Simple Fixes for Common Plumbing Problems

One of the most shocking things I ever saw was water shooting all over my laundry room out of the top of our water heater. Thank goodness my husband knew what to do, because personally I didn’t have a clue. That’s when I got to thinking that it might be a good idea to know at least a little about plumbing in case I was home alone when the unthinkable happened. It was a good decision on my part and one that everyone should make. It’s just the nature of plumbing systems to develop clogs and spring leaks every now and then, and if you know what to do when something happens, you can save yourself a lot of expense later on.

Plumbing consists of all the pipes, valves, faucets, drains, toilets, and shower heads in your home. It allows you access to fresh water and drains away used water and wastes, with pressure being used applied to bring the water into your home, and gravity responsible for draining it away. As long as everything has been installed properly, a plumbing system should give you years of great service. Over the decades, however, plumbing parts can wear out, and things can clog toilets and drains so that the water can’t be carried away through the drains. If something like this happens, do you know what to do?

For most clogs, a plunger will do the trick. You may have to plunge a drain or toilet 15 or 20 times before the blockage gets forced down through the pipes, so don’t give up after only one or two tries. We got this same advice from a plumber once when our grandson tried to flush candy wrappers down our toilet. We tried to plunge the plug away, but gave up after awhile. We called a plumber friend, and he told us to keep Seattle Plumber trying. Finally, we did clear the drain and get everything working properly again.

Another type of clog you may experience is in your shower heads. With use, the holes in these fixtures can plug up and not allow as much water as you’d like to come through. Hard water is especially harmful on shower heads as it results in a scaly build-up. This problem can be corrected by removing the shower head and soaking it overnight in white vinegar. In the morning you can use a toothpick to push the softened debris out of the holes.

Commercial chemicals usually aren’t the best solution for clogged pipes and drains. These materials are strong enough that they can cause damage to your pipes and fixtures. In addition, if you pour something down a plugged drain, and don’t get the clog out, your child’s bath water could contain some of the chemicals which can burn skin. Using other methods, such as plunging, to remove the clogs is much safer and just as effective.


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