Owning your first home or renting your first apartment is an exciting time. The cozy living room with a roaring fireplace, the beautiful kitchen with its marble top island, the shining glass shower stall and the – clogged toilet?!
Things that malfunction and break in the home aren’t usually part of this pretty picture, especially annoying, unsightly, and even dangerous problems with the bathroom. Here are three common problems that can occur and what to do about them to have your reality match the picture in your mind.
Simple plumbing problems can often be managed and prevented with DIY care, but when a more serious problem arises, it’s important to call in professionals like The Super Plumber who can rescue you during a plumbing emergency, perform regular repairs, or scan the property and provide preventative maintenance to stop major problems before it’s too late. Find professionals who offer upfront pricing, flexible service hours seven days-a-week, and guarantee their work.
Fix a Leaky Faucet
Beyond an annoying drip, drip, dripping in the night, a leaking faucet can add up in water bills. Shut off the water supply using the valve. Find out the type of faucet you’re dealing with. (The common compression-type is explained here.)
- Unscrew and remove the handle from underneath any decorative casing
- Remove the packing nut with pliers
- Unscrew the valve stem from its housing
- Remove the screw that fastens the washer in
- If any parts are stiff from age, apply a penetrating oil to assist
- Use the washer to find an appropriate replacement size (if it’s destroyed, try to guess from the remaining information it can offer or check with the manufacturer on the web). Hardware stores will have sets of differently sized washers to try
- Replace with the new washer and reverse the steps above to put everything back in place
Unclog a Toilet
There’s no avoiding a backed-up toilet in life. It could be from increased usage/traffic, improper things being flushed down, or improper drainage.
Try to ascertain the cause of the clog. If it’s a toy that a child flushed, putting on some long gloves and reaching in slightly to fetch it might be all you need. Otherwise get the trusty plunger.
Use a flanged plunger for the best seal and suction power. Make sure the cup is covered in water and add more if needed. Push in gently and pull out quickly. A plumbing snake is an alternative choice, which is a coiled metal implement that is threaded down to free the blockage.
Caulk is the rubbery liner that seals the bathtub off from the wall and the floor to prevent moisture from seeping in between. Caulking can peel off and mold can grow up through it, so it needs to be regularly replaced to prevent damage and more mold growth in the walls and floors.
A hardware store will have a product to help you remove old, stubborn caulk strips, which is necessary before adding a new layer. With your new tube of caulk, you’ll need a caulking gun with an angled cone tip to apply (you can cut it yourself to this shape).
Once set up, apply in a straight line making sure to have full coverage and leave no cracks. It’s okay if it’s not perfectly straight and smooth – it’s the seal that matters. Practice on a spare piece of tile or wood from the garage. Caulking strips can also be applied if you’re not confident in your gunning skills.
Whenever you are doing a bathroom repair, it’s also a good idea to make sure that your home’s water quality is as good as it can be. Many people use whole house water filters, and even better, use a reverse osmosis water filter system to make sure your water quality is at high as possible.
With less contaminants and foreign particles in your water supply, your appliance will all benefit; not just the ones in the bathroom!