What To Do Before Calling Your Plumber
Uh-oh. A pipe is leaking in your kitchen. At first, you just put a bucket under it, and push it to the back of your mind until you have time to call a plumber. Why not take charge and save a little extra money along the way? You might be surprised to hear many common home plumbing issues can be resolved with a simple trip to the hardware store and a little elbow grease. That’s why we want to help inform you on how to be your own plumber so you can take care of any small plumbing emergencies as they happen.
Here are some typical plumbing problems and advice from the experts on how to take care of it. We also felt it was important to include some examples of when not to DIY a plumbing emergency, so please take a look at those down below before tackling anything on your own.
The toilet is clogged.
We have three solutions for you. For the first one, don’t break out the plunger just yet! Sometimes these clogs can be handled using a gallon of hot water. Simply head to the stove and boil a big pot of water (allow it to cool slightly before handling!) and pour it into the bowl. The temperature and force of the water may be enough to break the clog up and get things moving. If this does not work, our second suggestion is getting ahold of a plunger. We recommend buying one with a flange on the end, which helps in providing a stronger “plunge”. Plunge gently at first and then begin vigorously plunging. You should eventually feel the clog release.
The drain is clogged.
For sink and shower drains (not toilets or sinks with garbage disposals!) head to a store nearby and pick up some Drano. Make sure to read the directions in their entirety and be careful not to get any on your skin as the liquid is quite caustic.
There’s a minor leak under the sink.
We know this fix is not permanent, but it will prevent further damage and provide a much longer hold than a simple bucket to collect water would. Head to your local hardware store and pick up a compression clamp and some electrical tape or a rubber sheet. Use these tools to clamp the leak and hold things over until the plumber comes.
The garbage disposal is dirty, slow, or producing a foul smell.
An easy way to maintain a clean, well-working garbage disposal is to clean it using baking soda, lemon, and vinegar. This powerful cleansing combination will eat away at any grease and prevent backups and future calls to the plumber.
The toilet is running.
This fix is so simple and so cheap, you’ll be kicking yourself for not knowing it sooner! 9 times out of 10, a running toilet is due a leaky toilet flapper. Prevent this by changing your toilet flapper every year. Cheap universal flappers under $10 should be available at any local hardware store and they require no tools to swap them out.
The water pressure is low.
Typically, this is due to a build-up of sediment on the faucet aerators from years of use. Aerators can be easily unscrewed and cleaned to allow for better flow. If the aerator cannot be unscrewed, use a plastic bag full of a cleaning agent and seal it with a rubber band to soak overnight.
When to call the professionals
Even after your best efforts to take care of an issue on your own, it can be to difficult or too down-right dangerous to take on by yourself. Often when there is a major leak, break, or clog, an expert needs to be called to prevent injury or further damage to your home. Here are examples of when you should call us first:
Any installations (pipes, sinks, showers)
Water or sewer line breaks
Water heater malfunctions
At THA Plumbing, we are committed to providing expert plumbing services for the entire San Diego area. Whether it be a water heater installation, a leaky faucet, or a malfunctioning septic tank – we are here to help. Our goal is to provide thorough plumbing services at an affordable cost, and arm you with the information you need to maintain your home.