A plumbing system is complicated, but understanding a few basics can help you spot problems early and prevent them from worsening. Read on to learn about some of the most common plumbing repair issues:
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Leaky pipes can cause expensive water damage over time, especially if left unchecked. Fortunately, there are quick fixes you can try to stop the problem until a professional plumber arrives for a permanent repair.
Leaks in pipes usually develop over time due to wear and tear, aging, and other environmental factors. These problems typically start out as a small leak and get worse over time, so it’s important to take action immediately when you notice a water leak in your home or business.
If you’re not sure where the leak is coming from, check your water meter to see if there’s a sudden increase in water usage. This could be a sign of a leak in your pipes, so make sure you run an inspection with the help of a bluefrog Plumbing + Drain expert.
The best way to prevent a pipe leak is to shut off the water supply as soon as you can, so the leak doesn’t worsen over time. If you’re unsure how to do this, check with your local council for advice.
Alternatively, you can use a bucket or a sink to catch the water leaking from the broken pipe, which will give you more time to call a plumber for a permanent fix. If the problem is severe, you can also turn off the water supply to the whole house or building, but this may result in significant water damage if it’s not done correctly.
Another simple DIY solution is to wrap the leaking part of the pipe with a special waterproof tape, but this will only be a temporary fix. It’s also recommended that you apply a few layers of the tape in an overlapping fashion to ensure it creates a watertight seal. For more permanent solutions, you can cut out the damaged section of the pipe and replace it with a slip coupling that’s the same size as your existing pipe.
If your pipe is made of metal like copper or galvanized steel, you can also use epoxy putty to patch the hole. Before handling the putty, however, you should make sure that the surface is clean and dry so it sticks to it properly.
Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing mishaps, and they often occur at the worst possible time. Whether you’re standing ankle-deep in your kitchen sink or stuck with a shower that takes forever to empty, persistent clogs are not only incredibly annoying but also dangerous and potentially destructive to your pipes and home.
In general, clogs form when fat, oil and grease solidify in the pipes and then impede water flow as they travel through the rest of the system. However, hair, soap scum, and other debris can also stick to pipe walls and build up over time. In addition, a clogged drain may be caused by an obstruction like a tree root or broken pipe.
There are several DIY methods for removing a stubborn clog. First, remove the drain stopper and visually inspect it for a visible blockage. If there’s no blockage, try using a plunger to dislodge any food particles or hair that have accumulated in the pipe. If you can’t locate the clog or a plunger is ineffective, try pouring boiling hot water down the drain. This can help soften and break up any clog-causing debris, and it’s safe for most pipes (except PVC, which should never be exposed to hot water).
If a plunger or hot water is ineffective, a plumber can use a sewer auger or drain snake to physically dislodge the clog and clear the line. Some clogs, especially those in sewer or drainage lines, are much more serious and require professional assistance to fully repair.
It’s important to know when to call a plumber and that most clogs should be left to professionals. Continued plunging or poking around a serious clog can actually cause further damage to your pipes and home plumbing, and more advanced clogs may require high-pressure water jetting. A qualified plumbing professional can also install new fixtures and drains, such as a toilet or sink. A professional can ensure that your new fixtures are installed properly and can provide helpful tips on how to prevent future clogs.
The quality of your home’s water depends on the integrity of your pipes. When the pressure in your pipes drops, it affects every water-using fixture in your house. Luckily, there are many things you can do to improve low water pressure.
If you have very low water pressure, the problem may be with your city’s municipal water supply system. Whether it’s because of a water main break, hydrant flushing, or another reason, the city might have throttled back the flow of water to homes in your area. Check with your neighbors to see if they are experiencing the same issue, and then contact your local water supplier.
A common reason for low water pressure is a broken pressure regulator. The purpose of a water pressure regulator is to keep water pressures in your home stable and within a set range. When this valve is faulty, it can lead to low water pressure throughout your home.
Another reason for low water pressure is a clogged pipe. Your plumbing pipes can become clogged with mineral deposits, especially if your home has hard water. If the clog is big enough, it can cause significant water pressure loss. A plumber will determine the best way to remove the clog from your pipes and restore your water pressure.
Leaking or damaged branch lines can also affect your home’s water pressure. These lines are what connect the vertical supply stack lines to each of your home’s fixtures. If you have added any new water-using appliances or fixtures, your old branch lines may not be able to handle the increased demand. A plumber will assess your branch lines and replace them if necessary.
If your water pressure problems only occur at certain times of the day, it could be that your neighbors are using a lot of water at the same time, and the city’s municipal water system can’t keep up. However, if the water pressure problem occurs consistently, it’s likely something else is going on with your plumbing.
When a pipe bursts, it creates significant water damage that can ruin your home and personal belongings. It can also weaken the load-bearing elements of your house, endangering those inside. It’s especially important to attend to burst pipe repair as soon as you notice it because it may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
The first thing to do is turn off the water supply at your home’s main valve, usually located near the water meter. This will stop the flow of water and prevent more flooding. Next, turn off any electrical appliances that could come into contact with water. If you can, move any furniture and personal items to a dry area of your home. Finally, take photos of any damaged areas to use as evidence when filing an insurance claim.
Water damage caused by a burst pipe can be expensive to fix, and it isn’t something you want to tackle on your own. A plumber will be able to assess the extent of the damage, provide an estimate for repairs, and put measures in place to prevent any further issues.
Keeping an eye on your pipes throughout the year can help you catch problems before they become serious and costly. Schedule regular inspections, address clogs and leaks right away, and winterize your pipes before cold weather hits. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have a well-maintained plumbing system and avoid the need for costly repairs.
It’s always best to get in touch with a professional plumber as soon as you notice any problems. Not only can they assess and repair the issue, but they’ll also make sure your pipes are protected with proper insulation to avoid any future issues. Investing in quality insulation can save you money in the long run, and it’s definitely worth the investment if you want to reduce your chances of having a costly problem like a burst pipe in the future.