When it comes to plumbing, some are best for professionals. There are plenty of quick fixes you can do by yourself. A clogged toilet or leaking faucet can quickly turn into a big job that damages your home and causes serious injury to yourself. Your most basic tools would not be enough for these complex jobs, so it is vital to understand when to call in the experts.
Professional plumbers have years of training and experience under their belts. They will be able to diagnose more complex issues and complete tasks faster than you could on your own.
But that does not mean they can do everything—you should still know where the water shut the valve is in your basement or outside and how to turn off electricity and gas lines before attempting any job (or calling a professional). You should also know how things work: what causes water leaks? Where do pipes go? What if my garbage disposal stops working?
Need to do plumbing work around your home? Whether you are a DIY type of person, who likes spending time under the sink or someone more comfortable with experts, you have probably run into a few unexpected plumbing issues. It can be extremely frustrating and expensive, and it can also indicate a leak somewhere in your home. How do you know what to do about it? Well, we are here for you. We have some helpful tips to help you tackle these problems.
If You See Something That Looks Wrong
Be sure to look for leaks in all parts of the house. If you see something that looks wrong, do not ignore it! You can fix minor leaks with a little TLC and some knowledge.
Look for Leaks in Slabs
The most commonplace leaks are in slabs of tile or wood. That is because water seeps through the joints between tiles where water displaces air from one side of the joint to another, causing swelling in the area between the tiles. Water does not flow directly out of those gaps; instead, it seeps through them and directly contacts the walls and roof above them. These types of leaders are often difficult to detect without testing them.
Two main things will tell us if there is an issue:
- Until recently, everyone used copper pipes instead of plastic ones (which makes copper easier to detect), so the water could slow down.
- Many slab leaks emit an audible sound once they are closed off: A quick test is inserting a stick into one end and then tapping on another until water comes out both ends at once (you should hear different peak levels at each end).
Call an expert, like Beehive Plumbing, to resolve the plumbing issue if it is beyond your control.
Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure can sometimes be a temporary problem, but it can also be concerning. Low water pressure could indicate that you leak somewhere in your plumbing system or an underlying problem with the municipal water supply.
To check whether the low water pressure is an issue within your plumbing system or if it is part of a bigger problem, try turning off all appliances and faucets in your home. If there is no change to the water pressure, the issue lies outside your home. But if shutting off all appliances and faucets changes the water pressure, you know that the point of the problem lies within the pipes in your house.
If this is the case, ensure sure all shutdown valves are fully open and not impeding flow. If not working, try flushing away the debris from your aerator and showerhead. To do so, unscrew them from their fixtures and rinse them with clean running water.
If they do not come apart by hand, use two pairs of pliers wrapped in a cloth to prevent damaging them and twist until they separate. The debris will rush out when you turn on the faucet for about 10 seconds. After this quick fix, if there is still no improvement, it is time to call a professional plumber!
No Hot Water
There are many potential causes of a lack of hot water. The first thing you should do is double-check that your water heater is on. It could also seem like there is not enough hot water. The appliance is not working at all. It might be due to a blown circuit breaker or a broken pilot light. Check those items.
Also, look into temperature settings, thermostats, dip tubes, pressure relief valves, and heating elements. If none of these difficulties are the source of the problem, a leak in one of your pipes or drain valves may be the culprit.
When you think of problems that need to fix, you probably do not think about toilet clogging. Since toilets are simple devices, they can usually be secure in most cases. The basic premise is simple: when your toilet becomes full and needs to empty itself, the water has nowhere to get out other than through a hole in the bottom.
When this happens, it is called a backed-up toilet or sewer backup. It occurs when the water overflows from the tank into the bowl and stops up the pipes. As long as there is no water flowing through the pipes to drain automatically (a common occurrence with older toilets), toilets can become blocked by overflowing over time due to usage or clog caused by grit and solid waste.
Plumbing issues are tricky because their solutions can vary wildly depending on the particular cause of the problem. In cases where plumbing is clogged, it is usually not a straightforward fix. If you go to the store or call a plumber for advice, there is a good chance that someone out there will give you some pretty unhelpful advice that you would not be able to use.
Keep an eye on all pipes in your kitchen and bathroom while running dry. Check your toilet every week after it is flushed to see if you can remove any clogs by hand. If clogged with hairballs and debris, use pliers to unclog sinks and toilets. Keep the plunger wet to avoid breaking off in the drain hole. Hire a professional if none of the above ways work.
If you are experiencing slow drainage, there is likely a blockage somewhere in your pipes. There are a few things you can do to try to fix the issue on your own.
First, you could try using a plunger. Because plungers use suction power to help dislodge blockages, it might be enough to clear your clogged drain.
If that does not work, you can try using a pipe snake (an auger or drain snake). A pipe snake is essentially a coiled wire attached to an electric motor or hand crank. You insert the pipe into the drain and rotate it until it hits the blockage. The motor or hand crank helps push through tough clogs so that they can be removed from the pipeline more effectively.
If neither of those methods works for you, you should call in professional help from a plumbing contractor who can use high-tech tools and equipment to efficiently and safely clean drains and sewage lines efficiently and safely.
There are plenty of fixes for plumbing that you can do yourself, but it is good to know your limits when handling such issues. Some jobs present a real danger or require professional licensing. Likewise, some jobs can cause even more damage if not done correctly.
Before diving headlong into any DIY project, do your research and ensure you have all the tools necessary to complete the job safely and correctly. If you don't know what you're doing, you need to know when to call a plumber.