The purchase of your first home can be exciting, but you may not be prepared for the various tasks needed to maintain your investment. Considering the plumbing system is a key part of your home's function and family's needs, placing emphasis on your faucets, toilets, and sinks is smart. Thankfully, learning how to repair a few common plumbing problems will reduce stress after first moving into your home. Using this guide, you will understand how to properly unclog a toilet and repair a leaky handle.
A plunger should be one of the first things to move into your house, since toilet clogs are common. Unfortunately, if you are experiencing constant clogs in the toilet, you may have an underlying issue with your toilet and septic system. If these issues are not addressed, they can lead to a complete toilet failure, overflow, and expensive water damage.
While surprising to hear, a complete toilet failure can result in an estimated $5584 in expenses after your insurance deductible. Of course, you can reduce the risk of expensive repairs using the following tips:
- Inspect – If you have frequent clogs in the toilet, spend some time inspecting the interior parts. Remove the cover of your tank and flush the toilet, watching the interior components work. Make sure the valve cover opens and closes without any issues. If the drain cover is not covered by the valve cover, water will continue to flow out of the toilet after flushing, clogging toilet paper and waste more frequently.
- Clean Naturally – Visit your local discount or home improvement store and you will find a large selection of toilet cleansers. Many of these products contain toxic ingredients that are too harsh for your septic system, increasing your risk of septic backups and toilet clogs. For a natural cleaner, sprinkle a few tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet and scrub with your toilet brush. Flush after a few minutes to rinse the toilet bowl.
- Flush Safely – Specialized wipes may be deemed "flushable," but the material may not effectively break down after flushing. This foreign material can quickly build up in your septic system, leading to frequent clogs and more involved septic issues.
- Plunge Correctly – Improper plunging may actually force the clog deeper into the toilet drain, which may cause your septic system to back up. Be sure to place the rubberized end of the plunger directly over the toilet drain hole. Push the plunger down to ensure the rubber end is suctioned onto the drain hole. Then, move the handle up and down a few times in an attempt to pull or push the clog through. After the clog is released, flush the toilet to refill the bowl and move any leftover waste through the septic system.
As a first-time homeowner, you should prepare yourself for the annoying drip-drop of a faucet. The constant drip from a faucet is not only annoying but also wasteful. Since it only takes 4000 drips of water to waste a liter, the waste can really add up over time.
A leaky faucet, whether in the kitchen or bathroom, is a common plumbing problem that is actually easy to fix. To get started, close the valve to the water supply of your leaking faucet. Place the stopper into the sink drain of the leaky faucet and cover the drain and sink with a towel to prevent small screws and washers from falling into the drain.
Use a wrench to undo the faucet handle. Remove the nut, washer, and O-ring from the interior stem of the faucet. Add a small layer of plumber's grease to a new O-ring and washer. Reinsert them back onto the stem of the faucet handle. Use your wrench to tighten the nut on the faucet handle.
Turn the water supply back on and test the faucet to make sure there are no more leaks. If the faucet continues to leak, you may need to replace a worn seat, which is the small ring under the O-ring.
Clogged toilets and leaking faucets are not only annoying, but also wasteful and dangerous to your home's underlying plumbing and septic system. Using these tips, you can repair two common plumbing problems without a great deal of stress. If you can't solve these problems on your own though, contact local plumbing contractors like Trenchless Pipe Technologies.