Some Easy Tips from Our Plumbing Pros
At Timothy Off, our Glen Mills plumbing experts are always here to help you solve a plumbing problem, but there are some fixes that you can actually do yourself. Here are some common problems that you can address before having to call us:
Leaks in Plumbing Joints
When you get a leak in a pipe joint, it’s probably because they aren’t sealed correctly. If this is the case, it can usually be fixed with a little Teflon tape and Teflon joint compound. Start by unscrewing the joint, then wrap the male threads with Teflon tape (about three layers should do). After that, spread a thin layer of joint compound over the tape and reconnect the original pieces. Twist until the joint is tight, then finish with a wrench and wipe away any excess joint compound.
A Running Toilet
If your toilet won’t stop running, it may be because of a faulty flapper and/or ball float (that bulb thing that floats in the tank). Start by turning off the water to your toilet. After that, inspect the flapper (which looks like a drain plug) for damage or corrosion. If it looks worn, it probably isn’t sealing like it should and needs to be replaced. If it’s not worn, it may be your ball float. If your ball float is cracked or full of water, it needs to be replaced in order to regulate the amount of water in your toilet.
A Jammed Garbage Disposal
A jammed garbage disposal is usually an easy fix and only requires pliers and an Allen wrench. First, make sure that the power to the disposal is turned off. After that, find the appropriate-sized Allen wrench that will fit into the center hole on the bottom of the unit. Insert the wrench and use it to turn the flywheel, which will loosen any jammed debris. After that, you can use pliers to pull out whatever was causing the jam.
Weak Water Pressure
Does the shower head in your bathroom seem to have a weaker water flow than usual? It could be due to limescale buildup. Limescale buildup can be easily removed with a descaling product. All you have to do is unscrew the shower head from the hose and unscrew the spray plate from the head (which will probably require a screwdriver). After that, immerse the spray plate in the descaling product and once it’s clean, screw it back onto the shower head.
A Clogged Bath Tub
If you’ve noticed your bath tub water going down the drain slower and slower, you probably have a clog – and that clog is probably a mixture of hair and gunk. Instead of using chemicals to unclog the drain (which can damage your pipes), we recommend removing the stopper and fishing out the clog manually. To do that, unscrew your stopper and the underlying shaft (if necessary). After that, use a stiff wire (a hanger will usually do) to fish out and remove the clog.
Hot Water Heater Buildup
Flushing your water heater tank every 6 months to a year can help remove buildup and operate more efficiently. First, turn off the power to the water heater, the gas switch to pilot, and the cold water inlet to the water heater. After that, connect your garden hose to the tank’s drain valve. Open the pressure relief valve, then open the drain valve and allow the water heater to empty completely. After that, close both valves, turn on the cold water inlet, and open all hot water spigots in the house. Once water flows from the spigots, you can close them and turn the power back on to the heater.
Remember – if you have any trouble with any of these situations, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We can help make things right.