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Common Plumbing Repair Tricks for Home Plumbing Systems


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Home Plumbing Repair Tricks

Owning a home is stressful. So many different things can go wrong that require a professional to fix. This can certainly be the case with home plumbing issues. However, not every plumbing issue requires a trained plumber to repair. Here are some of the most common home plumbing problems and, more importantly, how to fix them.

If you don't have time to deal with DIY plumbing projects or are not sure how to approach a home plumbing issue, contact a plumber at Stephens Plumbing. We offer plumbing repair and installation services to resolve your problems. Our emergency plumbing specialists collaborate with you to diagnoise and fix the plumbing issue in your home.

Running Toilet

Many people seriously underestimate the amount of water their toilets use every day. In fact, toilets use more water, on average, than any other household appliance or device. Leaky or continually running toilets are a common home plumbing issue that need to be fixed as soon as possible. When toilets have leaks or are continually running, the water usage skyrockets, resulting in a much higher water bill until the plumbine issue is fixed. A faulty flapper is often the culprit with a running toilet. Upon flushing, the flapper is what allows water to move from the tank to the bowl. This piece can deteriorate over time, creating a steady trickle of water and higher water bills.

To begin, empty the water in the tank. This is done by closing the toilet’s water shutoff valve and then flushing to release the water from the tank. Identify the flapper, which is a rubber or plastic piece with a chain attached. Unclip the chain from the flapper, and unhook the flapper from the pegs of the flush valve tube. Finally, all you need to do is connect the new flapper.

Depending on your toilet, you may not need the ring that comes attached to some flappers. If you don’t need the ring, you can remove it and connect the flapper to the pegs of the flush valve. If you do need it, you’ll simply use the ring to hook the flapper back into place. Reattach the new flapper to the chain of the handle lever, which should have a little bit of slack when the handle is in the resting position. Finally, reopen the toilet’s water shutoff valve, and your job is done! 

If you are having trouble fixing your leaky or running toilet, contact a plumbing repair specialist at Stephens Plumbing. Our plumbers offer trustworthy and efficient service and repair for toilets. We also offer installation services for toilers that cannot be fixued.

Clogged Drain

Clogged drains in your bathtub or sink are inevitable over time. Eventually, you’ll notice the water is draining more slowly than before. This is generally due to a buildup of hair, grease, soap, or other substances. Clogged drains are a common home plumbing issue since people use their bathrooms and kitchens everyday. Luckily, a good majority of home plumbing issues are able to be fixed with DIY plumbing repair methods. For clogs that aren’t especially major, you can try pouring several cups of boiling water down the drain (remove the stopper first). Then pour down 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of vinegar, and let this reactive combination work its magic for a half hour or so on your plumbing system. You’ll want to place a wet rag over the drain to ensure the reaction is contained. Finally, pour several more cups of boiling water down the drain and plumbing system. This will often break up whatever’s causing the backup in your drain.

If this doesn’t do the trick, you can try using a plunger. Fill the sink or bathtub with a few inches of water to cover the plunger, and start out slow so you don’t shoot water everywhere. Once the plunger has created a firm seal with the drain, begin to plunge forcefully for thirty seconds or so. If your sink or bathtub has an overflow vent, you’ll want to plug it up with a wet rag to create the seal necessary for the plunger to do its job. This repeated forcing of water down your plumbing system can work well at breaking up a clog. For more serious clogs, you might be best calling a plumber.

If these DIY plumbing repair methods are not affective, call a professional plumber at Stephens Plumbing. Our plumbers will remove the hard materials and objects from your drain to ensure optimal performance from your plumbing system. We offer emergency plumbing repair and installation services for home plumbing systems.

Low Water Pressure

You’re rinsing the dishes and notice the water seems to be coming out at a lower rate of speed than usual. This can be really frustrating. Low water pressure is a typical home plumbing problem that can be fixed with DIY plumbing repair methods. The first step toward fixing the plumbing problem is identifying the extent of the problem. Check other plumbing fixtures around the house. If water pressure is low for all of them, you should check both your water meter valve and your main shut-off valve. If either valve isn’t fully open, open it. If this doesn’t alleviate the plumbing problem, it’s possible that your pipes are heavily corroded. This happens to older pipes generally, and unfortunately usually means you’ll need to put in a new plumbing system.

If the low water pressure is limited to one sink or shower head, it’s possible that there’s buildup obstructing regular water flow. Some plumbing fixtures just need a good cleaning and they’ll be back to normal. Soaking your shower head or sink aerator in vinegar can help remove any collected gunk that’s slowing down the water pressure. If you realize that hot water is coming out more slowly than cold water, the problem may lie with your water heater.

If you are unable to pinpoint the source of your low water pressure, contact a plumbing specialist at Stephens Plumbing. Our plumbers will perform a thourough audit of your plumbing system and diagnose the issue. If the plumbing issue is not able to be fixed with standard repair, a new plumbing system will need to be installed to increase the water pressure in your home. We are able to perform plumbing repair and installation services for all plumbing systems and fix your issues.

Faulty Water Heater

A hot shower is a cherished respite from the cold. But when you’re being showered with lukewarm water, your day can really get off on the wrong foot. There are several things that can go wrong with a water heater, so here are a few of them to check.

First, make sure the pilot light is on. If it doesn’t appear to be lit, switch the gas valve to “Off.” After a few minutes, switch the gas valve to “Pilot” and press the button or valve down. Once the pilot light indicator comes on, keep the button or valve pressed down for another minute or so. If that doesn’t solve the problem, the water heater issue might be a faulty dip tube (the piece that moves water to the bottom of the tank where it’s heated), which can cause cold water to leak into the hot water. One or both of the heating elements of your water heater could also have gone out.

One other common issue is caused by the sediment buildup that occurs over time in water heaters. Without proper maintenance, like occasionally flushing your water heater’s tank out, the sediment can wreak havoc within the tank. If flushing out the tank doesn’t alleviate the problem, call a professional to do a thorough inspection of the water heater and see if a repair will suffice or if you’ll need to replace the whole unit. Water heaters tend to only last for a decade or so. Our plumbers are able to repair all kinds of water heaters for homes. In addition, we also provide water heater installation services if your unit is not able to be fixed. Contact a specialist at Stephens Plumbing to learn more about water heater repair, maintenance, and installation.

Home plumbing problems can, of course, vary, and some may require different solutions than presented here. If you run into a plumbing repair issue beyond your expertise, Stephens Plumbing can do the job with expertise and care. Call (630) 968-0783 or schedule an appointment online.