Plumbing Troubleshooting: Things to Do Before You Call an Indianapolis Plumber
Surprise plumbing problems – one of the worst nightmares an Indianapolis homeowner may experience! Calling a plumber seems like the obvious thing to do, but we’re here to tell you it’s not always the fastest or most affordable way to deal with these issues. A little plumbing troubleshooting often goes a long way towards saving you time, money, and hassle.
Yes, there are many types of plumbing issues that do require an Indianapolis plumber to sort out. But, there are some issues that are easy enough for a homeowner to solve with some plumbing troubleshooting knowledge. If you’re a little handy and comfortable doing the work yourself, plumbing troubleshooting has the potential to save you a great deal of money on professional fees, not to mention time.
It’s never recommended you tackle big jobs yourself, but common minor issues with fixtures are sometimes solved fast with plumbing troubleshooting. Our Indianapolis plumbers teach you how to perform plumbing troubleshooting yourself. As long as you are comfortable doing so, try these plumbing troubleshooting steps before you call us for a service visit. We don’t want to waste your money coming out to do the same thing you could do yourself!
Plumbing Troubleshooting for Toilets
These plumbing troubleshooting tips walk you through the steps to solve common toilet issues. If you aren’t comfortable doing them yourself, you can always call us to help.
Toilet Constantly Runs
A running toilet wastes a great deal of water – thousands of gallons of water a day, depending on the flow capacity of your toilet. Often, this issue stems from the toilet fill tank. Remove the lid and check out what is happening inside.
- If the water level is dropping, check the toilet flapper, typically located at the bottom of the tank where it connects to the bowl. If the flapper doesn’t seal, water continues to escape the tank. Make sure there is not an obstruction preventing the flapper from closing, and that the flapper itself isn’t damaged, which could cause a poor seal.
- Check the flapper chain, which opens and closes the flapper as you flush and as appropriate tank water levels are reached. Kinks in the chain prevent the flapper from shutting.
- If the flapper is in good shape and not obstructed, check the fill tube – it’s the smaller piece of flexible tubing that connects the fill valve to the overflow tube. Make sure it is positioned so that it squirts into the overflow tube and that the connection between the fill valve and fill tube are snug.
If the toilet still runs after you have performed plumbing troubleshooting, give us a call. Prevent water waste until we arrive – turn off the toilet’s shut-off valve, which is typically located either on the wall underneath the tank or next to it.
Toilet Not Flushing
If a toilet is unable to flush, a few things are potential problems. These plumbing troubleshooting tips help you find and fix the issue on your own.
- Make sure the flush handle is not too tight or too loose, which prevents you from using it. To make adjustments, turn the nut within the tank – often these are reverse-threaded. To tighten, a counterclockwise turn is needed; to loosen, a clockwise turn.
- Make sure the flapper chain is connected to the flush level lift arm. If it is disconnected completely, pushing the flush level doesn’t open the flapper, which causes a flush.
Plumbing Troubleshooting for Sinks & Showers
Faucet issues are another source of frustration for Indianapolis homeowners. These plumbing troubleshooting tips address common faucet issues to help you solve them before you call a plumber.
Low Water Pressure
While low water pressure may be caused by more significant plumbing issues, faucets are sometimes the culprit.
- The sprayer diverter within the faucet can become clogged with mineral debris and sediment from water over time. When it’s clogged, water does not properly exit the fixture. The sprayer diverter is located in the faucet assembly. Turn off water to the fixture and drain it. Carefully disassemble the fixture and remove the spout – this allows you to access the sprayer diverter. Remove it with a pair of pliers and clean it thoroughly with vinegar and a scrub brush. Reinsert and reassemble the fixture in the proper order.
- Water pressure problems also sometimes stem from clogs in the aerator, which is at the end of the faucet where water comes out. Remove and clean with a brush and vinegar. You may also fill a bag with vinegar and rubber band it to the fixture (a good solution to remove scale from showerheads). Allow it to sit for at least one hour and then remove the vinegar. Flush with warm water.
