5 Common Home Plumbing Problems

There are many plumbing problems that can happen in a house, from a break in the main water line to a leaking faucet. Some, however, are more common than others and, thankfully, they’re usually the easiest ones to fix.

Blocked Sink

Everyone has had a blocked sink at one time or another. It can be caused by a build up of grease or old food from plates that have been washed over a period of time. The simplest way to try and clear the blockage is by using a round sink plunger. Place the cup of the plunger over the drain and push up and down. Repeat several times to try and clear the blockage.

If this doesn’t work, you can snake a piece of wire down the drain to dislodge the block. Failing that, put a bucket or bowl under the drain and unscrew at the U-bend, using the wire to clear the blockage before re-attaching.

Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Work

If your garbage disposal won’t work, the chances are that it’s blocked by waste food. To clear the blockage, take the hexagonal key wrench that came with the garbage disposal unit and put it into the designated point at the bottom of the disposal. Turn the key clockwise until it moves freely. This will clear the blockage and resolve your plumbing problem. Run cold water and switch on the disposal before re-use.

Blocked Toilet

A blocked toilet is one of the worst and most urgent plumbing problems. If this happens, turn off the water supply to the toilet to stop it overflowing. Next, take a plunger and push down into the toilet bowl. Repeat the action several times to clear the blockage. A specialist plunger is required that is specifically shaped to fit the toilet bowel and this should be used instead of a round sink plunger.

If this doesn’t work, you will need a special metal line, often referred to as a snake, to run into the toilet to clear the blockage. If you regularly have toilet blockage problems, you should consider investing in a snake instead of renting or calling in a contractor as this will help to save money in the longer term.

Leaking Faucet

The single most common plumbing problem is a leaking faucet. To repair the problem, you will need to turn off the water at the main. Remove the faucet cover to unscrew the handle and remove it. At the bottom, you’ll see a washer. You will need to replace this. Remove the old washer, fit a new one of the correct size and screw the handle back into place. Turn the water back on and check for any leaks. If there continues to be a small leak, you’ll need to tighten the handle a little more. Replace the faucet cover once the leak has been rectified.

Dishwasher Won’t Drain

If you’ve just fitted a new garbage disposal in your kitchen and the dishwasher won’t drain when you use it, the answer is often simple. Garbage disposals have a knock out plug where the pipe from the dishwasher attaches. Unscrew the pipe from the garbage disposal, letting the dishwasher drain into a bucket and remove the plug from the garbage disposal. Re-connect the pipe. Your dishwasher should now drain as it did before.