Homeowners have to prioritize several things to keep their home in shape and one of these priorities is regular plumbing maintenance. We all know how our plumbing system significantly affects the overall condition and comfort of our household. Even simple plumbing issues such as minor leaks are enough to disrupt our mood for the day especially if the problem becomes worse day by day. Our plumbing system certainly requires our utmost regular care and inspection so that our daily routines at home remain smooth-sailing and uninterrupted.
However, problems such as leaks inevitably occur from time to time. Leaky faucets and toilets are common plumbing issues and are downright annoying especially when they are left to linger for quite some time. Eventually, small leakages can cost us big time when they start to affect other parts of the home and cause major damages to our property. That is why, while still early, homeowners must not disregard those red flags that tell us that a leak exists and act immediately to resolve the issue.
Water Leak Repair Tips for Homeowners
Although it is best to call the help of a plumbing professional, we can also apply some proven effective DIY methods to fix minor leaks at home. Homeowners should at least possess simple know-hows when it comes to water leak repair. Depending on the nature and gravity of the leakage, one must at least know these simple plumbing tips:
- Toilet Leaks. Leaks are actually among the most common bathroom issues and, most of the time, it does not necessarily call for the expert hands of plumbing professionals to fix a leaking toilet. Usually, a running toilet occurs due to the following: a) the overflow pipe is at the wrong height; b) bad fill valve; and c) a leaky flapper. Sometimes the leak takes place at the base of the toilet, which means the wax seal under the toilet is not or no longer taking effect. Anyway, here are a few ways you can employ to address a leaking toilet problem:
- Test the leak using a food coloring.
First, remove the lid from the tank and then pour a few drops of food coloring into the tank. Wait for about 10 minutes before checking the water in the bowl. If you see that the food coloring has managed its way through the bowl thereby tainting the water, then you have a leak.
- Determine the source of the leak.
- Check the flush valve. The first thing you do is to shut off the toilet’s water supply. Next, use a marker to draw a line in the tank to indicate the tank’s water level. After 10 to 20 minutes, check if the water level has dropped below the mark. If it has, then the flush valve is the source of the leak.
- Check the fill valve. To verify if the fill valve is the source of the leak, you need to inspect the overflow tube and see if water is flowing or running into the tube. If so, the leak is coming from the fill valve. Thus, you need to replace the fill valve with a new one. The leak may also be due to the water being set too high or way above the overflow tube. Note that the water level should be kept 3 quarts of an inch below the tube.
- Check the flapper.
Once the flapper fails to seal properly, a leak happens wherein the water from the tank leaks into the bowl. This occurs either because the flapper is out of position or because it is corroded. It could also be because of mineral build-up on the bottom of the flapper. To address this issue, you need to shut off the toilet’s water supply and then drain the tank by holding the flush lever down until all the water is completely drained. To absorb and remove the remaining water left in the tank, you may use any thick cloth or a sponge, then proceed with eliminating the mineral build-up on the bottom of the flapper using a steel wool or sandpaper, or simply purchase a new flapper.
- Dripping Faucets. A constantly leaking or dripping tap, no matter how small the leak is, can eventually lead to major plumbing problems. It is also annoying to listen to a dripping faucet. However, you can do a DIY fix by first turning off the water supply. Then, you need to disassemble the faucet and carefully examine the defective parts so you can replace faulty ones with new parts before reassembling. Lastly, you need to tighten everything well and your faucet will be as good as new.
- Leaky Pipes. Leaky pipes are common during winter and happen as a result of frozen or burst pipes. That is why plumbing experts always recommend doing regular inspection of your piping system especially during the colder season so you can detect issues such as blockage, corrosion, cracks, and excessive water pressure, which are contributory factors to pipe leakage. One preventive measure you can do to avoid frozen and burst pipes is to allow your faucets to slowly drip. Constant water flow reduces the pressure in your pipes. To keep the pipes from being frozen and bursting, you may also insulate the pipes and then let warm air circulate around the household.
Another temporary fix for a water leak is applying epoxy or plumbing putty to the leaking spot. When applying, the layer of the epoxy putty should be 0.5 inch in thickness and should be wrapped around the leaky area. You can also use pipe clamps, which can be bought from your local hardware. However, if you are looking for a permanent fix for your pipe leaks, the best option would be to replace the defective pipe. This requires the guidance of someone who knows about proper fixtures, piping, and couplings.
Knowing how to fix leaks is a must for homeowners. All you need are just a few essential plumbing tools so that, should the need arise, you will be able to stop the leak issue.if not, then you just simply contact a licensed plumber and pay $200 per hour as services fees.
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