Your home’s plumbing system is more complex than you might think. When you encounter a minor issue, consider trying one of these quick fixes, and when you have a major plumbing problem in your Sarasota home, here’s when to call the pros.
Caulk Around a Bathtub or Sink
When you notice cracked or deteriorating seals in your bathroom or kitchen, re-caulking is a quick and easy way to prevent leaks, water damage or other plumbing problems from developing. Start by removing the existing caulk around the bathtub or sink with a putty knife or a razor blade. It’s important to remove the old caulk as thoroughly as possible since new and old caulk don’t always work well together. When you’ve removed the old caulk, vacuum up the debris to create a clean work surface.
Next, use a caulk gun to apply an unbroken line of caulk. Make sure your lines are neat and professional looking by smoothing out the lines as you go. Wet your fingertip slightly, and wipe down each line of caulk. Since this substance dries rapidly, be sure to work as quickly as possible, but remember you can always remove the caulk and start over if necessary. If you notice any leaks or plumbing issues after re-caulking around your bathtub or sink, call a plumber to consult. Only a professional plumber should take on major plumbing fixes like re-piping.
Replace a Showerhead
Removing an old showerhead and replacing it with a new one is another relatively easy plumbing fix. This job is as simple as unscrewing the existing showerhead and carefully screwing on the new one. If the old showerhead exhibits a lot of resistance or is particularly difficult to remove, you might need to use a pair of tongue-and-groove pliers. This tool has a great grip and allows you to work from a variety of angles.
If this isn’t in your toolbox, you can consider calling a professional plumber for this quick job. You might not want to hire a pro for such a small task, but a showerhead replacement is a job you can add on to a larger project or repair.
Fix a Leaky Faucet
Most faucet problems result from either a drip from the spout or a leak at the base of the faucet. Either repair can be straightforward or challenging, depending on the type of faucet you’re working with. Rotary ball faucets, for example, are a classic choice, and you’ll be able to find most parts you need at your local home improvement store. Parts for many brands of cartridge-style faucets and ceramic disc faucets, however, aren’t as common and can be more difficult to find at a moment’s notice.
Like many plumbing repairs, fixing a leaky kitchen faucet requires that you shut off the water supply to the area before doing anything else. If you’e not sure where your water shut-offs are, this is a good chance to familiarize yourself. You can typically find shut-offs near the sink or in your home’s basement, and you’ll usually find your system’s main water shut-off where the water line enters your house. If you can’t find the shut-offs or aren’t comfortable turning your home’s water supply off and on, call a plumbing expert for assistance.
Install a New Bathroom Faucet
Whether your faucet shows serious damage and requires a replacement or you’re ready for a new faucet design, you can consider taking on the job yourself. First, shut off the water supply to your sink and remove the old faucet. You’ll want to make note of the connection points on the existing faucet so you can find a new model with similar connections. Once you purchase a faucet that meets your needs, you can typically follow the directions on the faucet package to do the job right.
If your plumbing needs are more extensive than a single faucet installation, Aqua Plumbing and Air provides new plumbing installation services. Whether you’re considering replacing all of your plumbing fixtures, installing a new toilet, or going green with low-flow fixtures, Aqua Plumbing and Air offers experienced service along with products from the most in-demand plumbing manufacturers.
Stop a Toilet From Running
A running toilet is an annoying problem that can waste a large amount of water over time. Most homeowners are familiar with the handle jiggling method, but that only stops a toilet from running temporarily. Usually this is the sign of a broken stop valve or floater valve, which you can consider replacing on your own. Shut off the water to your toilet first, and replace the setup by following the directions on the new assembly, which you can purchase at most hardware stores.
If you run into the opposite problem and can’t get the toilet to flush, that’s a sign either the drain is clogged or the toilet trap is blocked. Approach the toilet with a plunger first, and try to loosen the clog. If that doesn’t have an effect, use a snake to help break up the blockage. If you continually have issues with your toilet not flushing properly or flushing very slowly, call in a plumber to find the source of the larger problem.
Address Water Pressure Issues
When you notice water pressure in your shower worsen over time, there’s a good chance that it’s the result of buildup from hard water minerals. To determine whether this is the problem, check for lime accumulation on the showerhead. If there’s visible buildup, start by removing the showerhead and the spray plate. You may need a screwdriver for one or both of these steps. Immerse the spray plate in a shallow bath of descaling solution, and follow the product directions. After the right amount of time has passed, rinse off the spray plate and reassemble the showerhead.
If you regularly encounter water pressure issues, consider signing up for a plumbing maintenance program. In conjunction with its air conditioner maintenance programs, Aqua Plumbing and Air offers a plumbing protection plan that gives homeowners peace of mind. This plan includes unlimited service visits, labor for most plumbing repairs, and drain unclogging for up to 50 feet of pipe.
Replace a Washing Machine Hose
Every five or so years, you’ll need to inspect and replace your washing machine hose to ensure that it doesn’t spring a massive leak. Start by turning off the water supply to your washer and unplugging the washer’s power supply. Then disconnect the old hose and connect the new one to the washer and the valves. Switch the power and the water supply back on to make sure the water flows smoothly without drips or leaks.
Many plumbing experts recommend having an understanding of how your home’s plumbing system works before taking on any repairs, no matter how big or small they are. If you don’t have a good grasp on how everything connects together or you don’t know what to do if an emergency comes up, it might be in your best interest not to take on quick fixes yourself. In that case, consider calling call a professional for just about every plumbing repair you need so you don’t run the risk of creating a larger problem.
Unclog a Drain
When you encounter a clog in a bathroom, kitchen, or basement drain, don’t use standard drain cleaning solvents. These might seem like a quick fix, but they can eat away at your pipes, causing them to deteriorate over time. Instead, call a plumber to assess the situation and fix the problem.
Do your part to avoid future drain clogs by taking a few easy precautions. In the shower, keep a hair catcher in place. Though you’ll have to clean it out every few days, you’ll likely avoid major hair-related clogs. In the kitchen, be aware of what you’re washing down the drain. Don’t put fat or grease down the kitchen sink, and avoid washing large pieces of food waste down as well. Make sure you know what your garbage disposal can handle before you use it.
When your plumbing issues escalate beyond quick fixes, it’s time to call in the pros. Contact Aqua Plumbing and Air to schedule an appointment today: (941) 306-3715.
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