Every homeowner needs to be aware of a few plumbing basics to prevent a plumbing emergency and get the proper help needed when something goes awry with their system. Some issues are basic and can be easily addressed, while others require immediate professional attention.
Shutting Down Water Supply
- Most importantly, you must know how to shut off the water supply to your home. If your water is supplied by a municipality, the water meter and main shutoff valve are often located near one another. Make sure you know where it is! Look for a small. marked metal lid. It will look like an outdoor spigot. The valve should be turned clockwise to shut down the water supply. Turning off the water supply is imperative during a leak emergency to prevent costly water damage.
- Other water intake valves, such as the one to fill the toilet, sink or water heater may also need to be turned off during an emergency, so make sure to know where they are located.
Fixing Some Common Plumbing Problems
- Low Water Pressure – Usually experienced at a sink and is due to calcium deposits that have built up in the aerator, a filter screen located at the tip of the faucet.
- Slow Draining Sink – A very common problem, usually a sign of a clogged pop-up. You can remove and clean the pop-up, usually attached to the drain with a nut just under the sink. They can be unscrewed by hand or with pliers. Remove it, clean it of debris, and reinstall. Another option is to use a “zip it” tool to free the drain of debris.
- Slow Draining Tub – Typically due to hair clogging the drain and can easily be cleaned out using a “zip it” tool or even needle-nose pliers. Tub drains should be regularly cleaned out to avoid a real clogging problem.
- Running Toilet – Another common problem, but easy to diagnose. If you are somewhat handy, once you locate the problem area, the parts are pretty basic and easy to replace. Leaks can usually be traced to faulty flappers, broken fill valves, low or high water levels or floats that are worn out (water-logged or full of mineral build-up) and need to be replaced.
- Jammed Garbage Disposal – There should be a specific key that came with the system that is made for this purpose. It is usually taped to the system. If you do not have it you can use a hex wrench in the opening at the very bottom of the disposal, where you can insert the tool and free the motor.
- Overflowing Toilet – While this is a very common issue, it can definitely be one of a homeowner’s most stressful plumbing emergencies. First thing to do is turn off the shut-off valve to avoid having even more water on the scene. You should always have a plunger handy to unclog the drain. Remove the tank cover and make sure the rubber flapper is covering the water feed. Another measure is to lift up the float ball until the refill valve shuts off.
Basic plumbing problems can usually be quickly and easily addressed. But if you are not comfortable with plumbing systems, make sure the problem is stabilized by stopping water leaks or overflows by turning off the water valves. Then call a professional plumber.
Contact Home Comfort Experts today at (574)255.4600 to learn more about how we can install and repair your residential plumbing equipment. We have services in 12 locations including South Bend, Mishawaka, Plymouth, LaPorte, Elkhart, Columbia City and Fort Wayne in Indiana, and Niles and St. Joseph in Michigan. We offer specials and financing assistance to help meet your budgeting needs.