Common Home Plumbing Issues

Nov10 By Home Services
a woman fixing her kitchen sink

Is your plumbing a mystery to you? We all rely on our plumbing working properly, but many of us aren’t sure what to do if it doesn’t. Having a basic knowledge of common plumbing issues and how to resolve them, however, can save money on repair bills.

  • Leaky faucets: If your faucet leaks or drips, check the O-ring seal before you call the plumber. An O-ring is easy to fix, and knowing to look for it can save you costly plumbing bills. If the O-ring doesn’t seem to be the problem, check the other parts of the faucet. It may be that a broken piece can be easily repaired after a simple trip to the hardware store.
  • Noisy faucets: A screechy faucet is probably a washer problem. Fortunately, washers are an easy fix using an inexpensive kit from the hardware store. If the faucet is clanking or clicking, listen to hear whether it’s coming from the pipes or the faucet itself. If it’s the faucet, you’ll probably need to take the whole faucet apart and reassembling it, looking for cracks before you put it back together, then tightening it well.
  • Slow draining sinks: In most cases, a sink that’s slow to drain means a blockage in the drain. In the kitchen, the problem is probably fat and food scraps, while in the bathroom the blockage is likely to be caused by hair and soap. Before resorting to harsh chemicals, try using a plunger, pouring down baking soda and vinegar, or using a plumber’s snake.
  • Toilet trouble: If the toilet won’t flush, it can usually be unclogged with a plunger, and if not, a sewer snake or auger should work. If the toilet is running, the problem is probably a faulty flapper valve. You can easily fix this with a toilet repair kit from a hardware store.
  • Low water pressure: If the flow of water coming from your tap has weakened, it could indicate a clogged aerator. How easy is this to fix? Clean mineral deposits from the aerator using a brush dipped in vinegar, and it should solve your problem.
  • Rusty fixtures: If there’s rust on the outside of your faucet, it may be on the inside as well, affecting the quality of your water. Examine your fixture carefully, to find the rusty piece and replace it.
  • Water heating issues: Does your water get too hot, or heat up too slowly? If it seems too hot, let it run for about 2 minutes, then read the temperature with a candy thermometer. If the temperature is above 125 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to turn the water heater down. This can easily be accomplished by adjusting the thermostat on your water heater. If it’s heating up too slowly, it’s probably a problem with the water heater. Water heaters should have annual maintenance, and be replaced every eight to ten years.

Having a basic understanding of your plumbing is important, but if there’s a problem that’s beyond your capability, it’s good to have a professional on call. At Puget Sound Plumbing and Heating, we’ve been taking care of business owners and homeowners in Seattle for over 20 years, and we can meet all your heating, cooling and plumbing needs. Family owned and operated, we provide superior service at affordable prices because our customers are our top priority. For help with your plumbing 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call (206) 350-0079 or contact us through our website.

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