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How to Fix a Few Common Plumbing Problems Around the Home

It’s never good to try to tackle major plumbing jobs around the house unless you’re an experienced plumber yourself, as even one small mistake can lead to water leaks, burst pipes and the like. However, some small fixes at home may be addressed with just a bit of know-how and a few simple tools and plumbing supplies. Note a few of those small fixes here so you can address them on your own, at least before you assume you need to call a plumber.

Slow draining sink

Usually a slow draining sink simply has a buildup of sludge, hair, and other solid matter in the very top of the pipe. You can get what is called a zip-it, a small tool with a long handle and bristly sides, from the plumbing supply store. The top of the sink drain has a stopper that simply unscrews, and this gives you room to slide the zip-it in and out of the sink. It will grab all that gunk and pull it out of the drain. Replace the stopper and your sink should flow freely again.

Clogged kitchen sink

If your kitchen sink is clogged, put a big bowl or pan under the pipes that are underneath the sink. You’ll notice a pipe at the bottom that curves down and then up and into the garbage disposal; this pipe is connected by what are called flanges. The flanges should easily unscrew, although you might need a wrench to help loosen them. Your kitchen scraps are caught in this pipe, so once it unscrews, the gunk will fall into the pan or bowl. Tap out as much gunk as you can from this section of pipe and then replace it, tightening the flanges back into place. 

Low water pressure in the shower

First be sure you clean the showerhead completely; unscrew it from the pipe and soak it in a lime and rust cleaner, as this will remove any hard water buildup that’s interfering with the water flow. Rinse it thoroughly before screwing it back onto the pipe. If this doesn’t fix the problem, try a new showerhead altogether; one with a larger face may allow out more water so you feel as if you’re getting more water pressure. The inside of your old showerhead may have also gotten stripped so it can’t be adjusted to let out more water at once. When you replace the showerhead, use plumber’s tape around the pipe to which it attaches so you reduce the risk of water leaks in the shower. 

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