Burst pipes, low water pressure, clogged drains – these are three of the most common plumbing problems. When a dilemma arises you may be tempted to pick up the phone and contact a local plumber. However, there are many do-it-yourself tactics that could save you a lot of money and hassle! In fact, most faults are easy to fix and when you learn how to maintain fixtures properly, the chances of future complications reduce. By taking matters into your own hands you can save hundreds of dollars. If you have located the source, use the following advice to help you detect plumbing issues and how to fix them:
1. Burst Pipes – During winter, the water flowing through the pipes can freeze, which can cause the pipes to burst. Leaking pipes can also happen at other times of the year. A plumber may replace the piping system completely. This can be quite costly, particularly if more than one pipe has expanded and cracked. An alternative and low-cost option is to find the stop valve and turn it off as soon as you notice there is an issue. After doing this, switch off the central heating boiler and immersion heater to prevent flooding and water damage. Hot and cold taps should be opened to drain remaining water, and the electricity supply should be switched off for safety reasons. Cloth or tape will act as a temporary binding for the burst pipe. When you have time, replace it with recommended piping, such as copper, PP or PEX.
2. Low Water Pressure – This problem can be detected at the sink faucet. If the water dribbles rather than gushes when you turn the tap, there could be an underlying pressure problem. Low water pressure will affect both hot and cold water, and the cause is normally calcium deposit build-up. When these deposits accumulate, the aerator becomes blocked. The solution is simple – remove the aerator and remove any debris. If this doesn’t work, you may need to get in touch with a plumber who can replace corroded pipes, fix leaks or repair connecting appliances. Make sure the plumber is registered when dealing with plumbing issues and how to fix them. You can confirm their experience by asking to see their plumbing license.
3. Clogged Drains – Unpleasant odors are the first sign of drain blockages. Other signs of a clogged drain include overflowing toilets, slow-draining bath/shower drains, strange sounds and unusual reactions when using plumbing fixtures. It is imperative that you refrain from using plumbing in the home until the obstruction is cleared. Common causes of sewer line obstructions include foreign objects like baby diapers, oil and grease. This is one of the most frustrating plumbing issues and how to fix them, you ask? Well, you can try a homemade cleaner if the problem lies in the private line. Pour a solution of salt, baking soda and water down the drain and allow it to sit overnight. If problems continue, hire a professional who can deal with main sewer line blockages.