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Home Plumbing Problems

LEAKS MAKE UP MOST HOME PLUMBING PROBLEMS

Leaks are home plumbing problems you can usually do on your own without having to call the plumber. Learning to detect and fix simple plumbing problems on your own can definitely save you a huge amount of money. After all, plumbers aren’t cheap.

If you’re handy with do-it-yourself projects around your home, you should be able to nip these home plumbing problems in the bud. Here’s a closer look at how to detect leaks, patching tips for a quick fix and information on other common home plumbing problems.

DETECTING HIDDEN LEAKS

Before you can fix it, you’ll have to find it and sometimes you’ll can hear it and follow the sound to the source. Listening devices are also available to rent, that amplify the sounds of a leak. Most home plumbing problems have detecting tools for DIY homeowners. Once you find the leak, turn off the water before attempting the repair.

Look for stains. If you see water dripping from the ceiling or you have a stain on the ceiling, the leak you are looking for should be right above that area.

Find the ceiling joists with a stud finder and cut out a 16″ x 16″ square hole, pull down the drywall or remove the ceiling panelsand, with your flashlight, look around.

Sometimes water travels a distance from the leak, and if you see water stains on a wall, they’ll usually be well below where the leak is.

Leaks often happen in crawl spaces and basements and are openly visible. If you see evidence of a leak, like water on your basement floor, moisture barrier or ground, use your flashlight to check the pipes immediately above the wet spot. Decide if the leak is from a joint or a hole in the pipe itself.These are real problems and can be really difficult. If its a leakingcopper pipe, there may be a PVC solution. Take a photo and talk to a sales rep at a big box. Tightening a connection may stop some of those leaks.

PATCHING LEAKS

There are easy ways you can patch a leak. This approach is going to depend on the specific type of leak you’re dealing with. Many home plumbing problems are like that. If you find a leak in a pipe, patching may be a temporary fix and may only work until you or a plumber can install a new section of pipe.

Patch kits can be purchased at hardware stores and big boxes. There are a variety of styles, from metal clamps with rubber linings to special tapes, or you can make your own by using C-clamps and heavy rubber from an inner tube. This is not recommended as you are relying on materials not made for plumbing. In any event, you should plan a real repair, before replacing the wall section you cut out. But, talk to a professional first.

emergency plumber

TOILET LEAKS

Is there water on the floor around the base of your toilet? While this sounds serious, it’s actually a fairly easy fix. In most cases, this home plumbing problem can be resolved by simply replacing a “wax ring.” Turn off the water at the wall behind the tank, then flush, remove any water left in the bowl and tank, disconnect the water line and unscrew the two nuts at the base and pull the toilet up.

Set it in the tub. Clean away all that icky, waxy stuff (it’s actually wax) and clean the floor flange so all the gunk and debris is eliminated. Then, replace the wax ring and simply put the toilet back in place, aligning the two floor bolts up through the holes in the base of the toilet, slightly rocking it as you gently push down. Its an unpleasant job, but in most cases, this will fix it. You really should have someone help, as its an awkward job as well, but one person can do it alone.

If the toilet you just removed is an old one, this might be the time to consider buying a new, low flow toilet. The money you save could make up for the unpleasantness, and its the right thing to do for the planet. Also, some green items and household appliances are eligible for kick-backs and rewards, too! May as well make the most of your home plumbing problems.

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Updated: November 10, 2015 — 11:12 pm

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