Owning your own home is rewarding, yet stressful experience. Unlike your apartment days, you can’t make an emergency call to the landlord at 2 a.m. if a pipe bursts, or have the owner cover costs of a broken dishwasher.
Repairs and upgrades are now up to you, so it’s important to understand the basics of plumbing maintenance and mishaps.
A running toilet can drive up your water bill if left untreated, but it’s an easy repair. The first possible culprit is the flapper. Push down on the piece to see if the water stops. If so, you’ve found your leak.
If the flapper isn’t the problem, check the fill tube connected to the overflow pipe. If the water level is too high, water will continue to drip into the overflow tube. Adjust the float until the water is about an inch below the tube to fix the issue.
Kids & Toilets
Despite what the packaging says, baby wipes should not be flushed. The towels don’t break down quickly enough and could lead to a clog. As your kids age – especially in the toddler phase – they’ll likely use too much toilet paper. Keep the plunger and drain snake nearby!
Stop pouring chemicals down your clogged drain and grab a few basic household items to remove the mass instead. A plunger or snake will likely do the trick for a basic clog. Hair and other debris can build up in pipes over time, so seal the rim of the plunger cup to the toilet bowl or sink and pump vigorously to release the clog. If that doesn’t work, try the Auger Snake to lift the substance from the pipe.
Keep your pipes clean naturally by pouring baking soda down the drain followed by white vinegar, and let the mixture set. Follow with hot water to rinse away the debris.
Having people over? A loose toilet handle, slow draining sink or leaking water line can make for awkward moments if not fixed before your guests arrive. Ensure everything is operating properly. No one wants to be the guest who thinks they broke the toilet!
Shut off water to the toilet before addressing the clog. Give the water about 10 minutes to recede, then use a plunger to alternate forceful and gentle plunges. If the plunger doesn’t work, as with the clogged drain, try the Auger Snake. If you can’t unclog the toilet with one of these methods, call in a pro.
To keep plumbing and appliances running smoothly, do a regular sweep of toilets and faucets to ensure you have no leaks. A yearly plumbing maintenance plan can prevent small issues from turning into major plumbing problems.