one of those toilets that require jiggling, tapping, or a set of instructions to understand how to work it? Put an end to that by resealing the flapper valve that lets the water through, making sure the float is balanced, or resetting the fill tube. Once you take the lid off the tank, it usually becomes clear. Just avoid over-fiddling with it as that could cause bigger issues. And finally, low-flow shower heads. For all our Seinfeld fans out there, you know how disastrous this can be. Generally, low flow can be solved by simply cleaning out the shower head or tap head or replacing it all together. Easy.
Now we’ll get into the tricky part. Anything to do with pipes or places you want to avoid reaching your hand into is best handed to the pros. Jammed garbage disposal? Call a pro. Sewer system backup? Call a pro. Faulty water heater? Call a pro. Banging in the pipes when you shut off the water? You got it, call a pro. Although it may be tempting to find and follow a Do-It Yourself video, every home is different. You may not have the experience to assess what went wrong, and when it comes to plumbing systems, understanding how everything is connected is key. Having an expert on hand can be more efficient than taking pieces apart and putting your home out of the commission until you figure it out.
For most homeowners, it’s a good idea to have a plumber on your list of go-to contacts. From our point of view, the more reputable, detail-oriented, and experienced, the better. If you don’t know someone or have a contact from a friend of a friend, there’s a handy service called a Plumbing Repair and Protection Plan. For a flat rate, you can free yourself from unexpected costs and worries and many common plumbing solutions are included as well as unlimited service calls. Either way, plumbing problems are better dealt with than left for another day. Or that hole in your wallet will only keep drip, drip, dripping.