DIY Plumbing Problems and When to Call a Professional Plumber

By Thornton Plumbing and Heating

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Blog Highlights

  • It’s important to know how to fix basic plumbing problems 
  • If water continues to run into the toilet bowl after you flush, you have a problem 
  • Call a professional plumber to check on your sump pump before it’s too late

Water can be very damaging to a home or office. In some cases, you may be able to rectify the problem on your own, but other plumbing problems may require professional work. It’s important to know how to fix basic plumbing problems and when you need to call in a real plumber.

Basic Problems You Can (Probably) Fix Yourself:

Slowly Dripping Faucet
If you encounter a constant drip coming from one of your facets, you’re not only wasting a limited world resource, you’re also losing money. Fortunately, this is an easy problem to fix. Turn off the water to the faucet and unscrew the handle. Look at the O-ring and washer. If they are damaged, they are probably causing the leak and should simply be replaced. If the drip continues, you may be dealing with broken plumbing or other loose or damaged parts and should contact a professional plumber.

Running Toilet
If water continues to run into the toilet bowl after you flush, you have a problem with the lever in the tank behind the bowl. You can fix this by removing the toilet tank lid and reattaching the chain to the lever. In some cases, the chain may be damaged or broken and you should buy and install a new one.

Clogged Drain
If one of your drains is clogged, stay away from chemical drain cleaners. Instead, use a natural drain cleaner such as baking soda, salt, and hot water. If this doesn’t work, the clog may be too big or located too far down the pipes. In this case, you should call in a professional.

Shower Head Problem
If your showerhead is spraying water in different directions or the water is blocked in some places, it’s likely that you have a lime or mineral buildup on the showerhead and spray plate. Remove the showerhead and soak it in a descaling solution. Then reattach the showerhead and voila! Just like new.

Garbage Disposal Issues
Sometimes garbage disposals simply stop. When this happens, you can try using the reset button at the bottom of the disposal. If that doesn’t work, you may need to use an Allen key to manually dislodge whatever’s clogging it or to get the disposal turning again. If the problem persists, contact a professional plumber.

Plumbing Problems for a Professional Plumber:
Water Heater
If your water heater is leaking, emitting an odor, or making an unusual sound, you need to call a professional plumber. Water heaters that aren’t performing as they should are considered a major health and safety hazard.

Sump Pump
Sump pumps are your best defense against a rise in the water table caused by rain or snow. If your sump pump isn’t performing properly, you’re likely to experience flooding in your basement, which can lead to water damage and costly repairs. Call a professional plumber to check on your sump pump before it’s too late.

Burst Pipe
One of the worst things that can happen to a home is a burst pipe. Extreme changes in temperature can easily lead to pipes bursting. When this happens, gallons of water can leak into your home causing catastrophic water damage. If a pipe bursts, turn off your main water valve and contact a plumber.

Clogged Sewer Line
If your sewer line gets clogged or collapses, it can lead to costly damages and can quickly become a health hazard. Call in a professional plumber as soon as possible.

Plumbing problems can lead to vast amounts of damage and costly repairs. If you think you can fix the problem on your own, great! But if you have any doubts don’t hesitate to call in a professional plumber.

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