Every homeowner will face a plumbing issue or two at some point. Here are a few of the more common ones and how to deal with them. Keep in mind water has minerals and that in San Diego we can usually see this in the form of corrosion wherever there is a valve or a joining of two pipes.
Probably in the top two of issues you will have with your plumbing, this one takes a few simple tools and a very cheap replacement part. This issue is almost always caused by a washer than has hardened and cracked or has some serious build up preventing it from forming a perfect seal. Once you open up the faucet and replace the washer(s), you will find the faucet works perfectly once again. You may want to buy several washers at a time to save yourself the hassle of driving over to the hardware store each time.
Falling water pressure
If you’re noticing your morning shower isn’t as powerful as it once was, you probably have some mineral build-up at the showerhead. Vinegar is a great remedy for this. You can unscrew the shower head and submerge it in a bowl filled with vinegar for as long as possible (preferably 24 hours). You should notice a big change in the showerhead water pressure. If there is no change, you may have a leak somewhere. This may even show up as low pressure/flow at a faucet(s). If this is the case, call a professional. Water may be pooling under your home. The more water is allowed to flow into the ground under the home, the higher the likelihood that your home foundation will suffer damage. Call for help immediately and save yourself a huge expense later on.
The toilet that won’t shut off when re-filling after flushing or shuts off and the starts up again later, is likely having issues with either the seal at the base of the tank (see washer issues in Leaky faucets) or the float is not properly shutting off the water inlet. A complete kit may be the simplest solution. Even if you do not use all the parts immediately, eventually you will find yourself needing the unused parts.
When the drain is slow to empty out the water, you may have a partial or even a complete blockage. A plunger, a drain-snake and a chemical drain cleaner may be all you really need. Using the first two much more frequently than the chemical drain cleaner will extend the life of your pipes.
The best way to ensure free flowing pipes and avoid blockages is to avoid letting things go down the drain in the first place. Haircatchers in the bathroom drains will be a big help. Even if you have a disposall in your kitchen sink, scrap off those scraps from the meal’s dishes into your garbage bag. Similarly, flour and (congealed grease belong in the trash bag. These two items are the fastest to clog your drain.
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