From clogged drain pipes to broken water heaters, plumbing problems can be a major hassle. However, not every plumbing problem has to be an ordeal to solve—in fact, not every plumbing problem even requires a plumber. Keep reading to learn three quick plumbing fixes every homeowner should know, and remember that for all your essential plumbing services, you can always trust our team at All Pro Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electrical.
Top 3 Easy Plumbing Hacks for the Average Homeowner
- For Leaky Pipes: While not every leaky pipe is an easy fix, there are a few reliable things you can try for when an unexpected leak occurs. First, find the closest shut-off valve and turn it counterclockwise until water stops flowing. For pipes attached to sinks and toilets, this will be the small knob underneath the connection. Showers and tubs, meanwhile, usually have an access panel with a valve on the opposite side of the wall. This is a useful thing to remember for big leaks and small, as it gives you some time to figure out what to do next while you wait for a plumber. In cases where the leak is not localized to one pipe, find your water main (usually located either outside or in your basement) and turn off the water supply for your whole home. Bonus—you can also temporarily stop a pipe leak by applying a pipe clamp around the leak, or, if the issue is a loose connection, use a rubber pipe/repair sleeve.
- For Cracked Porcelain: You might think that a crack in your porcelain toilet bowl, bathtub, or sink, is an automatic sign of disaster for that fixture. But it doesn’t have to be! To make sure that leak doesn’t get worse and end up costing a ton in water damage, just go to your local hardware store and purchase some plumber’s putty. Try to squeeze it as tightly as possible into the crack, and then apply caulk on top of it, creating a kind of double-seal over the damaged area. You should still call a plumber – ideally for emergency service – but even if you ultimately need to have the appliance replaced, this will make sure it is functional and does not start leaking in the meantime.
- Malfunctioning Water Heaters: Have you noticed your water heater making strange sounds lately, or found that it takes your water longer to heat up than usual? While water heater problems can be a big pain, and often require a professional, do not jump to conclusions. Oftentimes, your water heater is just having issues because sediment has built up in the bottom of the tank and needs to be flushed out. To do this, just turn off your water heater, run a tap for about 10 minutes to make sure there is no hot water left in the tank, shut off the cold-water supply on top of the tank, then attach a garden hose to the drain valve and let the water in the tank go into a nearby floor drain. Once this is done, open up the cold-water supply again, making sure not to close the drain valve or disconnect the hose. Finally, just watch the remaining water drain until you can’t see any sediment or discoloration left. This will not only help ensure you get more consistent hot water, but can save you money too, as your unit has to work harder to provide hot water when it is filled with sediment and may therefore increase your utility bill. Ideally, you should flush your water heater out once or twice a year, though if this does not solve your sediment problem, you could be dealing with a corroded anode rod—aka the part of your water heater that reduces mineral and sediment buildup. Luckily, this is easy enough to take care of on your own too, as you can buy a new anode rod online or in your local hardware store.