Indoor plumbing is one of the most whimsical and fantastic inventions of the modern age. No longer do we have to bring buckets of water from a well or stream that might be very far from our house just to bathe ourselves or have clean drinking water. I personally think that sometimes we take our 20 minute hot showered for granted when we consider what our grandparents had to go through.
It isn’t all unicorns and rainbows when it comes to indoor plumbing, though. Any system has points of failure and plumbing is no different from any other system. Most of us will encounter some form of minor plumbing woe at some point during our stay in a home. Luckily, they don’t all require the specialized knowledge of a master plumber and can be fixed with common tools.
Here are the most commonly reported plumbing issues and a quick fix to go along with each:
At some point in time a faucet won’t shut properly and you’ll have to contend with small droplets of water constantly coming out which wastes water and needlessly inflates your water bill. The tools you’ll need to fix this common issue are Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, a crescent wrench, some needle nosed pliers, and some replacement parts for the faucet if necessary.
First, you’ll have to turn off the water going to the faucet. Then, remove the set screw and the handles. The set screw is typically at the back of the faucet. You should now be looking at the adjusting ring of the faucet. If the adjusting ring just looks a little loose, you might only have to tighten it with needle-nosed pliers to get things back to working condition. If that doesn’t fix it, you’ll have to use the rest of your tools to remove the entire cartridge that’s housed inside the handle and replace it with a new one. After this, your faucet should work as good as new.
Low Water Pressure
A shower is one of the many minor pleasures in life we’d have trouble going without. Low water pressure might affect your shower or your sinks making it harder to live your daily life. There are a few different things you need to check if you’ve noticed some difficulties with the water pressure inside your home:
- Is the problem localized or throughout the whole house? A localized issue might need a new shower head or tap, Kirk Davis from Davis Plumbing & Drain says that hard water can cause a shower faucet to fail within 10-15 years so investigate where the problem is.
- Check valves near your water line to see if they are faulty, adjust them and see if there are any changes in your water pressure.
- Check the shut off valve at the water meter and adjust it to make sure it is fully open.
Clogged drains can be caused by the buildup of debris after several years. This one has been the easiest to fix as you just need to pour some drain cleaner from your local hardware store down the drain and it should sort you out. If that doesn’t fix the problem, you might need to push a flexible metal rod through the drain to help dislodge any large obstructions.
A leaking pipe not only wastes water, you risk the water causing serious damage to the structural integrity of your house over time. The fix is rather simple: shut off the water going to that pipe and then allow whatever water is still in it to run out of wherever that pipe leads to. After that, clean off the pipe and apply some epoxy over the leaking area. Then, apply some rubber to the pipe and clamp it down for about an hour. After that, cover rubber with water tape and then you can turn the water back on and the problem should be fixed.
The toilet takes a lot of abuse during its lifespan. The sheer amount of waste and toilet paper that get sent down the tubes worldwide is astronomical. Eventually, you might find your toilet a little clogged up and it doesn’t flush how it used to. This is a simple fix, simply plunge the toilet until the blockage has been dealt with.
These common problems luckily don’t need the help of a professional, but sometimes some extra help is needed. If you’re ever stumped or these fixes didn’t work out, you might have to call in a plumber. Either way, you should try yourself before deciding to call up some outside help. Best of luck!