Do you own an older home and are you worried that the plumbing isn’t in the greatest shape anymore? Have you been noticing an increase in problems lately? Luckily there are some plumbing issues that you can fix yourself but others might require that you call a plumber as soon as possible.
Keep reading to learn about some of the most common plumbing issues and whether or not you can fix them yourself.
1. Leaky Faucets
Having a leaky faucet or pipe is one of the most common plumbing issues that people face in their home. A dripping faucet doesn’t equal a plumbing emergency so people tend to ignore it for a while before giving in and having it fixed. The downside to ignoring the issue for too long is you will end up spending a lot more money on your water bill.
Usually, a leaky faucet happens when a washer in the spout gets damaged or worn out. The washer forms a seal and if damaged it can’t seal tightly and will allow a small amount of water to leak through, causing the drip. If left long enough the leak might lead the valve seat to corrode and the whole faucet might need to be replaced.
A leaky faucet is inevitable due to natural wear and tear from frequent use. In order to slow down this process, you can turn your faucets on slowly to avoid unnecessary pressure on the handles. Eventually, you will have to replace your faucet which you can do on your own or find a plumber that can help you.
2. Clogged Toilets and Drains
You will know that you have a clogged drain if the water is backing up from your sink or bathtub while taking a shower. This usually happens if something has blocked the drain; most often bathroom clogs are formed by hair in the drain. Sometimes debris will get sucked down the drain, like a child’s small toy or even the lid from your shampoo bottle.
You can use a plunger to clear a clog in the shower by creating suction and drawing the blockage to the top of the drain. You can then use a pair of pliers or tweezers to grab hold of the debris and clear it out of the drain. If the plunger doesn’t work, you can then use a chemical drain cleaner that can work to dissolve the blockage if it is organic.
A clogged toilet is also easy to spot if after you flush the water remains or overflows out of the toilet. This can happen when something other than waste that is dissolvable enters the toilet or if there was too much toilet paper used. Using a plunger to clear the toilet drain is the best place to start. If the issue is more severe you can use a plumbing snake to try and dislodge the blockage allowing the water to be able to flow through again.
3. Water Pressure Is Low
Another common plumbing issue in older homes is having low water pressure. It might happen slowly over time or it can happen suddenly depending on what is causing the issue. This is an issue you can’t ignore for too long as it will make most household tasks difficult and unpleasant.
There are a few reasons why you might be experiencing low water pressure. There might be a water main break in your neighborhood which would also cause issues for your neighbors. You might have a broken pipe in your home which is causing the water to get diverted out through the leak.
If you can’t immediately tell if you have a broken pipe you should shut off all the taps in your home and then check your water meter. After a few hours, check the meter again and if the numbers have changed then it is likely that you have a leak. This issue will likely require a plumber to help fix the problem.
If you are experiencing low pressure in only one fixture then the fixture might have minerals or sediment that has built up causing slow water flow. This issue can be a simple fix by soaking the faucet aerator or cleaning the showerhead with white distilled vinegar. The vinegar will dissolve the minerals or sediment and then you should flush the fixture with clean water before using it again.
4. Toilet Is Running
A running toilet can be very annoying since you can hear the water running constantly and the wasted water will add up on your water bill. Luckily this issue is a pretty easy one to fix on your own.
The water will run in a toilet when the pieces inside the tank become worn out and start to fail. The flapper valve may have loosened up after constant use and no longer creates a solid seal. The float might have become imbalanced, the fill tube might be loose, or there might even be a leak.
You can purchase the toilet hardware in one kit from your local hardware store and replace it following the easy installation steps. If you suspect that there is a leak in the tank then you can test this by putting food coloring in the tank. Then, after about 15 to 20 minutes take a look to see if the food coloring has made its way down into the bowl.
If you have a leak from the tank to the bowl, the best solution is to replace the entire toilet. This can be difficult for someone who has not had experience replacing a toilet before so you should call a plumber to help with the replacement.
Learn More About Common Plumbing Issues and How to Fix Them Today
These are the most common household plumbing issues that you might be experiencing in your older home. Leaky faucets, clogged drains, low water pressure, or a running toilet can usually be fixed by yourself, but you might also want to call a plumber if you need help.
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