Homeowners: Guide to Common Plumbing Issues

Plumbing troubles are an inevitable part of homeownership. From leaky faucets to clogged drains, these issues can disrupt daily routines and lead to costly repairs if left unattended. Fortunately, many common plumbing problems have straightforward solutions that don’t require extensive expertise. In this guide, we’ll walk you through five prevalent plumbing issues and provide simple steps to address them.

  1. Dripping Faucets
    A dripping faucet might seem like a minor annoyance, but it can lead to wasted water and higher utility bills over time. Usually, the culprit is a worn-out or damaged washer or O-ring within the faucet. To fix this, follow these steps:
    • Turn off the water supply to the faucet.
    • Use a wrench to carefully disassemble the faucet handle.
    • Replace the worn washer or O-ring with a new one.
    • Reassemble the faucet and turn on the water supply.
  2. Clogged Drains
    Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face. Hair, soap scum, and food particles can accumulate over time, obstructing the flow of water. For a quick fix, try the following:
  • Pour boiling water down the drain to help dissolve grease and soap residue.
  • Use a plunger to create a vacuum and dislodge the blockage.
  • Try a chemical drain cleaner (use with caution and follow manufacturer’s instructions).
  • Remove and clean the drain trap if accessible.
  1. Running Toilet
    A constantly running toilet is not only irritating, but it can also waste a significant amount of water. This issue often arises due to a faulty flapper valve or an improperly adjusted float. Here’s how you can resolve it:
  • Open the toilet tank and inspect the flapper valve. If it’s worn or damaged, replace it.
  • Adjust the float arm or water level if the water level is too high.
  • Check for any mineral deposits or debris in the fill valve and clean if necessary.
  1. Low Water Pressure
    Low water pressure can make daily tasks like showering or doing dishes frustrating. This issue can result from mineral buildup, a partially closed shut-off valve, or a faulty pressure regulator. Here’s how to address it:
  • Check all faucets and showers to see if the low pressure is consistent.
  • Clean faucet aerators and showerheads to remove mineral deposits.
  • Ensure all shut-off valves are fully open.
  • If the problem persists, consider calling a professional to inspect the pressure regulator.
  1. Leaking Pipes
    Leaking pipes can cause water damage and lead to costly repairs if not dealt with promptly. The first step is to turn off the water supply to prevent further damage. Next, follow these steps:
  • Identify the location of the leak and inspect the affected area for visible cracks or damage.
  • Temporarily patch the leak with a pipe clamp, rubber patch, or epoxy putty.
    For more extensive repairs, it’s recommended to call a professional plumber.
    Being a homeowner comes with its share of responsibilities, and plumbing maintenance is a crucial aspect. By addressing these common plumbing issues promptly, you can save both time and money in the long run.
    Remember, if you’re ever unsure about a repair, it’s best to consult a professional plumber to avoid exacerbating the problem. The tips shown here are useful and will solve the most basic of plumbing problems. Unfortunately, many problems can involve more complicated solutions than the examples we’ve illustrated here.
    Some of the solutions here also involve using certain tools that you might not have in your home and there are few things worse than trying to do a job without the right tools (we know this from long personal experience).
    So if you’re looking at trying to fix a basic plumbing problem on your own, the information here is very helpful. If you feel like you might be getting over your head a bit (or a lot) however, then get a professional in to help out. — John Williams