Some of the most common plumbing problems are things you can handle yourself. Knowing how to take care of them can save you a little on the high cost of living on Long Island.
If your toilet won’t stop running, open the tank lid and gently push down the flapper, the rubber valve at the bottom of the tank. If the running stops, your flapper isn’t sealing correctly and should be replaced.
Water continuously running into the overflow tube will also cause a toilet to run. The water level should be 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the top of
the overflow tube. You can lower the water level by adjusting the float.
A minor clog in a sink drain is one of the common plumbing problems, but it can often be cleared by pouring a few tablespoons of dish soap into the drain, followed by a kettle of very hot water. Let this work on the clog for 15 minutes, then flush the drain with another kettle of hot water. If that doesn’t work, try plunging the drain. For a clogged sink drain, use a plunger with an open rubber cup. It’s also worth trying a drain snake (plumber’s auger), but for a clog that’s truly stuck, call in a plumber.
To fix your leaky faucet, you need to know what type of faucet you have. A dripping compression faucet usually needs its rubber seat washers replaced. A ball-type faucet typically needs new springs, valve seats, and cam washers, which you can buy in a kit.
While you can usually prevent frozen pipes, if a pipe does freeze, shut off your water main and check for cracks in the pipe. If the pipe isn’t damaged, wrap it in towels that have been soaked in hot water. Turn the water main back on and open the tap corresponding to the pipe.
In most cases, some simple steps will help you take care of these common plumbing problems. If they don’t, it’s time to call in a professional.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about plumbing problems and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.
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