Common Plumbing Household Problems and Solutions

Fixing Plumbing After buying your first home, learning how to care for your pipes can help save you money on plumbing repair. With the right tools and a little basic knowledge, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars on plumbing repair every year. 

Clogged Drain

Slow drains are typically caused by a buildup of hair and other organic debris in the pipes. To fix a slow drain, there are a multitude of strategies which could be attempted. One method is to flush the drain with several cups of vinegar, then allow the vinegar to sit for several minutes. Once the vinegar has had time to clean the inside of the pipe, flush it with hot (not boiling) water.

If the drain is fully clogged, use a plumber's auger. Insert the screw-tip end of the cable into the pipe, then feed the cable farther into the pipe until it meets resistance. Crank the handle of the auger, then push the cable farther into the pipe until it hits the clog. Twist the cable around in the clog, then remove the cable to dislodge the clog. 

Hard Water Scale Buildup on Shower Head

Crusty, hard water scale can clog your shower head, resulting in low water pressure when you take a shower. To eliminate the scale, fill a plastic bag with vinegar, place the bag over the shower head so the shower head is soaking in the vinegar, then hang the bag there for an hour. When you're done, remove the bag and scrub the scale off of the shower head. Finally, turn on the hot water to flush the inside of the shower head.   

Hot Water Heater Makes Popping Noises

Homes with hard water may develop a layer of sediment in the bottom of the water heater. When the water heater turns on, water stuck beneath the sediment may boil, causing audible popping noises. To fix this problem, drain your hot water heater. 

  1. Turn off power to the water heater and shut off the water supply to the unit.
  2. Turn on the hot water faucet in a bathtub or sink.
  3. Attach a hose to the spigot at the bottom of the water heater. Run the other end of the hose to a drain or a bucket.
  4. Open the spigot. Be careful; the water will be hot! The water that comes out of the heater should be dark and grainy.
  5. Allow water to drain from the water heater until the water runs clear. 
  6. Turn off the spigot, close the hot water faucet in the bathtub or sink and turn back on the water supply to the heater.
  7. Turn the hot water heater back on when it is finished filling with water. 

To stop this problem from occurring in the future, and to protect your home from hard water buildup, talk to a local reputable plumber. 

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