All too often, leaks, clogs, and water temperature problems can ruin the convenience of a home plumbing system. While many homeowners rely on a professional plumber to fix all of their home plumbing problems, there are a few simple fixes that anyone can do. Here are the fixes for three common plumbing problems.
There are a number of different noises that can come from the pipes in your home, and the type of noise that you hear will vary depending on the cause of the problem. One of the most common sounds that you will hear is a banging or rattling sound. This is usually caused by pipes that are not properly secured by their pipe straps. Try tightening the mounting straps or adding more if necessary. You can also dampen the noise by installing pipe insulation.
If you hear a loud slamming noise when you turn off your water, you are hearing the water hammer effect. Water hammer is a noise that occurs when the water in your pipes comes to a sudden stop when you turn off the faucet. Your plumbing has air chambers that are designed to prevent the slamming noise by cushioning the water as it stops, but these air chambers can fail over time.
The easiest way to repair water hammer is to turn off your water at the outside stop valve. The valve is usually located in the same chamber as your water meter, and you may need to purchase a valve key to turn the valve properly. After you have shut off the valve, go back inside and turn on the faucet where you noticed the water hammer problem. The faucet will drain and allow the air chamber in your plumbing to refill with air. Turn your water back on at the stop valve and you will no longer hear the water hammer.
Leaking Copper Fitting
Over time, the soldered copper fittings in your plumbing system can begin to leak due to corrosion around the solder joint. To repair this problem, you can simply resolder the fitting. First, shut off your water at the stop valve and drain the faucet(s) that the pipe with the leaking fitting runs to.
The outside of the fitting will need to be clean and dry for the solder to bond properly. Dry it off with a cloth, and use 120-grit sandpaper to sand away corrosion on the outside of the fitting. Now you can re-solder the joint by adding soldering flux to the old solder, heating it with a torch, and applying new solder while the fitting is still hot.
After you have allowed the fitting to cool, turn your water back on at the stop valve, and turn on the faucet to test that the leak has stopped. If the fitting is still leaking, you will need to remove the joint and solder in a new fitting.
Toilet Won't Stop Running
A toilet that is running constantly can quickly run up your water bill without you even realizing it. As soon as you notice that the toilet is not turning off after it is used, you should open the tank and inspect the flush valve flapper. If the flapper is torn or warped, it will not cover the valve properly and will allow water to continuously run into the bowl. Replace the flapper as soon as possible.
While there are several major plumbing problems that will always require a plumber from a place like Aaron & Son, knowing a few quick plumbing fixes can save you the time and cost of hiring a professional. Learn these tips so you can add plumbing repair to your DIY skills list.