At some point or another, every homeowner in the City of St Cloud, MN has to deal with annoying plumbing problems. Some of the time, the problems are so small it doesn’t seem worth the expense of calling out a professional. While most plumbing repairs should be done by a seasoned pro, there are plenty of simple, quick fixes that you can try before calling in the big guns. With these seven St Cloud Plumbing tips, you should be on your way to taking on a little more of your home’s basic plumbing dilemmas.
1. Don't Use Chemicals To Remove Clogs
Has your drain been running slower and slower? If you find yourself reaching for that economy-sized bottle of Drain-o at the grocery store, FREEZE. While it may seem to work like magic, like most things in life if it seems too good to be true, it probably is. The chemicals in clog-removing products are fantastic for removing clogs, but they’re also pretty good at corroding your pipes. The results of the damage caused won’t necessarily appear over night, but the damage builds until pipes leak and must be replaced entirely. Drain-o seems like a cheap fix but learning to remove clogs correctly without chemicals is easier on both your pipes and your bank account.
How To Clean Your Drain Right:
Some inexpensive drain snakes are available online. These can be a decent option for small clogs, but for more serious blockages you may need to contact a St Cloud Plumber that has a more heavy duty drain auger. The exact operation may very slightly between devices, but the basic idea is simple. The end of the snake is placed in the drain and the handle is turned until the snake meets resistance when it encounters a clog. Then, the snake is rotated to break up clogs, pulling out large pieces and flushing away the rest.
An Ounce Of Prevention Is Better Than A Pound Of Cure:
Once your drain is unclogged, prevent future clogs by using your drains wisely. Don’t pour anything like fat or oils down the drain, and during showers use shampoo and conditioner sparingly. The products can build up and cause clogs. Even better, use strainers in your drains. These catch food and hair to stop clogs before they start.
2. Replace Your Toilet Flapper Every 5 Years
Worn toilet flappers are a common culprit of persistently running toilets. These parts only last around 5 years, so knowing how to replace them is a useful skill. To do this, just turn off the water, discard the old flapper and hook each ear of the flapper onto the flush valve. Connect the flapper chain to the handle lever leaving a little slack, turn the water back on, and your running toilet should be a thing of the past.
3. Don’t Embrace A Leaky Showerhead
If your showerhead drips or leaks, it’s likely that the threads are not connecting tightly. To fix this, simply unscrew the showerhead, apply new thread tape, and reattach the showerhead. For maintenance, it’s also advised to soak the showerhead in warm water and vinegar for an hour to dissolve any clogs.
4. No flush? No Problem! Here's Why...
If your toilet won’t flush all you need is a little ingenuity and basic physics. Grab a bucket of water, pour it down the toilet and presto, the water in the bowl and all it’s contents will flush down no problem. This trick isn’t convenient for long term use, but it’s just the thing if you’re trying to hold out until your scheduled service appointment.
Can’t flush it down? Try sucking it up
When hard objects such as a brush or comb get stuck in the toilet, using a plunger can make the problem worse by jamming the item further into the pipes. Instead, try using a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck out the water and the obstruction in one go.
5. Empty The Sink Trap Regularly
Under your sink is a “P-trap” where gunk tends to build up. To clean it out, first plunge the drain a few times with a toilet plunger to push out excess water. Then, place a bucket or pan under the trap and unscrew the slip joint nuts. Note the position of the parts as you remove them- the O-ring is a necessary component for maintaining a tight seal, and you don’t want to misplace it. Clean out the inside of the trap with a bottle brush and reassemble.
6. Be Prepared For A Plumbing Emergency
Most of us know what to do in a fire or earthquake, but do you know what to do in a plumbing crisis? In the case of a huge leak or toilet-overflow, it’s crucial to know where to find the emergency water shut off valve. Many homes have easy-to-find shut off valves, but some houses hide them behind panels. If you’ve ever seen how quickly a toilet can flood a bathroom, you know that taking the time to find the shut off valve is worth it.
When in doubt, call your trusted St Cloud Plumber
These tips are great to develop a basic understanding of your home plumbing system and tackle some small projects, but if you have trouble or discover more complicated problems, always call a St Cloud Plumber who knows what they’re doing. Neighborhood Plumbing can assess the situation and take care of any problems on your schedule.