Common Plumbing Problems & How to Fix Them

Drainpipe in the bathroom

Plumbing problems are an inevitable part of homeownership. These issues can cause significant inconvenience and potentially costly damage if not addressed promptly, from minor leaks to major clogs. Fortunately, many common plumbing problems can be fixed with some know-how and the right tools.

1. Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets are one of the most common plumbing problems. The constant dripping can be annoying and result in higher water bills.

How to Fix:

  • Identify the type of faucet: Determine whether you have a compression faucet, ball faucet, cartridge faucet, or ceramic disk faucet.
  • Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink and turn it off.
  • Disassemble the faucet: Carefully take apart the faucet using a wrench or screwdriver, depending on the type.
  • Replace the worn-out parts: Inspect washers, O-rings, and seals for wear and replace them as necessary.
  • Reassemble and test: Put the faucet back together and turn on the water supply to check for any leaks.

2. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains can occur in sinks, showers, and tubs, causing water to drain slowly or not at all. Common culprits include hair, soap scum, and food particles.

How to Fix:

  • Use a plunger: Place a plunger over the drain and pump vigorously to dislodge the clog.
  • Try a drain snake: Insert a drain snake (or auger) into the drain to break up and remove the clog.
  • Use a natural drain cleaner: Pour a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain, followed by hot water. This can help dissolve minor clogs.
  • Avoid chemical drain cleaners: These can damage pipes and harm the environment.

3. Running Toilets

A running toilet can waste significant water and lead to higher utility bills. The problem is usually caused by a faulty flapper valve, fill valve or overflow tube.

How to Fix:

  • Check the flapper valve: Ensure that the flapper valve is sealing properly. If not, replace it.
  • Adjust the fill valve: Make sure the fill valve is set to the correct water level. Adjust if necessary.
  • Inspect the overflow tube: Ensure the overflow tube is intact and not cracked.
  • Replace defective parts: If any components are worn or broken, replace them with new parts.

4. Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can frustrate daily tasks like showering and washing dishes. It can be caused by various factors, including sediment buildup in pipes, a malfunctioning pressure regulator, or leaking pipes.

How to Fix:

  • Clean the aerator: Unscrew the faucet aerator and clean out any debris or mineral buildup.
  • Check for leaks: Inspect visible pipes for leaks and repair them promptly.
  • Test the pressure regulator: If you have a pressure regulator, ensure it functions correctly. Replace if necessary.
  • Flush the water heater: Sediment buildup in the water heater can reduce water pressure. Flushing the tank can help clear it out.

5. Water Heater Issues

Water heaters are essential for providing hot water in your home. Common problems include no hot water, insufficient hot water, or strange noises coming from the unit.

How to Fix:

  • Check the thermostat: Ensure the thermostat is set to the desired temperature.
  • Inspect the heating elements: If you have an electric water heater, check the heating elements for wear and replace them if needed.
  • Flush the tank: Sediment buildup can affect the water heater's performance. Flushing the tank can help improve efficiency.
  • Call a professional: If you're unsure how to fix the issue, it's best to contact a licensed plumber.

Call Us Now for Professional Plumbing Help!

Understanding common plumbing problems and knowing how to fix them can save time and money and avoid potential damage to your home. However, if you encounter more serious issues or feel uncomfortable performing repairs yourself, don't hesitate to contact Jim & Sons Plumbing & Rooter at (951) 476-3252 for professional plumbing services. We're here to help keep your home's plumbing system in top shape!