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Easy Fixes to Common Plumbing Problems

If you own a home, sooner or later you're likely to have a plumbing problem. An important first step is to locate your home's main water valve. A broken water line normally requires the services of a plumbing contractor, but you can limit the damage by shutting off the main valve off as soon as possible.

Common Plumbing Problems: Preventative Maintenance and Easy Fixes

  1. Frozen water pipes are caused by water freezing in the line. Most homes have one or two outside water spigots. Each line should have its own inside cut-off valve. Turn the valve off and open the spigot before a freeze.
  2. Blocked toilets are caused by a clog in the line. If the blockage can't be cleared with a plunger, try a handheld drain auger available at most home improvement stores.
  3. Slow drains are also caused by blockage. Home improvement stores and many grocery stores sell drain cleaner for kitchen and bathroom sinks, tubs, and showers. If you have an older home, you might have roots growing through your outside drain line and will need to use a special cleaner designed for that purpose.
  4. No hot water normally means your water heater is not functioning properly. Remember to cut off power and water to the tank before you being your inspection, and be sure to fully drain the tank before removing the elements. Bring the faulty element with you to the store as there are many types to choose from.

Minor plumbing problems like these can be handled by most casual DIYers, but don't hesitate to call a plumbing contractor if you're in over your head.