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Mr. Rooter employee inspecting a plumbing pipe under a sink.

Simple Home Plumbing Tricks

Caring for your plumbing is a joint effort between you and your Longview plumber. While it’s always best to leave significant plumbing tasks and troubleshooting to your professional plumber, there are also a few simple home plumbing tricks that can help you manage small issues on your own. From identifying leaks that need attention to quieting noisy pipes and fixtures, these tips can help you take charge of your home’s plumbing needs for greater efficiency and water savings.

Check Your Toilet’s Flush Valve

Running toilets are a common home plumbing problem that typically result from a problem with the flush valve. This valve is attached to the handle of your toilet by an arm or chain, which lifts the valve when the handle is depressed to flush the toilet. As the water drains from the tank, the valve slowly lowers back into position, creating a seal that allows the tank to refill once more. It can be easy for the rubber stopper of the valve to become misaligned, allowing water to leak through into the bowl and causing the running toilet sound you hear. If you have a running toilet in your home, a simple fix is to make sure the flush valve is sitting properly over the drain. To check the valve, simply lift the lid off your toilet tank and look to see whether the stopper is covering the drain completely. If it appears misaligned, simply realign it over the drain to try to solve the problem; however, if the stopper continually lowers into a misaligned position or it appears damaged, warped, or degraded, it’s time to call your Longview plumber to replace the mechanism entirely.

Remove a Sink’s Trap

Clogged sinks are another common plumbing problem that you may be able to solve on your own. If plunging your sink doesn’t work, you can try to clear the sink’s U-shaped drain trap to see if the clogging material is lodged inside this removable section of pipe. Before you attempt to remove the trap, place a bucket or large bowl under the drain to catch any stray water or debris. Some sink traps can be removed by twisting the connectors manually, while others require a wrench to loosen. Take care when loosening the trap using tools, as you can damage the connectors if too much force is used. If the nuts holding the trap in place are metal or chrome, wrap the jaws of your wrench or pliers in tape to protect the finish before loosening. Once you have loosened the connectors, simply pull the trap away and empty it into your bucket. If there is debris or a clog caught in the trap, you can try flushing it with water or scraping the debris away. Once the trap is clean, reattach it to the drain, taking care not to over-tighten the nuts. This solution can quickly clear even a severely clogged sink if the source of the clog is lodged in the trap. If the trap appears clear or cleaning out the trap does not solve your problem, your next step should be to call in your Longview plumber for help.

These simple plumbing tricks can make plumbing maintenance much easier; however, it’s important to work with your plumber to solve serious problems or make any major changes to your plumbing system. Please follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus for even more information and tips to manage your Longview home’s plumbing and water usage.

Are you familiar with any minor plumbing tricks and repairs?

  • I know absolutely nothing about plumbing, except for how to use a plunger!
  • I knew how to check for a toilet leak, but not that I might be able to fix it on my own.
  • I never knew why sink pipes had those U-shaped bends in them; now I know where to check the next time I have a clog.
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