Plumbing problems can cause enormous messes – these make for juicy stories over a beer or at the cottage – but many of the jobs we fix here at Triton Plumbing & Service are these smaller jobs.
Since we see them so often, we thought we’d put together a list for you, and give you some solutions for common plumbing problems as they crop up.
1. Pipes That Leak
Pipes do tend to leak occasionally, especially if they’re old and need to have their joints re-sealed, or are stressed by freezing/refreezing.
If you have a pipe in a cold room or basement and it’s during the winter months, you’ll want to keep an eye on those leaks, as they could be an indicator that the pipe has a hairline crack and is prone to burst during the next freeze.
2. Low Water Pressure
Low water pressure is most likely to be one of two things: either your showerhead or taps have buildup in them that’s preventing water flow, or you have an issue with your plumbing.
With the showerhead or faucets, it’s a simple solution.
Fill a small container with vinegar, and give them a bath to dissolve the calcium buildup.
Often, that will take care of your problem.
With the plumbing, you may want to call Triton Plumbing & Service, because you probably have a leak somewhere.
Water damage is expensive to repair, so if you have low pressure, check around to see if there are any pipes leaking or if you see corrosion on your galvanized pipes.
3. Drains That Won’t Drain
Drains that aren’t doing their job most likely have debris clogging them that you’ll need to remove.
Rather than use a chemical drain clearer from the grocery store, use a wire hanger and bend a hook on the end to dive down and remove the clog.
Not only is this easier and will save you a few bucks, it’s better for your pipes as well – the corrosive agents in chemical drain cleaners will decrease the life of your pipes.
On top of that, this stuff is awful for the environment.
Here are some other tips in order to prevent clogs in the first place:
• Don’t pour grease down your kitchen sink: keep a mason jar or an empty can for that, and then throw it out when it’s full.
• Keep a strainer over the kitchen sink drains so food doesn’t go down; these can be helpful in the bathroom to catch hair and soap that might otherwise go down.
• Clean out strainers and tub or sink pop-up stoppers regularly.
• If your clothes washing machine empties into your laundry tub, get a lint sock, and install that on the end of the hose so pocket lint doesn’t turn into a clog.
• Items stored above your toilet or bathroom sink can fall in and be a hassle to remove – try to keep items in baskets or elsewhere, if they’re small enough to cause trouble.
• Cold water is the best flush for your kitchen sink, especially during garbage disposal, because it reduces the food particles that cling to the inside of the pipes.
4. Toilets That Won’t Stop Running
Is your toilet running?
Then you better go catch it!
This is the one you always notice when you’re trying to get to sleep, and in case you didn’t know, it can have a huge impact on your water bill.
Start by checking the toilet flapper for decay or cracks, then check that the chain is long enough for the flapper to sit tightly.
Sometimes the culprit is the float ball and float arm, and these might need replacing if they are corroded or not working properly.
You can get all of these parts at your local hardware store, if you’re feeling confident.
If you’ve never fixed a toilet problem before, just call Triton Plumbing & Service and we’ll fix it so you can once again get a good night’s sleep – and stop dreaming of waterfalls.
5. Faucets That Drip
Another one that hits your water bill is the leaky faucet.
With this common issue, the problem probably lies with the gasket, which will need replacing.
Old gaskets crack from overuse, and start to let through water, even when the tap is turned off – a fresh rubber ring install will keep that seal tight and the dripping will stop.
6. Sump Pumps That Fail
Sump pumps are a great insurance policy against flooding, but if they fail, then you might have big trouble on your hands.
A sump pump is a pump that is sunk into a hole dug in your basement floor, with a hose that channels caught water outside the house.
You should check your sump pump on a regular schedule to make sure it’s working, and also install a backup battery in case of power failure, as a best practice.
Lastly, check that the hose isn’t clogged with twigs, ice, mouse nests, or anything else that might prevent the water from being pumped outside the house when you need it to be.
7. Water Heaters That Don’t Heat
We can’t think of too many things worse than a cold shower, which is why we recommend a yearly inspection and upkeep appointment for your water heater.
Sometimes you run out hot water because your tank is too small, but sometimes it’s just that the tank is too old – for instance, your insurance company likes them to be replaced at least every twenty years to prevent the bottom rusting and giving out.
Contact Triton Plumbing + Service
We take service calls for these issues just about every day, and we can be there for you 24/7, if you need one or more of these dealing with.
Water is a tricky thing, and it’s unforgiving – water damage often leads to mold growth in a house, which is a health hazard, and it can destroy your stuff with impunity.
That’s why at Triton Plumbing + Service, we’re happy to establish a preventative schedule with you to make sure you don’t see any of these common problems turn into huge messes – even if they are an eye-popping story later.