Tub Not Draining
If your tub or shower drain is slow to empty and you have a lot of standing water in the tub during and after use, drain issues are a common sauce of the issue.
- In bathtubs, make sure the stopper is functioning and not causing slow drainage. Blockages caused by debris in this assembly can cause slow drainage. Remove the tub overflow plate and remove the stopper assembly. Clear away debris and inspect components for corrosion damage – your assembly may need replacement. Reassemble and replace the overflow plate.
- Clogs in the drain line exiting your tub are often responsible for slow drainage and standing water. Remove visible debris from the drain. You may try a drain snake to clear clogs near the drain or plunging to move the clog along. Hot water, baking soda, and vinegar may also be used to clear clogs without the use of damaging chemical cleaners.
Plumbing Troubleshooting for Garbage Disposals
A malfunctioning garbage disposal is frustrating for many Indianapolis homeowners. These plumbing troubleshooting tips help get your garbage disposal back in good working order without the wait.
Garbage Disposal Noises
Noises in a garbage disposal are often caused by a jam. Never stick your hand or another item down the disposal if it is powered.
- Turn off and unplug the garbage disposal to prevent accidents. Using the wrench that came with the unit, locate the hex-shaped opening at the bottom and turn the wrench in a clockwise motion. This works to dislodge items caught in the disposal’s flywheel.
Garbage Disposal Doesn’t Turn On
Garbage disposals may overhead and trip off, preventing their use. They need to be reset before they are able to work again.
- Turn the garbage disposal’s switch to OFF. Locate the reset button on your unit and press it, it should stay in a retracted position. If it does not, wait about ten minutes and repeat. Run a cold stream of water in the sink and turn the garbage disposal on – if a simple reset was the issue, it should now work.
Plumbing Troubleshooting: Which Jobs to Save for an Indianapolis Plumber
Many Indianapolis homeowners feel comfortable with plumbing troubleshooting for simple issues, like the ones discussed above. Even if you are an experienced DIYer, there are some issues that plumbing troubleshooting is not appropriate for. The following issues are ones that you need to call an experienced plumber to handle:
- Drain clogs you are unable to resolve with a drain snake or the baking soda and vinegar method
- Leaks from plumbing pipes
- Leaks from fixtures if you are not confident disassembling the fixture yourself
- Burst pipes
- Replacement of plumbing pipes
- Installation of new plumbing fixtures and appliances
- Water heater issues
- Sump pump installation and repair
- Sewer line backups
If you experience a major plumbing problem in the home that you are unable to handle, contact a plumber right away. Depending on the severity of the issue, you may need to request emergency service to prevent water damage and major plumbing issues in your home.
Plumbing issues leave Indianapolis homes vulnerable to water waste, water damage, and more. You need a plumbing system that functions well and working components to ensure your family is able to safely use water at home. The licensed plumbers of Williams Comfort Air are available as needed to perform expert plumbing repairs. We offer 24/7 emergency plumbing repair to help you out in urgent situations where waiting is not an option.
If Plumbing Troubleshooting Doesn’t Work, Call Williams Comfort Air
It’s always our goal to help you better understand your plumbing system and fixtures. We believe some plumbing troubleshooting knowledge is a great asset to our Indianapolis area homeowners! We don’t want you to be stuck waiting for our team to correct minor issues if you are capable! If you have questions about the plumbing troubleshooting tips we’ve discussed, feel free to reach out – we are happy to answer your questions.
After you give plumbing troubleshooting a shot, if you still have problems, it’s time to call in the pros! Williams Comfort Air provides reliable plumbing repair services to homeowners throughout the Indianapolis area and the surrounding communities. We are here to tend to your plumbing issues quick, so no further problems occur and you are able to enjoy your home as usual.
For plumbing repair in Indianapolis, call us today!