What you should do about different plumbing problems

What you should do about different plumbing problems
Photo: Fran1, Pixabay

Plumbing problems occur in every household. True, they can be annoying, especially when they catch you in a bad time but it’s not like you can expect your plumbing system to work perfectly for decades without you having to get your hands dirty from time to time. Everything gets worn out in time, so the fact is you need to be prepared for dealing with the most common plumbing issues.

There’s always something leaking

Most of the time, the issue is water that’s leaking when or where it shouldn’t. It’s not an emergency that needs to be solved the moment you notice it but you will need to take certain steps as soon as possible. You’re wasting water each day you don’t deal with it and your monthly bill will definitely be higher than it should.

A leaky faucet

There are several causes to this problem, including:

  • Damaged washer, o-ring or seal – they all wear and tear in time but excessive water pressure and sediment can lead to damage, too.
  • Corrosion of the valve seat – it happens due to repeated usage. You can easily notice it if water is leaking from around the handle area.
  • Damaged faucet cartridge in single handle faucet – it’s responsible for regulating hot and hold water and usually causes problems when it’s worn out.

Even though it may seem like a simple DIY task, a faucet consists of several internal components, making your job more complicated than you may think. It does matter whether the faucet is dual-handled or a single handle one and if you haven’t done it before, you better call a plumber. Otherwise, you’ll end up doing more damage and even having to have the faucet replaced when it only could have been repaired.

Leaky pipes

In case you notice water pooling under the plumbing pipes, don’t delay dealing with this problem. Professional plumbing services warn that they are often called later than they should have been because the damage gets much more serious before they arrive. The reason behind this is that you don’t know how long you have actually had a leaking pipe.

Here are a few quick, but probably temporary solutions:

  • Use a patch kit – if you have no problems with identifying the source of the leak, you can use a patch kit that’s available in any hardware store. If you don’t have it, make one out of heavy rubber and with a hose clamp.
  • Waterproof tape – wrap it over the leaking spot but make sure the pipe is completely dry before that.
  • Compound stick – also available in hardware stores. Just rub the stick over the hole – you can even do it while the water is running.

However, stopping the leak will probably just postpone the inevitable – the pipe has to be changed eventually because another hole will appear somewhere else.

Annoying clogs

There are ways to prevent clogs from ever happening, but here’s what to do if you have a clog problem right now:

Clogged drains

For a quick and temporary fix, just use liquid drain clearing solution to make it through the day. Besides a common plunger, there are two more useful tools:

  • Toilet auger – a long metal tube that you turn with a handle. It enables you to pull out the objects that clogged the drain.
  • Standard drain snake (drum snake) – a smaller version of an auger. It’s a cable 25 foot long or more, which can be both electric and manual. It has a corkscrew tip which unblocks the clog when you rotate it.

There are a few more types of drain snakes but it will be enough if you have one or two types in your home. A plumber will have all of them, in case the clog is much more serious than you thought at first.

Clogged sewer

This is a nastier problem that you need to address right away. This is how you’ll know the sewer is clogged:

  • The drain is slow all around the house
  • Slow flush in toilets
  • The strong smell coming from the toilet, shower, etc.

There are several methods to deal with the issue, but none of them includes you working on it. Call a plumber as soon as possible and they will perform jetting or even replacement of the sewer line.

Final words

When a plumbing problem occurs, the most important thing is to react in a timely manner and not to let the issue drag. However, you need to be honest with yourself and admit when you’re not up for the job to avoid further damage. Some things around your house should mostly be handled by professionals.