Whether you're a new homeowner or have been handy with a wrench, snake and other tools for years, there are some situations that require more than a plumbing amateur's skills. From the kitchen sink to the toilet and pipes underneath your home, these problems can occur at any time. As a homeowner, you should know how to handle them and when to call a professional.
Clogged Drains or Toilets
When the water that's sitting in a bathtub, toilet or sink won't go down the drain, you have a problem. Start the repair process by first determining what caused the problem. Is it a clump of hair or a grease build up? Something worse, perhaps? Whatever the case, finding out about it first is essential to finding a solution.
Most toilet clogs can be handled with your trusty plunger. The clog in your drain will likely go away if you use a commercial grade drain cleaner. If you decide to use a commercial drain cleaner, wear gloves and a protective mask at all times.
If the clog persists after a few times, it might be time to call the professionals. Don't overdo it with the drain cleaner because you might end up hurting yourself and damaging the pipes.
Professional plumbers have tools that can help identify the problem much easier, such as snakes and video cameras. They'll be able to use one of their many de-clogging tools to remove your clog in no time.
Regardless of the reason, a burst pipe can cause thousands of dollars in damage if not rectified in an appropriate amount of time. The best way to fix a burst pipe is with a C clamp. The first step is to turn off the water completely. Then, place a piece of rubber over the exposed area of the pipe. Secure the rubber by placing a piece of wood on top and then tightening down both pieces with a C clamp. Make sure you tighten the C clamp until both the piece of wood and rubber are secure.
In most cases, burst pipes can only be fixed temporarily by homeowners. Once you've turned off the water and secured the pipe, call a professional; they might have to replace the pipe altogether.
A leaky fixture, such as a faucet, can be extremely annoying. Luckily, you only need a few tools and some basic knowledge to fix this type of problem.
First, remove the handle by removing the screw that attaches it to the faucet. Then, try tightening the packing nut which is located at the base of the stem. After you've tightened this nut, place the handle back onto the faucet and test to see if the leak is gone.
If this simple process doesn't work, you may need to replace some necessary parts, such as washers or nuts, or it may be time to get a new faucet altogether.
No Hot Water
Lack of hot water is an issue that millions of people across the United States experience on a daily basis. If you have an electric water heater, some of the causes may be a tripped circuit breaker, a bad thermostat or a faulty electric heating element. Once you've finished the troubleshooting process, the best thing to do is to replace any parts that you find are broken. Most plumbers have extensive knowledge of water heaters and should be contacted immediately.
Source: Mammoth Plumbing