There will always be repairs along the line, especially when it comes to your plumbing. Condensation on toilet tanks drips into puddles on the floor after a hot bath or steamy shower. Removing a sink trap is the key to routine plumbing fixes like unclogging a sink. Caulk was put around the edge of your sink by the plumber who installed it to prevent water from seeping between the basin and the countertop. Use a butter knife to scrape out any stuck material in the trap, then take it outside and thoroughly rinse it with a water hose.
The majority of water flow difficulties are simple to resolve. Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere else in your house and let it run until the water cools down. Check the water pressure at various faucets first. If you have a leak, turn off the water supply to the water heater’s water supply.
While there are many benefits to owning a house, there will always be repairs along the line, especially when it comes to your plumbing. Some concerns, such as repairing broken sewer lines, should undoubtedly be addressed by a professional; but, others, fortunately, are simple do-it-yourself projects that require no special tools or abilities. Check out five of the most common issues you’re likely to face and how to solve them quickly with these plumbing fixes.
1. STOP THE TOILET TANK FROM SWEATING
Condensation on toilet tanks—the kind that drips into puddles on the floor—occurs most frequently after a lengthy, hot bath or a steamy shower. When the bathroom temperature and humidity are high, but the water in the toilet tank is still cool (between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit), condensation forms. On a hot summer day, imagine how a cold beverage forms droplets outside the glass; the same thing is happening with your toilet tank.
This plumbing repair entails installing an anti-condensation tank liner to prevent the annoying problem. They’re available in kits for less than $20 at DIY stores and plumbing supply retailers. You’ll need to cut a large sheet of flexible foam to fit the inside of the tank, which comes with the kit. The liner may come with a peel-off backing or a separate adhesive for installation, depending on the brand. Before you begin, drain the tank and allow it to dry off. The liner will establish an insulating barrier between the cold water and the outside tank once it is securely in place (you may need to wait overnight for the adhesive to set), and puddles will be a thing of the past.
A SINK TRAP MUST BE REMOVED.
Because most clogs lodge in the sink trap—a P-, J-, or S-shaped pipe that links to two other pipes beneath the basin—removing it is typically the key to routine plumbing fixes like unclogging a sink. If someone throws a ring or something else precious down the drain, it’ll very certainly get trapped in the trap. To remove, clean, and replace a trap, follow the steps below.
1. Place a pan beneath the plumbing pipes beneath the sink to catch any residual water that drains when the trap is removed.
2. Find the trap that joins the straight-down vertical pipe from the sink drain to the horizontal pipe known as the “waste arm.” The trap has nuts on both ends and is threaded on both ends. There’s no need to turn off the water to the sink; simply instruct family members not to use it while you’re working.
3. Twist both nuts that secure the trap counterclockwise to loosen them. You can usually do this with your hands, but if a nut is very stubborn, use an adjustable pair of pliers—just be careful not to break the nut.
4. Pull the trap downward to detach it. If it doesn’t come off easily, gently pull and wiggle it until it does. Allow the water to drain into the pan positioned beneath the sink.
5. Using an old butter knife, scrape out any stuck material in the trap, then take it outside and thoroughly rinse it with a water hose to remove any sludge that may be covering the interior.
6. Replace the now-clean trap by sliding it back into place and using your fingers to twist the nuts that secure it clockwise.
3. RE-CAULK THE SINK OF A VANITY
Caulk was put around the edge of your sink by the plumber who installed it to prevent water from seeping between the basin and the countertop. This semi-solid waterproof sealant, on the other hand, can disintegrate, harden, or crumble with time, allowing water to seep into the cabinet below, causing harm to stored things and the growth of mildew.
1. Use a plastic putty knife to scrape away the old caulk; a metal knife could harm the sink or countertop.
2. Using a clean rag moistened with denatured alcohol, wipe off the gap between the sink and the countertop. The alcohol will dissolve any remaining soap scum or filth.
3. Allow the area to completely dry.
4. Apply a small bead of caulk all the way around the sink, about 1/8″ in diameter, keeping steady pressure on the tube to create a homogeneous bead.
5. Dampen a fingertip with water and run it down the caulk bead, smoothing it into the crease and creating a nice smooth groove. It’s possible that you’ll have to rewet your finger a few times.
6. Before using the sink, let the caulk cure completely. Drying times are indicated on the caulk tube and range from 12 to 24 hours on average.
4. FLUSH THE WATER HEATER
Mineral deposits in your water heater might affect the efficiency of the appliance. You can extend the life of your water heater and get extra hot water by flushing it every six months. The flushing instructions can be found in the unit’s handbook, and while some models may differ somewhat, the steps below should suffice for most.
1. Turn off the water heater’s power. Turn off the breaker if it’s electric. Turn off the gas at the shut-off valve if it’s a gas leak.
2. Turn on a hot water faucet somewhere else in your house and let it run until the water cools down.
3. Connect the drain outlet at the bottom of the water heater to the end of a regular garden hose, and place the other end in a floor drain or a large bucket.
4. Turn off the water heater’s water supply. The shut-off valve is found on the pipe that runs from the cold water supply to the water heater’s top.
5. Open the drain valve on the drain outlet where the garden hose is attached with a flat-head screwdriver. Water, as well as built-up sludge and mineral deposits, will begin to drain from the hose. Avoid getting splashed—the water will be extremely hot!
6. When the water stops draining, close the drain valve with the screwdriver, remove the hose, switch on the water supply to the water heater, and then turn the power back on.
5. FIX THE WATER PRESSURE PROBLEM
When you desire a big, powerful jet of water, but all you get is a trickle from the faucet, it’s so aggravating! Fortunately, the majority of water flow difficulties are simple to resolve.
• Check the water pressure at various faucets first. Mineral deposits could be the source of the problem if only one faucet is affected. At the very end of the spigot, most faucets contain a little screen or a water-saving filter that twists off. Twist the screen counterclockwise to remove it. Rinse it and reconnect it if it’s clogged with debris.