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7 Common Plumbing Issues in Apartments

Plumbing problems such as leaky faucets, clogged toilets, broken pipes, and clogged drains are common in many apartments. To avoid such issues, preventive maintenance practices are essential. Thankfully, you don’t have to hire professionals to fix the issues.

Fixing the plumbing issues by yourself will save you a lot of money. You will only need to hire pros at Plumb-Tech Plumbing & Heating if the issues are extreme or if you don't have the right tools. So, what are some of the plumbing issues, and how to fix them?

Common Plumbing Issues in Apartments and How to Fix Them

When hiring a plumber to fix a particular plumbing issue in your home, you’ll pay around $45-$200 per hour on labour costs. You can save on the hiring costs by doing some of the plumbing maintenance by yourself. Here are the plumbing issues you’ll encounter.

1.    Dripping Faucet Fixtures

Dripping faucets can waste a lot of water if not fixed early. That will not only raise the water bills but also damage several items in your house.

Thankfully, fixing a faucet fixture is not as difficult as it sounds. It will take you around 60 to 90 minutes to do the job, helping you save over $60 you would have spent on hiring.

Assembling the faucets is even easier when you don’t have to replace the entire sink. All you have to do is follow the installation instructions given by the manufacturers.

2.    Clogged Toilets

If your toilet bowls fill up and don’t drain away, it could mean that your toilets have some clogs. It could be a mixture of human waste and paper preventing water from draining.

Thankfully, you can quickly fix a clogged toilet using a plunger, drain auger, or a sewer snake. All you have to do is insert either of the tools inside the toilet to loosen the clog.

Alternatively, you can unclog the toilet using a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. You can then pour some hot water to dissolve the clog then flush to see if the toilet drains.

3.    Leaking Shower Heads

If your showerhead leaks or develops other problems due to sediment build-up, you will have to repair or replace it. Doing that by yourself will take around 15 to 30 minutes.

To replace the showerhead, you'll need a new shower head, rust remover, Teflon tape, and a wrench. You could save around $45 when you do the task by yourself.

Here are the basic steps to follow when replacing a showerhead.

  • Loosen the old showerhead using a wrench and discard it
  • Remove calcification, rust, and any other debris on the showerhead
  • Dry the arm and apply a Teflon tape on the threads
  • Screw the new showerhead onto the threads and tighten it with a wrench
  • Turn on the water supply and check if there are leaks. If the leaks are present, reapply the Teflon tape and tighten further

4.    Running Toilets

A running toilet can waste up to 200 gallons of water per day, increasing your water consumption and bills. That’s why you should fix the running toilet as early as possible.

Thankfully, repairing a running toilet can take 10 to 60 minutes, depending on the nature of the problem. If you do the job by yourself, you’ll save not less than $100 labour costs.

Here are some of the issues that can cause your toilet to leak.

  • Faulty Flappers: Most toilets leak due to flapper problems. To fix the issue, turn off the water supply to the toilet and remove the lid to inspect the valve. If it’s torn or worn out, buy and install a new one using the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Faulty Float: There are two types of floats: cup floats and ball floats. If the float is defective, it can cause water to rise higher than the right level. To fix the issue, turn the float’s control screw clockwise until the water level stabilizes.
  • Fill Valve Issues: Of the three problems, this is the most costly condition to fix. You have to shut off the water, flush the toilet, and disconnect the service line. Remove the old fill valve and look for a suitable replacement in a hardware store.

5.    Degrading Caulk

Fresh bathroom caulk can last for up to five years. But if it falls off, you need to replace it as soon as possible. Thankfully, you don’t have to hire a professional to fix this issue.

To get started, you’ll need a tube of caulk, mineral spirits, plastic razor, painter’s tape, fine-threaded rag, scissors, and Magic Eraser. Use acrylic latex or silicone caulk.

Here are the steps to follow when applying caulk.

  • Remove the old caulk, including the lingering chunks, using Magic Eraser
  • Read the manufacturer’s instructions and prepare the area of application
  • Apply the painter's tape on either side of the joints to be caulked
  • Cut the caulk tube tip’s at an angle of 45 degrees and caulk the joint
  • Smoothen the newly applied caulk using a damp rag and wipe off excess caulk
  • Remove the painter’s tape carefully without interfering with the caulk

6.    Stopped or Slow Drain Lines

Drain lines can slow or stop at any time, especially when you live in a poorly maintained older house. Thankfully, unclogging the drain lines is easy if you have the right tools.

Some of the tools you’ll need include an adjustable wrench, socket wrench, or pliers. You should also have a handheld auger. Here are the steps to follow to fix the problem.

  • Locate the access point of the main drain line in your house and open it
  • Insert a handheld plumber’s snake or auger into the drain to break up the clogs
  • Flush the drain using warm water to remove any remaining debris
  • Confirm if the water is moving in the drain line. If not, seek professional assistance

7.    Blocked Shower or Bath Drains

Shower and bath drains can get blocked up by many things, like soap and hairpieces. To unblock the clog, you’ll have to use a plunger or a snake. You can also use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar to dissolve the clog, followed by a stream of hot water.

Here are the steps to follow to unclog a bath drain using a plunger.

  • Apply petroleum jelly on the suction pad's edge to improve the seal
  • Submerge the plunger into a shower filled with water
  • Plunge the shower drain vigorously until it unblocks

Final Words

Doing some of the plumbing maintenance practices by yourself can help you save a lot of money. Whether it’s fixing a running toilet, caulking a tub, unclogging a shower drain, or replacing the plumbing fixtures, you need to have the right set of tools.

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