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Tips & Tricks

Pipe & Duct Insulation

New Homeowner Series: Common Plumbing Problems - and How to Fix Them

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Water issues are some of the most common problems faced by homeowners – and if not fixed, they can lead to some of the most expensive repairs. This month, we’re tackling the problems to look out for, and how to fix them.


Leaky Faucets


The steady drip-drip-drip of a leaking faucet isn’t just annoying—it wastes water and can quickly run up your monthly water bill. A faulty seal on the valve that controls the faucet is the most common cause of leaky faucets, and can be fixed just by replacing the washer in the faucet handle. 


Slow Drains


A clogged drain is another common plumbing problem that’s usually easy to fix. Avoid using harsh, caustic chemicals to clear the drain, especially if you have an older home with old plumbing. Instead, pour a half cup of baking soda into the drain, and follow with a cup of white vinegar. (It will bubble and fizz, working to clear the blockage.) Wait five minutes, then pour a gallon of boiling water into the drain. If this homemade remedy doesn’t work, fill the sink or tub basin with a few inches of water and use a plunger to plunge the drain and (hopefully!) dislodge whatever is clogging the pipe.  


Toilet Troubles


If the toilet is constantly running, it might be time to replace the flapper (the rubber seal at the bottom of the toilet tank that closes the drain hole) so it seals properly. To replace it, shut off the water supply valve and flush the toilet to drain the water. Unhook the chain that attaches the flapper component to the flush lever arm. Remove the faulty flapper and replace it with a new one, then hook the flapper chain back onto the flush lever arm.  


Frozen Pipes


If your toilet won’t fill or water doesn’t flow from your drain, your pipes may have frozen – which can lead to pipes that burst and spew water everywhere. To fix, turn off the water supply, then get to work with a space heater or hair dryer to warm the air around the pipe and thaw the frozen water. Better, yet, prevent pipes from freezing in the first place by wrapping exposed pipes with Frost King Tubular Foam Pipe Insulation, which easily slip over pipes. Watch our video for water pipe insulation installation tips.

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