How A Plumber Can Keep Your Plumbing System Running Smoothly
Plumbing systems are crucial to our everyday lives, providing us with clean water and removing waste in the form of sewage. Plumbers help keep these systems running smoothly by performing a variety of tasks.
While some homeowners try to fix minor problems themselves, this often leads to bigger issues that require professional plumbing repair services. Understanding the most common plumbing repairs can help you determine when to call Platinum Plumbing for help.
Some signs of a drain clog are easier to spot than others, but all clues should be addressed as quickly as possible. If a clog is left untreated, it can lead to water and even sewage backing up into your home, requiring costly sewer cleanup and repair. Clogged drains can be caused by anything from food scraps to hair, soap scum, and other organic debris. It’s important to take preventative measures to keep these items out of your pipes, such as using a kitchen strainer and limiting the amount of oil and grease you use.
Some drain clogs can be fixed with household tools, such as a plunger or plumbing snake. However, if your drains are frequently getting clogged, it’s likely a sign of a bigger problem that requires professional attention.
The best way to diagnose a clogged drain is to turn off the water supply to that fixture. This will prevent the clog from getting worse and will also stop automatic processes, like washing machines or dishwashers, from flooding your home with raw sewage.
If you don’t have a shut-off valve for that particular fixture, you can still turn off the water to the entire house by locating the main water shutoff and turning it off. You can find this in your basement, usually in a crawl space or the garage, depending on your home’s layout.
First, try pouring a few cups of boiling water down the drain. This can often dislodge or dissolve a minor clog, so it’s worth a shot before resorting to harsh chemical cleaners.
Another DIY solution is to use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour a cup of baking soda into the slow drain, followed by a cup of white vinegar. Let the mixture sit for about an hour. Then, pour several more cups of hot water down the drain to flush out the pipe and move any clogged material down the pipes.
If neither of these methods works, it’s time to call in a professional plumber for a more extensive drain cleaning. If your clog is in a hard-to-reach place, it may require the added power of a drain snake or a high-powered sewer auger.
Clogged Main Sewer Line
All of your home’s drain lines hook up to the main sewer line, which runs from your foundation to the city connection. Over time, this line takes a beating from all the things that run through it. It’s not uncommon for the line to become clogged. When this happens, all your home’s drains can back up with raw sewage.
You can prevent a main sewer line clog by watching what goes down the drains. You should never flush cotton pads, sanitary products, napkins, oils, or other heavy materials down the toilets. Also, trim back any shrubs or large trees that may be close to the line. Roots can wiggle their way into pipes and create blockages.
If you suspect a problem with your main sewer line, call a professional plumber immediately. They’ll have tools that can safely and quickly remove even the most stubborn sewer clogs. These tools include mini sewer line inspection cameras, augers, and professional-strength drain cleaners. These tools will help the plumber identify the source of the clog, so they can fix it before it becomes worse.
When a sewer line clogs, it typically starts at the lowest drains and fixtures in the house. Because these drains and fixtures are closest to the clog, they’ll start backing up first. Watch out for slow drains and foul odors around the home, especially in the basement.
Since the main sewer line carries waste from the entire household, a clog can impact all of your home’s plumbing. If multiple drains in the home are backing up, you should shut off the water and call a plumber.
When you have a clogged main sewer line, the only solution is to have the line professionally cleaned and repaired. This is a job best left to a licensed plumbing contractor, as attempting it yourself can cause further damage to the pipes. This can lead to expensive repairs or even a full replacement. A qualified plumber can use a variety of techniques to clear the line, including high-pressure water jets and mechanical clog removers. Once the clog is gone, your plumber can inspect the line and repair any damage or cracks.
A leaking faucet can waste gallons of water, so it’s important to fix the problem quickly. Even a leak of 10 drops per minute can add up to over 300 gallons annually! Fortunately, this is one of the easiest plumbing repair jobs for homeowners. Start by shutting off the water supply valves underneath the sink, and then open the handle valves so that air can escape. This will prevent the pressure buildup that can cause a faucet to leak.
Turning off the water valves will also help to prevent water from sputtering when you open the handles. Next, remove the decorative cap and screw from the handle. This will reveal the screw underneath, which should be loose and easy to remove. If the screw is rusted or stuck, try using penetrating oil to break up any sediment that may be blocking its path. Once the screw is removed, you should be able to lift off the handles and expose the stem and seat washer. If you notice any deposits on these parts, you can clean them with a degreaser.
You’ll now need to disassemble the faucet. It’s a good idea to keep track of the screws, o-rings, and other small parts as you remove them so that you can reinstall them in the same order. It’s also helpful to cover the drain with a towel or old rag, as some of these small parts can be prone to falling down the drain!
Start by removing the dome-shaped escutcheon cap, which is usually made of metal. You’ll then need to remove the stem nut, and finally the spout assembly. If you’re having trouble finding the right replacement parts, it’s a good idea to bring your old ones to a hardware store to find an exact match.
Depending on the type of faucet, you may have to replace the cam washers, valve seats, and O-rings. Once the new parts are in place, it’s a good idea to coat them with waterproof/heatproof grease to make sure they won’t corrode or leak in the future. Reinstall the handle, and then slowly turn on the water to see if the dripping has stopped. If it hasn’t, it’s time to call in a professional!
Low Water Pressure
If your plumbing repairs aren’t providing enough water pressure, you can always contact a plumber to install a water pump booster system. These systems work to increase the amount of water flowing through your pipes, resulting in higher and more consistent water pressure throughout your home or business.
A lack of water pressure can be caused by many different issues, but if you notice that the problem affects multiple fixtures and locations, it could be due to a pipe leak or other larger-scale plumbing issue. To identify the source of the low water pressure, start by checking your home’s shut-off valves. These can be located outside near the hose bib, or inside in the basement or utility room. Make sure the valves are fully open and that all of your water-using appliances are turned off.
Next, take a reading of your home’s water meter and compare it to the previous reading. If the meter reading changes drastically within an hour or less, there’s a good chance you have an airlock in your pipes. An experienced plumber can help diagnose and fix this common issue.
Another possible reason for low water pressure is that your pipes are corroded. Older steel pipes can lose their protective layer of lime, causing them to break down and restrict the flow of water. If this issue goes unchecked, your home may experience flooding or a complete loss of water pressure.
To prevent this, consider working with a plumber to repipe your home with newer plastic or copper pipes. While this is an expensive option, it will save you money in the long run by preventing costly repairs and replacements.
If you’re experiencing low water pressure in multiple areas of your home or business, it’s important to ask your neighbors if they are also experiencing the same issue. If the problem is widespread, it may not be a result of your plumbing system but a municipal water supply issue. In this case, it’s best to contact your local water supplier to see if they are aware of the problem and when it can be expected to be fixed.