A First Time Homeowner’s Guide to Common Plumbing Problems

A First Time Homeowner's Guide to Common Plumbing Problems

What if the biggest investment of your life was about to go down the drain?

Homeowners love to have their own space and their own piece of valuable property. However, the biggest threat to both space and value is plumbing problems.

When these problems get out of hand, they can cause serious damage to your house. And if you keep hiring professionals to fix the problem, the costs can jump up to unexpected heights.

Fortunately, you can fix some of these common plumbing problems on your own with our complete guide!

Water Pressure Woes

Bad water pressure can cause a number of problems. This can affect the water you use in the sink as well as places like your shower.

The most likely culprit is a faulty aerator. You can verify this is the problem by checking that the low pressure affects both hot water and cold water.

If that’s the case, the fix is easy. Just take out the aerator, remove the debris (such as calcium deposits), and put the aerator back in.

Just like that, your water pressure is as good as new.

Dripping Faucet

It’s easy to dismiss a dripping faucet as a minor problem. However, all that wasted water adds up and can seriously affect your utility bills at the end of the month.

Fortunately, a dripping faucet typically has an easy fix. All you have to do is inspect the internal washer.

When washers are stiff, worn out, or loose, it can affect the faucet in a number of ways. For example, that dripping that has been driving you crazy.

Replacing those washers is easy, but it takes special tools you may not have access to. If you need help, you should learn more about local professionals who can give you a hand.

Leaking Pipes

Leaking pipes are a lot like dripping faucets. It’s easy to underestimate how big of a problem this is until after it is too late!

For example, leaking pipes can damage your home. On top of that, you may eventually get mold that threatens the health of the entire family.

And wet areas may encourage infestations from creatures such as cockroaches. Fortunately, the power to avoid all of this is in the palm of your hands.

You can fix small leaks with a bit of tape. And you can tackle larger issues with a bit of filler and related compounds.

Remember that this is just a temporary fix. You will eventually need to replace the pipe and pipe fittings to fully address this problem.

Slow Draining Sinks

Are your sinks draining very slowly? The solution is simple, but it may mean investing in some tools you don’t already have.

First of all, the main culprit is usually the pop-up stopper. Over time, it will catch things like hair and other debris, and this leads to a slow drain.

Second, the solution is simple: you need to remove the clog. To do so, you will need a tool such as a Zip-It. Alternately, you can try to remove the entire pop-up stopper and taking care of the offending clog.

This process can be long and, if we’re honest, a bit gross. But when you’re done, the results will speak for themselves.

Bath Clog

Bath clogs are also annoying. They are similar in nature to clogged sinks, but fixing them is a bit more complex.

With a sink, you can typically remove the nut under the drain to clean out the pop-up. With a clogged tub, you have no choice but to reach in and remove the clogging debris.

You may be able to do so by removing the stopper and using some pliers. However, for maximum results, use a tool designed for pipes (like the Zip-It we mentioned earlier).

A Running Toilet

Believe it or not, the toilet is one of the most complex accessories in your home. And that means that fixing a toilet can be equally complex depending on what the issue is.

Sometimes, all you need to do is to replace a worn-down toilet flapper. Such a repair is cheap and easy, and those of all skill levels can attempt this on their own.

Other problems include faulty toilet fill valves and leaky flush valves. While there are repair kits to help you with these particular problems, you still need to know your way around the pipes to get much use out of them.

As always, don’t be afraid to call for professional help when you need it!

Bad Water Heater

Speaking of knowing when to call a professional: you probably need a pro to fix your water heater.

You can tackle the problem on your own. But doing so involves removing the plates, handling circuit breakers, testing wires, and replacing complex elements.

In short: fixing your own bad water heater means channeling your inner plumber and your inner electrician at the same time. If that doesn’t sound like the kind of challenge you’ve been waiting for, pick up the phone and give a professional a call.

Garbage Disposal Jam

When your garbage disposal jams up, you can usually fix the problem using that little key designed for such a purpose. The only problem? Just about everybody loses the little key!

Fortunately, there is a simple alternative to the special key. All you have to do is break out the Allen wrench.

Insert a 1/4 wrench into the bottom of the disposal. Next, turn the wrench both ways, and repeat this step as needed.

If you do it right, this should free up the motor and give you a fully operational disposal once again.

Don’t forget that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be careful about what you pour down the disposal to avoid future jams.

Common Plumbing Problems: An Easy Fix

Now you know how to tackle common plumbing problems. But do you know how to prepare for the next emergency housing repair?

We like to keep cool with our A/C almost all year round. To ensure you keep your own cool, check out our guide to keeping your A/C in perfect condition!


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