Troubleshooting Tips to Try Before Calling a Cincinnati Plumber

Plumber repairing a toilet - Thomas & Galbraith Heating, Cooling, & Plumbing

Plumbing issues cause big worries for Cincinnati homeowners – big problems need swift action to prevent damage. What about all those minor problems we have a tendency to put off, because they appear to only cause little inconveniences and don’t seem big enough to call a plumber? Plumbing troubleshooting helps you solve these issues, remedy the headache, and save money on plumbing repair calls.

Sure, many plumbing problems require the help of a Cincinnati plumber. As far as plumbing troubleshooting goes, minor issues are easier for homeowners to address themselves. Think about all those times you’ve showered with standing water at the bottom of your tub, or suffered with low water pressure just because it didn’t seem like such a big deal – these things are a huge deal when it comes to comfort! Whether you realize it or not, letting these problems go can cause bigtime damage and water waste.

Call us for help for plumbing problems beyond your comfort, big and small. If you want to put your DIY efforts to good use, these plumbing troubleshooting tips help you address those minor issues yourself. Even one issue you are able to remedy on your own saves you some serious cash when you don’t have to pay a service fee!

Toilet Plumbing Troubleshooting

Toilets are a big source of small plumbing headaches for Cincinnati homeowners. Luckily, some of these issues have easy fixes with plumbing troubleshooting. While one toilet issue has many potential causes, our plumbing troubleshooting tips run you through the easiest points to check – you luck out with plumbing troubleshooting when the fixes are simple!

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: My Toilet Runs!

An easy way to waste potentially thousands of gallons of water a day is to let your toilet run. The noise clues you in on the issue – don’t ignore it. With plumbing troubleshooting, we take a look at some of the issues that occur within the toilet tank that lead to a running toilet.

  • A malfunctioning toilet flapper doesn’t close all the way, which lets water continuously flow through the toilet tank. It is supposed to seal the exit to the tank after a flush, which lets water rise to normal levels in the tank. Check around the flapper for obstructions, like mineral buildup and rust, that prevent the flapper from making that seal. Inspect the flapper for damage.
  • The flapper chain connects it to the flush lever arm, which opens and closes the flapper when you push the level on the outside of your toilet tank. If that chain becomes kinked or caught up somewhere in the assembly, the flapper is restricted and cannot fully close. Inspect the chain and make sure it hangs freely and isn’t bunched up.
  • Take a look at the fill tube, the small, flexible hose that extends from the fill valve to the overflow tube. This piece of hose should be firmly connected to the fill valve, and loosely hanging over the overflow tube, which allows water to enter the overflow. 

 

Don’t let a running toilet cost your family more on water utility bills. If you are unable to solve the issue, shut off water to the toilet at the individual shut-off valve, positioned below or near the tank on the wall. Then, call us and we send a Cincinnati plumber to correct the issue.

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: My Toilet Doesn’t Flush

It’s everyone’s nightmare – the toilet doesn’t flush after you’ve used it. Luckily, this common problem sometimes has a simple cause. Our plumbing troubleshooting tips help you fix the issue fast!

  • You may not be able to make the toilet flush because of lever issues. If it is too loose or too tight, it won’t move properly. Get a wrench and access the nut on the lever components on the inside of the tank. Sometimes these components are reverse-threaded, which means you need to turn the nut the opposite way that you are used to in order to loosen or tighten it.
  • Sometimes, a toilet that is unable to flush is caused by a disconnection of the flapper chain. When the chain disconnects, the flush lever arm is unable to raise it and force a flush, even though the outer lever moves just fine. Take the lid off the tank and have a look. If the chain has disconnected, reach in, grab the end, and reattach – don’t worry, the water inside a toilet’s tank is clean!

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting of Sinks, Showers & Tubs

Tubs, showers, and sinks have faucets and drains which sometimes have performance problems. With these plumbing troubleshooting tips, we run you through a few common issues and the simple fixes that address common culprits.

