Plumbing is a critical component of your home that you probably don’t think about much on any given day. However, when things go wrong with your plumbing, they tend to be hard to ignore. In fact, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cautions that a family of four using more than 12,000 gallons of water in a winter month based on their water bills could signify a problem. Here are plumbing issues that homeowners deal with most frequently.
You might think that the small drip from your bathroom sink isn’t a big deal and an issue that can be dealt with later. You might be wrong, and dealing with it now could save you big on water costs and further damage. A dripping faucet can water more than 5 gallons of water every day and is an issue that a professional plumber can fix in no time. If you’re experiencing low water pressure, there’s a good chance they can help with that by checking your pipes for clogs, and your water meter valves for proper function.
Clogged pipes are the pits and can often cause slow draining sinks and clogged drains. This situation can be caused by external factors like tree roots that cause an obstruction in the pipe that backs up the drainage. But most often, they’re caused by those living inside of the home and their hair, bathroom products, oil and grease, and the natural buildup of scale from your water. The good news is that plumbing services can clear the obstructions right up and have your slow draining sinks and clogged drains repaired in no time.
Your water heater keeps warm and hot water running through your pipes on demand. These appliances don’t last forever, though, and an average lifespan is about 8 to 12 years. If your hot water heater calls it quits, fixing it or replacing it is a job for the pros.
The telltale sign of a running toilet is if you hear water trickling through the toilet well after you flushed it. This is a common plumbing problem but one that you shouldn’t ignore. A running toilet can waste as much as one gallon of water per hour which might have a huge impact on your water bill. A clogged toilet might not impact your household budget, but it will have an impact on your ability to take care of business. Try using a plunger to clear the clog and call in a pro if that fails.
Each winter many homeowners find themselves faced with cleaning up after a busted pipe. Oftentimes pipes will freeze during prolonged periods of below freezing temperatures. The ice in the pipe expands and causes it to burst which isn’t such a big problem until the ice thaws and finds its way into your home or on your property.
Did you know that replacing an old toilet with a newer, more efficient version could mean using 13,000 gallons less water each year? That statistic also translates to big savings on your water bill. Maybe you’re wondering if toilet installation is a home improvement that you should tackle yourself. Here’s how to do it and here’s when to know if it’s time to call in a professional plumber to help.
One of the worst things that could happen when you’re attempting to install a new toilet yourself is to buy the wrong size toilet, lug it home, remove the old one, and get it into position before even realizing. It’s always wise to measure a couple of times to be sure you have the right dimensions before you head to the home goods store for toilet shopping. All toilets are not created equal and even a 2 inch difference in size could cause big headaches during installation. If in doubt, ask a pro to help you get the right measurements that will mean a successful installation.
You will want to turn the water off to the toilet, or the bathroom, or to be extra safe, the house while you’re working on your toilet installation. Drain the remaining water from the toilet tank by holding down the flushing handle. Once it’s close to empty, you can begin working to remove the old toilet. The first step is to free the bolts that attach the toilet to the floor. These can be stubborn and time can cause corrosion to set it. Once the bolts are removed, you should be able to lift the toilet up out of position. Never drag the toilet out of place because you could destroy the base that will remain in place.
Once the old toilet is removed, you’ll see the two screws that come up from the floor to which you’ll attach the new toilet. You will need to align the two screws with the predrilled holes in the toilet, and gently lower the toilet onto the screws. Once the new bowl is in place, you can fasten the nuts to the bolts and assemble the remaining toilet pieces.
You might run into problems along the way that could call for a professional hand. A few things you might encounter might be a major water leak caused by a broken connection despite your best efforts at the DIY installation. Problems encountered with the flange or wax ring that exists on the floor below where you place your toilet, or a toilet that rocks despite your best efforts to shore it up with a shim. A knowledgeable plumber can help with any of these scenarios.