How to Deal with Plumbing Problems in the Bathroom

08/02/14 8:46 AM

bathroom plumbingA couple months ago, I shared some useful plumbing tips because I want to support my customers and make sure they have the knowledge to take care of some basic problems.

As a result of that blog, a customer located in Bristol, CT asked me what room in a house has the most plumbing problems.  That’s easy to answer… it’s the room with the most plumbing, the bathroom.

A kitchen has a sink and there are supply and drain hoses associated with a laundry room but a bathroom, even a half bath, has a toilet.

So, let’s get honest about what you can do when toilet problems appear, realizing that you’ll need to repair the toilet at the least convenient times, probably on a weekend, during a party.

If you find yourself in a bathroom, facing a suddenly clogged toilet, your first worry will be overflow.  Cleaning up that mess is not pleasant and, if you are a guest, you will give serious consideration to sneaking out the bathroom window rather than going through the door to let your host know what has happened.

You can do something other than stand there and pray the water will stop… lift the tank lid and use your hand to push down the flap.  That will stop water from flowing into the bowl.  Or, you can shut off the water at the wall, turning the valve to the right.

Panic over, you can address the clog.

One of the best solutions to unclog a toilet is time.  Time gives gravity the chance to do its work and, oddly enough, the weight of the water in the bowl will help dissolve the clog (usually too much toilet paper) and push down on the mass.  Pay attention to what happens when you flush.  If the bowl fills and then slowly drains, you have a small space in the clog and you can periodically flush to put more water weight on top of it and keep water flowing through that space.  Between the weight and flow, the clog will loosen itself.

Plungers are great for budging stubborn clogs but make sure you’re using the right tool.  As a homeowner, invest in a flange plunger so you can create a seal over the drain hole.  That seal is what allows you to get force in both pushing down and pulling up on the plunger.

Bathrooms are great when they work right and, with a little knowledge from Classic Plumbing by Reno, you can take care of some plumbing issues yourself, knowing I’m here if when the plumbing needs professional attention.

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