Plumbing is perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of being a homeowner. Nobody even gives it even a second thought until a problem pops up out of nowhere. To avoid these emergencies, educate yourself about some of the most frequently encountered plumbing issues and prepare yourself for the worst.
Here are some of the most common residential plumbing FAQs.
How to avoid water damage
Check the tiles around your tub for any missing plaster. Water can seep into these spots and damage your floors and walls. Repair the missing plaster areas and keep the area dry to prevent water from standing there for too long.
Sinks soak up moisture all day long so you should check for any cracks around the plaster. If there is a crack, you should suspect a plumbing issue.
Check the seal on your toilet regularly. If there is water near your toilet’s base, get your seal replaced. Tank leakage is also a common issue that can damage your bathroom if not attended too soon.
Water leaks in bathrooms can be quite tricky to detect. An excellent way to assess that is to check for discoloration and soft spots on the walls of the bathroom as well as adjoining rooms.
What to do in case of a burst pipe
A commonly asked question pertaining to residential plumbing is that of a burst pipe. In such cases, put yourself in safety first and turn off the main water valve to prevent further damage. Assess the damaged site and switch off the electricity, especially in the affected area of your home to avoid the chances of electrocution. Take a picture to avail your insurance claim.
Start clearing the clutter by removing everything that has been touched by the water to a dry area. This includes rugs, books, clothes, furniture, etc.
What to do first if the toilet is overflowing
First, stop the rush of water by pressing down on the flapper valve. The flapper valve is a rubber piece at the bottom-center of the tank. It stops the water from flowing into the bowl and from spilling over the sides.
Investigate the issue by testing other plumbing fixtures in the bathroom. The most common reason for toilet overflowing is due to blockage by a foreign object, such as a small toy or ball, or material influx, such as tissue paper. Try to unclog the toilet using a plunger. If it does not help, call for professional help. If the issue is only in one toilet, it is most likely due to a blockage.
What is a quick solution for a clogged pipe
A clogged toilet is super messy. The best way to unclog it is with a plunger. Do not try to flush the toilet because it will only add to the problem and overflow.
For a clogged kitchen sink, the best way to prevent the sink from clogging is not to put any grease down the drain. The grease cools down, deposits inside the pipes, and catches other particles to add to the problem. Use a plunger to unclog the sink. Clogged bathtubs have a similar issue as kitchen sinks. Try the same method with them as well.
If there is a significant pipe clog, you might have a bigger issue on your hand. You can use a plunger or a plumber’s snake for the task. However, if they fail to work, use Drano, to unclog your pipes. It is crucial to take care of the amount you pour in the drain for excess might damage your pipes. If the matter is beyond your control, you know who to call.
What warning signs point towards repairing
High water bills and a drop in water pressure are good indicators of a leak.
If you cannot seem to get hot water in your home, there could be sedimentation in your heater or water lines.
You might also notice a peculiar odor in a particular area. The smell could point out to a leak in your sewer line.
Stains and damp areas on walls and ceilings point to a pipe leak. In case of cracks, know that small cracks get more prominent. Do not overlook it for it might evolve into an even bigger issue.
Can a leak be fixed at home
Before you start and invite a possible disaster, locate the main cutoff valve. In case things go south, you can cut off the main water supply. If the leak is a big one, it is best to call a professional.
If you are looking to DIY it, here is what you can do:
- Use duct tape or electrical tape around the leak
- Use epoxy to seal fittings and joints. Make sure to dry the surface beforehand, or the epoxy will not stick
- Place a rubber pad and screw a pipe clamp or a hose clamp over it.
- Use Teflon tape around the threads of a leaking faucet.
Can a plumbing job be DIYed
Make sure to ask yourself a few questions first concerning the job.
- Do you have the tools for it? If you do not and you buy them, the cost adds up to the same as it would for hiring a plumber.
- Do you have the materials needed? Items like small pipes, faucets, fittings, and valves are a part of plumber’s kit. If you do not have them, buying them would only be a waste of time and money.
- Do you have time to do the job? An emergency needs immediate attention so you would have to take time off work. Why wait for free time when you can get it done now by calling a plumber?
- Do you have the skills for the job? Every job requires skill, and plumbing is not something you should experiment with. Do not even consider attempting it if the job is beyond your understanding.
- Do you have the knowledge for it? Basic plumbing jobs like unclogging a toilet or a drain are something you can learn off Youtube. As for complex tasks like installing new equipment or changing a toilet, require more specialized knowledge.
- Can you afford the damages if things go wrong? Doing a plumbing job yourself mainly stems from trying to cut down on repair costs. If things go wrong and you find yourself with a bigger issue on hand, do you think you can afford it?
Save yourself the effort and call for professional help when you find yourself in a tricky plumbing situation.