Plumbing Tips for Every Part of Your Bathroom
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Posted May 20, 2018
The bathroom is one of your home’s most used rooms and one of the few places that guests will visit, so routine maintenance is essential. No matter the size of your bathroom, there’s plenty of opportunities for plumbing issues. Avoid these plumbing emergencies by always keeping your bathroom in tip-top shape – from sink to shower and everything in between. We’re breaking down some of our most helpful plumbing tips to get your bathroom on track and prevent plumbing emergencies from popping up.
The biggest source of leaks in your bathroom is likely your toilet. With slow leaks wasting roughly 30 gallons of water a day and a running toilet wasting an average of 200 gallons a day, water waste can quickly add up.
Whether it’s a running toilet or a slow leak, you can’t afford to let the water flow. To check for leaks, simply add a few drops of food coloring to your toilet’s tank (just enough to change the tint of the water). After 30 minutes, check the bowl of the toilet to see if the coloring seeped into it. If so, you’ve got a leak on your hands. Flush immediately to avoid staining and call your local plumber for repair.
For Water Overflows
Check the toilet’s water level to be sure that water doesn’t rise above the overflow pipe. You can check this by locating the pipe in the center of the toilet’s water tank (it’ll have a piece of tubing connected to it).
Pro Tip: If your toilet is overflowing, immediately turn off the water using the valve behind the base of the toilet. This will prevent more water from filling the bowl.
Don’t Treat Your Toilet Like a Trashcan
Toilets aren’t for throwing away your bathroom waste. These items don’t dissolve easily and only create stubborn clogs. Check out our blog post to learn more about what you should never throw in your toilet.
Faucets are unlike other parts of your plumbing system because they are built with moving parts. Whether it’s filling the tub for a long bath or running water in the sink while you brush your teeth, your faucet is meant to keep water flowing.
Keep Things Tight
Those moving parts we mentioned before can wear down quickly. Over time, you may need to tighten things up or replace pieces that are worn. If you notice anything not working as smoothly, or fitting just a little more loosely than you’re used to, then contact your local plumber to take a look.
It’s easy to ignore that little drip from the sink, but the EPA reports that a leaky faucet that drips one drop per second wastes about 3,000 gallons of water a year. That’s equal to 180 showers! Can you afford to waste money on water you aren’t even using? If water won’t stop flowing, then you may need to shut off your main water valve. Approach leaks with caution to prevent greater damage. Start your cost-savings today by putting a stop to leaky faucets.
Pro Tip: If the dripping sound is working your last nerve, we’ve got an easy fix. Simply tie a piece of string around the faucet with one side hanging down until it touches the sink bowl. The drops will collect on the string, eliminating the sound. You can use that peace and quiet to give your plumbing professional a call.
We’re not talking about wine here. Aerators on your faucets are the small coverings that let water and air combine to pass through smoothly. Sometimes they get clogged by sediment or lime buildup, but cleaning is simple. Here’s how:
1. Carefully unscrew the aerator by turning it counter-clockwise (you may need to grab some pliers for this one).
2. Use a small brush, toothbrush or toothpick coated in vinegar to remove the sediment.
3. If parts are worn, then you might want to replace it. Aerators are inexpensive and can be purchased at your local hardware store.
4. Screw the aerator back onto the faucet, and you’re done!
Pro Tip: Clean your aerators annually to prevent corrosion from sediment buildup.
Weak or low water pressure is a sign that your system is in need of plumbing maintenance. It’s especially common in older homes and most likely occurs due to a leaky pipe, underperforming water heater, corrosion, or buildup in the shower head.
To clean the shower head, fill a strong plastic bag with vinegar to dissolve mineral deposits. Submerge the shower head in the solution. Tie the bag to the neck of the faucet with a rubber band or twist tie. Leave overnight for restored water pressure by morning.
If water is slow to drain out of your sink or tub, then you might have a clog. You won’t realize how much you rely on your drain until it’s out of order. Simple tasks like washing your hands or brushing your teeth can be a hassle when your drain performs poorly. Plus, clogs can be stubborn. It’s the main reason people call professional plumbers for repair. Don’t wait around for drains to unclog themselves.
An old tried and true solution for sink clogs is to mix ⅓ cup of baking soda and ⅓ cup of vinegar. This solution creates a natural mixture to remove hair and grime effectively from your sink. Let the mixture sit for an hour, and then flush it down with hot water.
Out of vinegar? Using ½ cup of table salt with ½ cup of baking soda can work just as efficiently. Pour it down the drain followed by boiling water 15 minutes later to create an aggressive, homemade compound built to clear tough build-up.
Shower & Tub Clogs
Removing your shower or tub drain can be tricky. Some are easy to screw off, but others require a screwdriver. If you don’t feel comfortable removing it yourself or have any questions, one of our licensed plumbers would be happy to help.
Also, if you’ve got a plumber’s snake handy, now is the time to use it. Feed the cable into the drain until it hits your blockage. Then turn the handle clockwise until you catch the clog. If you don’t have a snake, a bent wire hanger can do the trick as well.
A plunger will also work to clear out your shower clog. First, fill the shower with water until the rubber of the plunger is submerged. Then pull up and down on the plunger without breaking the seal. This should loosen the blockage from your pipes to clear your drain.
If there is anything we haven’t covered, or you’re left wondering about other plumbing tips, feel free to give us a call. We’re here to help, and we’ve seen just about every plumbing problem you can imagine! Or maybe you don’t want to imagine.