Salas: Five Common Installation Problems With Homeowners In Phoenix

(File photo)

From Nelson Salas

Few things are more frustrating to a homeowner than leaky faucets, weak water pressure, or a running toilet.

Bad plumbing is not only a nuisance to you and your family, it can cost you a significant amount of money on your water bill. Problems like leaking faucets or toilets that keep running are also wasteful and have a negative impact on the environment.

Plumbing problems are common in almost every household. Homeowners tend to postpone it for weeks or even months before addressing the problem. Often this is due to the inability to fix the problem yourself or not having the time to wait for a plumber.

In my 20+ year experience as a professional plumber, I’ve seen many of these common problems throughout my career. Here are five of the most common installation problems and what you can do to fix them.

Attach the drip taps

The most overlooked problem with homeowners installation is leaky faucets. Often times, people let dripping faucets keep dripping for some time because it doesn’t seem like that much of a problem. Over time, however, a leaky faucet can skyrocket your water bill.

To fix a leaky faucet, simply remove the top of the handle to reveal a number of screws, washers, and a rubber seal, which is the most likely cause of the drip. Remove the required screws and washers and replace the rubber seal with a new one. Once reassembled, it should form a tight seal and stop the offending drip.

Fix weak water pressure

If you have weak water pressure while showering, you know how annoying it can be.

Homeowners rarely know what to do about low water pressure and sometimes leave it standing until they get used to it. If this sounds familiar to you, there is a solution.

If the low water pressure is only in your shower, check your shower head or faucet for buildup. Over time, soaps and detergents can build up in your shower head and close the holes. If your shower head is clogged, you can clean it by soaking it in vinegar or rubbing alcohol.

After a few hours, rinse and test your shower head thoroughly. If you still find the pressure low, try cleaning it again. If that still doesn’t work, you may need to replace your shower head.

If you find that the water pressure is weak throughout your home, there may be a bigger problem. In this case, you should consult a professional plumber to inspect your pipes for mineral or sediment build-up in your system.

Repair running toilets

One of the most common problems homeowners face with their plumbing is a toilet that remains on for an extended period of time after it has been flushed. A running toilet wastes a lot of water and creates an annoying and persistent sound of running water.

If your toilet keeps running after flushing, remove the top from the rear tank and see if the flap completely covers the hole at the bottom. If the flap covers the hole, make sure the lever chain is properly positioned and has enough slack for the flap to fit over the hole. When you check your system, you find that your door is cracked or the chain is broken. Then they have to be replaced.

You can visit your local hardware store for inexpensive replacement parts.

Repair slow drains

Another common problem is a slowly draining sink or shower. This often happens when the hair in the sink or shower drain becomes clogged and the water backs up.

Clogged drains are a relatively simple solution that store-bought drain cleaners can be used to fix. A natural way to clog the drains is to use a combination of vinegar and baking soda to squeeze out the clog, followed by boiling water to clear any remaining buildup.

If you’re constantly having slow drain issues, I recommend using a bio-clean drain cleaner on a regular basis. These cleaners contain natural bacteria and enzymes that digest dead organic waste in your plumbing system and keep your pipes clear.

Repair leaking pipes

When it comes to fixing a leaky pipe, the problem often isn’t in fixing it, but in finding the location of the leak. If you’ve noticed puddles of water, chances are you have a leak.

I recommend checking the pipes you have access to and looking for the leak. Once the leak is found, the first step in the repair process is turning off the water supply.

You will then need to disconnect the pipe, apply a joint sealant to the area, and then bring the pipe back into position. If you find that the leak is from a crack or hole in the pipe rather than the connection, I recommend calling your local plumber to fix the problem in a timely manner.

All of these problems are common in homes and are relatively easy to fix. However, when you are faced with a plumbing problem you know you cannot fix yourself. Call a professional plumber. Sometimes trying to fix a problem without knowing what you are doing can make the problem worse.

Editor’s Note: Nelson Salas is the owner of Amigo Rooter & Plumbing in Phoenix. Salas is originally from El Paso, Texas and has worked full-time as a master plumber in Texas and Arizona.

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