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: I Have Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure can be a sign of complicated plumbing problems, but sometimes the source is right at the faucet. These plumbing troubleshooting tips help you clean components and restore good water flow through the faucet.

  • Many faucets are equipped with aerators, they mix water with air for better water efficiency. Over time, these components collect mineral deposits which lead to clogs that reduce the water flow out of the fixture. Most aerators unscrew from the faucet tip and are removable for cleaning – take it off, and give it a good scrub with vinegar and a brush. Soak it in a cup of vinegar for a longer period of time for tough deposits. If you get poor water flow from a showerhead, remove mineral buildup by filling a food storage bag halfway with vinegar, and fit it over the showerhead so the head is in the vinegar. Use a rubber band to attach the bag of vinegar, and allow it to sit for several hours. Remove and flush the showerhead by turning on warm water.
  • Clogs and mineral buildup also affect the faucet’s sprayer diverter. This component is a bit more difficult to access as it sits down in the faucet assembly. You need to carefully disassemble the faucet and remove its spout. Next, pull the sprayer diverter out with a pair of pliers. Use vinegar and clean the sprayer diverter with a brush. Once it is clean, replace the sprayer diverter and reassemble your faucet in the correct order.

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: My Tub Drain Is Slow

Standing water in a tub or shower is a nuisance while you wash, and poses a potential health hazard in your Cincinnati home if it never drains away. The same problem occurs in sinks, too. Follow these plumbing troubleshooting tips to help your fixtures properly drain.

  • Stopper malfunctions inhibit drainage when the stopper does not fully open. This is caused by clogs or damaged components in many cases. Remove your overflow plate to access the stopper assembly and pull it out. Remove any debris that are caught around the assembly. Check it carefully for damage, which is possible due to corrosion – if there is damage, you need to replace the stopper assembly to prevent malfunctions. Once clogs are clear, replace the unit and affix the overflow plate
  • Clogs deeper in the drain line prevent good water drainage in tubs, showers, and sinks. If there are visible debris at the drain cover, remove as much as you can. Clear clogs with a drain snake, plunger, or a baking soda and vinegar flush with hot water. Do not use chemical drain cleaners, as they can cause damage.

 

Garbage Disposal Plumbing Troubleshooting Tips

Garbage disposals are a well-used piece of equipment in many Cincinnati households. They can become jammed or may stop working, leaving you without the ability to clear simple food waste. These plumbing troubleshooting tips help you remedy these issues right away, without the need to call a plumber.

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: My Garbage Disposal Is Jammed

A jammed garbage disposal is unable to clear waste. Plus, if you continue to run it in the midst of a jam, you run the risk of damaging the unit. Do some simple plumbing troubleshooting to clear a jam.

  • Always disconnect power to the unit before doing any plumbing troubleshooting for garbage disposals. Don’t just turn it off, either unplug the unit or cut power at the breaker. Find the wrench that came with your garbage disposal and use it to turn the hex-shaped opening located at the disposal’s bottom. Turn it clockwise. This should move debris caught in the flywheel which is the cause of the jam.

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting Problem: My Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Turn On

If your garbage disposal doesn’t turn on, sometimes a simple reset is all the system needs. When the unit overheats, it trips and must be reset. These plumbing troubleshooting instructions provide the solution.

  • Set the garbage disposal’s switch OFF. Find the garbage disposal’s reset switch underneath the sink. Press the button in, and it should stay in. If it doesn’t repeat this step in about 10 minutes. Next, turn the disposal on and turn on the cold water. If the reset solves the issue, the disposal will work now.

 

When Plumbing Troubleshooting Doesn’t Work, Call the Plumber!

If these plumbing troubleshooting tips don’t solve your plumbing issue, or your issue is beyond your capabilities to fix, give us a call! Our licensed Cincinnati plumbers offer quick service to restore function – we are even available on an emergency basis when you need us, anytime! Call Thomas & Galbraith today for quick plumbing repair.

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