Plumbing Diagnostic Steps

While major plumbing issues require the help of a professional plumber, there are several common problems that you can likely handle on your own:

Clogged Drains

A plunger can often dislodge a clog in a sink or toilet. Another option is a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, which can break up minor clogs. We do not advise using drain snakes because they can damage the pipes. We also do not recommend using strong chemicals because these can damage the homes plumbing.

Running Toilet

A running toilet is often caused by a problem with the flapper valve that lets water pass from the tank to the bowl. Kits that include a new flapper are not expensive and easy-to-follow instructions are available at most home improvement stores.

Low Water Pressure

If your shower head or faucet is trickling, it might be a buildup of mineral deposits. A simple soak in vinegar might help restore water flow. An aerator on a faucet can often become clogged with mineral deposits from the water, especially in areas with hard water. Fortunately, this is a simple issue to fix.f

Garbage Disposal Stopped Working

Reset the Disposal:
Most garbage disposals have a reset button on the bottom or side of the unit. If the disposal has overheated, this button will pop out, and the unit will not run until it is pressed back in. If your disposal isn't working, try pressing this button.

Check for Power:
If pressing the reset button doesn't work, check to make sure the disposal is getting power. You can do this by plugging something else into the same outlet (like a lamp) to see if it works. If not, check your circuit breaker to see if the circuit has tripped.

Remove any Obstructions:
If your disposal is humming but not grinding, there might be something lodged in it. Always turn off the power at the breaker before attempting to clear an obstruction. Once power is off, you can use a pair of pliers to remove the obstruction - never use your hands. Some disposals come with a wrench you can insert into a hole at the bottom of the unit to manually rotate the grinding plates and dislodge the obstruction.

Check the Flywheel:
If the disposal isn't making any noise at all, something may be stuck and causing the flywheel to be jammed. There should be a small hole at the bottom of the unit. You can use an Allen wrench (often included with the disposal) to manually turn the flywheel and dislodge anything that might be stuck.

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