Whether you rent or own your own home, eventually you will have to deal with some sort of plumbing problem. Fortunately, not every situation warrants a frantic call to the plumber. Many things are easy fixes, such as a toilet that continually runs or a clogged up drain. Others may require a lot more patience and instruction to fix, such as if you have to access any of the pipes that are behind a wall or under the ground. While these can be done at home still, if you don’t have the appropriate resources available to you, it might be a wise decision to call in an expert. Three of the most common fixes include: clogged drains, running toilets, and leaky faucets.

Snaking a Drain Clog

A snake, also known as a drain auger, is a very easy tool to learn how to use. Before you start, you will probably want to find a pair of rubber gloves. To begin, take the cable and insert it into the drain. As you continue to feed the snake down into the drain, you will want to begin turning the auger’s handle in a clockwise direction. As soon as you feel resistance, you have found where the blockage is located. At this time, you will want to slightly pull the auger back, while at the same time continuing to turn the handle. It may take a few tries, but eventually you will be able to push forward again, and completely get past the blockage. Once you have done this, it’s time to try to pull whatever is blocking the pipe out. Make sure you have something ready to clean up the mess, such as a bucket and a few old towels. If snaking the drain doesn’t work the first few times, it’s probably best to call in a plumber.

Fixing a Running Toilet

Although a constantly running toilet isn’t an emergency fix by any means, it definitely wastes a lot of water. Generally, the cause of a toilet that won’t shut off is a defective flapper or a tank ball that doesn’t fully seal. If water leaks into the overflow tube, the toilet won’t stop running after it has been flushed either. Sometimes, all it takes to fix it is jiggling the flush handle a little bit until you hear the water stop. If this doesn’t stop it, you might have to replace the flapper inside the tank which is a relatively inexpensive fix. Another cause for a running toilet may be the chain that connects the flapper or tank ball to the trip lever. If this has become caught on anything or kinked, it won’t allow for a proper seal.

Put a Stop to a Leaky Faucet

When a faucet contantly drips water, it is generally signalling that a part needs to be replaced. Of course, before you head out to the store to buy replacement parts, check to see which part of the faucet is leaking. There are four different types of faucets: cartridge, ball, compression, and disc. In general, if the hot and cold water is controlled by only one handle then the faucet is most likely a disc, cartridge, or ball. Compression faucets use two different controls. An important tip to remember is not to try torquing down on a faucet handle if you see it dripping. Chances are you will only make the leak worse. Generally, if there is a leak it means that either the washers, seals, or O-rings need to be replaced. If you don’t notice an improvement after replacing these parts, you might consider purchasing a new faucet.

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