The professional plumbers at Megee Plumbing & Heating have certainly seen a lot of serious problems in homes. Slow drips can become huge floods, loose pipes can break, and even dependable toilets can overflow. You may be surprised to learn, then, that many plumbing issues can be solved with just a bit of knowledge and a few simple hand tools.
Before the problem escalates into something that we solve every day, here are some easy fixes you can perform yourself.
1. Dripping Faucets
Do you hear it? The pit-pat of a dripping faucet can drive the wisest men and women insane, not to mention wasting over 2500 gallons of water over a year. That is money you are throwing away on your water bill!
The first thing you should do is determine the source of the problem. Remove the aerator from the faucet spout (it should be easy enough to unscrew with a bit of help from a wrench). The mesh in the aerator can build up with mineral deposits and cause poor water pressure and leaks. If you notice the water leaking from your faucet handle, a deteriorating O-ring on the inside of the handle may be to blame. Replacing this is very easy and cheap, as you can buy O-rings of any shape or size at your local hardware store.
2. Leaking Pipes
This issue may be a bit more difficult to overcome, especially if your house is older and fitted with copper pipes. Leaks occur between the joints of pipes for a number of reasons. One infamous reason is your pipes freezing during the winter and thawing in the spring: ice expands when frozen, and then drips through the expanded cracks in the metal.
The real fix for copper pipes in sub-zero temperatures is to replace them with PEX pipes. While normally weaker than copper, they are better suited for pressures during changes in temperature and flex instead of break. During the winter, prepare your pipes with insulating tape or other insulating materials, and make sure to have your plumbing inspected every season or so to make sure you don’t find yourself flooded.
3. Deteriorating House Bibbs
No, these are not bibs you might put on babies. These are bibbs, the faucets we use on the exterior of our homes that connect to hoses for lawn maintenance. While bibbs are made in many different metals, they are susceptible to the same stresses that pipes are during freezing temperatures.
Making sure your house bibb is replaced every other year can save your home once the ice comes, as a frozen bibb can crack and waste hundreds of gallons of water…on the inside of your home. Once again, however, house bibbs are very inexpensive and are simple to change. Just be sure to turn off your home’s main water valve before you remove it!
4. Running Toilets
If you can hear your toilet running minutes after using it, there’s a problem. You can waste a lot of money a year on a leaky toilet when you can replace every part of your toilet tank’s interior for about twenty bucks.
First, check to see if the rubber flapper at the bottom of the tank is to blame. This stopper can deteriorate and leave cracks wide enough to water to continually drip through. Check the chain between the flapper and the handle to see if it is the proper width to drain your toilet without keeping the stopper always upright. Your toilet fill valve may be to blame as well. With older model toilets, it may include a rubber ball that closes the valve once the tank fills with enough water. If it is newer, you can buy a kit for less than fifteen bucks to replace the whole thing.
5. Sewer Woes
This is the issue that is the most difficult to fix yourself. Sewer lines that connect to your home or your toilet can break, leading to eye-watering smells. Always try flushing the system with a toilet plunger. If this does not do the trick, you can purchase a drain snake. A drain snake is a wire hose that travels through the main pipe of your toilet and forces the clog to drain through. Properly using a drain snake is important, so make sure to follow the instructions provided.
If you find that your plumbing problems have not gotten better despite your best efforts, Megee Plumbing & Heating can solve the issue at an affordable rate. As a family-owned business for over 80 years, we have seen almost everything. Give us a call today, or leave us a message through our website. We are here to help get your plumbing flowing right!