Home Plumbing 101: 5 Things Every Homeowner Can Handle
Every homeowner has the ability to diagnose and fix home plumbing problems in sinks, drains and pipes. Here’s a home plumbing primer so you know when to handle the job on your own and when to call in a pro.
Unclogging a Sink Drain
In the realm of basic plumbing problems, perhaps none is more common than a clogged drain. Regardless of whether the drain is in your kitchen, bathroom or basement, you can clear a clog by using a standard cup plunger. Pump the plunger several times over the drain without allowing air inside. If this fix doesn’t work, you may need a plumber’s snake or rooter service to clear the drain.
What to Do When There’s No Hot Water
If your hot water supply is down, check the circuit breaker switch to make sure it is in the on position. After you’re certain it is activated, set the thermostat at 120°F or higher.
If neither solution works, have a look at the water heater pipes to see if they’re leaking. Contact a plumber to fix leaks or test the electrical feed to your water heater. Though this home plumbing issue is common, electrical work is dangerous without proper training.
Fixing a Jammed Garbage Disposal
Dinner parties or heavy usage can do a number on your garbage disposal, but Marietta homeowners have do-it-yourself options once a disposal jams. Make sure the unit’s power supply is off before beginning. Shine a light inside to see if there are clear causes of the blockage. If so, use a pair of thin pliers to remove objects. Wait 10 minutes before turning the garbage disposal back on to test the unit. If the disposal is still clogged, you have serious blockage. Never use a chemical drain cleaner because it may damage your disposal further. Call in a professional to clear the block and fix the unit.
Diagnosing a Malfunctioning Toilet
Another common home plumbing problem is a malfunctioning toilet. Clearing a clog is usually as simple as using a plunger, but you should use a flange plunger designed for toilets rather than a cup plunger.
If you hear toilet water running and believe you have a leak, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank. Seeing the colored water run into the bowl indicates that there is a leak, which should be addressed immediately.
When you turn on a water fixture in winter and nothing happens, you likely have frozen pipes. The extended reach of the polar vortex made Atlanta susceptible to these issues in 2014. Your best move is to cut the water at the shutoff valve. To see if pipes are leaking, put a newspaper or bucket underneath to see if water collects. Corroded or burst pipes require immediate servicing.
Casteel’s pro plumbers will quickly diagnose and fix home plumbing issues from leaky faucets to burst sewer pipes.