Plumbing isn’t something homeowners tend to think about, that is until issues appear. As your home ages, general wear and tear will eventually cause plumbing issues. Some will be simple to fix by DIY and not serious, whereas others may be more complex and need professional attention. It’s important to know the difference between simple and more serious plumbing problems.
The most common plumbing issues include clogged drains and toilets, leaky taps and pipes, low water pressure, a running toilet, and water heater problems. Each of these issues has its own specific solution.
Clogged Drains And Toilets
Clogged drains are easy to spot. You will notice that the water becomes very slow to drain in the sink or shower and that the water in the toilet rises and may even overflow. A clogged toilet is much more immediate, it won’t flush, instead, the water will immediately rise. These are typically simple problems to clear. Once the drains or toilets are unblocked this will restore your water system to normal. These issues can be managed with little DIY solutions.
What Causes the Problem:
A clogged drain occurs when something is blocking the opening either partially or completely. In sinks, baths, and showers the offending culprit is typically hair. Other substances can be involved as well, however, like a small shampoo lid, or another small object that may have passed through the drain and blocked the pipe. In toilets, blockages usually occur when something that is not dissolvable is flushed down the toilet. The object gets stuck in the pipe and cannot move and blocks the way for the water to pass.
How to Fix Clogged Drains and Toilets:
To remove a clog from a drain or toilet, start with a plunger. This will help to loosen the clog using air pressure. Put the open end of the plunger completely over the drain and move it up and down to create suction. Repeat these steps so that the clog moves closer to you. If the clog becomes close enough you can use tweezers or pliers to hold onto the clump and remove it from the drain.
Chemical drain cleaners are another option that you can use, but the chemicals are extremely hazardous and bad for your pipes. If the blockage won’t shift, a plumbing snake can be purchased from a DIY store which can be used to dislodge the blockage. Of course, you can call a plumber from the first instance, if you don’t want to deal with the problem yourself and use a drain unblocking service.
How to Avoid Clogging Drains and Toilets:
To prevent clogs in drains, use a hair catcher over the drain so that hair gets caught before it passes down the drain. But if there are already hairs in the sink, pull them out. It is worth checking once a month all of your sink and bathroom drains for hair that has been caught around the plughole. The hair can be easily removed with tweezers or a crochet hook.
When it comes to toilets you have to be vigilant and make sure that nothing is flushed that shouldn’t be. Keep your eyes wide open, especially on the kids, and make sure they are not flushing any items down the toilet. One of the worst culprits of toilet blockages is the flushing of baby wipes or female sanitary products that are not dissolvable and get stuck in the pipes.
When to Call a Plumber:
If the blockages are not easy to remove, call in a plumber. If you continue to try to remove them you may well end up causing more damage and more problems. If you keep getting clogs in the same pipe or drain, call in a plumber as this could indicate there is a more serious underlying problem.