Owning a home brings a sense of accomplishment, but it also comes with the responsibility of maintaining its various systems. Plumbing Lexington KY  problems can be stressful, but many common issues can be tackled by Lexington homeowners themselves with a little know-how and the right tools.

This blog post empowers you with the knowledge to fix five frequent plumbing problems in your Lexington home. Remember, for complex plumbing issues or anything beyond your comfort level, Hubbard Mechanical is always here to help! Read Fix Common Plumbing Problems Yourself to learn more

The Importance Of DIY Plumbing Knowledge

There are several advantages to being handy with basic plumbing repairs. Here are a few reasons to consider tackling small plumbing Lexington KY issues yourself:

  • Save Money: The cost of a plumber’s service call can add up quickly. By fixing minor problems yourself, you can save money on repairs.
  • Empowerment and Self-Reliance: Knowing how to address common plumbing issues provides a sense of accomplishment and allows you to handle small emergencies without relying on immediate professional help.
  • Quick Fixes: Simple repairs can often be completed in a short amount of time, preventing further inconvenience or damage.

However, it’s important to know your limits. If a plumbing issue is:

  • Extensive or complex (multiple leaks, broken pipes)
  • Requires specialized tools or soldering
  • Beyond your comfort level

Don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber like Hubbard Mechanical.  Their licensed and experienced technicians will diagnose the problem and provide a safe and efficient solution.

5 Common Plumbing Fixes For Lexington Homes

Now, let’s dive into five common plumbing Lexington KY problems homeowners can often fix themselves:

Leaking Faucet

A dripping or spraying faucet is not just annoying; it can also waste a significant amount of water. Thankfully, fixing a leaky faucet is a straightforward DIY project.

Replacing A Washer Or Cartridge (Step-by-Step)

  1. Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink. Turn it clockwise until the water supply stops completely. Test the faucet to ensure no water flows.
  2. Remove the handle: Depending on the faucet model, you might need to remove a screw securing the handle or pry off a decorative cap.
  3. Access the washer or cartridge: There may be a packing nut holding the assembly in place. Use the adjustable wrench to loosen and remove it carefully.
  4. Replace the washer or cartridge: Match the new part with the old one and install it securely.
  5. Reassemble the faucet: Tighten the packing nut (not too forcefully), replace the handle, and secure it with the screw or cap.
  6. Turn on the water supply slowly and check for leaks. Tighten any loose connections if necessary.

Clogged Drain

A clogged drain can be a major inconvenience, but it’s often a problem you can solve yourself. Here are some methods for unclogging drains and preventing future blockages:

Methods For Unclogging Drains

  • The trusty plunger: This is the first line of defense for most clogged drains. Make sure the sink or tub has enough water to cover the plunger cup. Plunge vigorously for 15-20 seconds, creating suction and dislodging the clog.
  • The drain snake (or auger):  For more stubborn clogs, a drain snake can reach deeper into the pipes. Feed the snake into the drain, turning the handle to insert it further. Once you feel resistance, turn the handle in the opposite direction to break up the clog and then slowly remove the snake.
  • The natural approach (baking soda & vinegar):  For a more eco-friendly option, try the baking soda and vinegar method. Pour ½ cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by ½ cup of white vinegar. The mixture will fizz and help loosen the clog. Let it sit for 30 minutes to an hour, then flush with hot water.

Preventing Future Clogs

  • Install drain screens: These catch hair and debris before they enter the drainpipes. Empty and clean the screens regularly.
  • Avoid pouring grease or oil down the drain: These substances can solidify and cause clogs. Dispose of grease and oil properly in a sealed container.
  • Don’t flush non-flushable items: Tissues, paper towels, and feminine hygiene products should never be flushed down the toilet, as they can easily clog the system.

Running Toilet

A constantly running toilet not only creates a bothersome sound, but it also wastes a significant amount of water. Here’s how to tackle a simple running toilet:

Common Causes Of A Running Toilet

  • Faulty fill valve: This valve controls the water flow into the tank. If it’s malfunctioning, the tank will continue to fill even after it’s reached the proper level.
  • Worn-out flapper: The flapper seals the bottom of the tank, preventing water from flowing into the bowl. A worn-out or damaged flapper can cause a continuous leak.

Fixing A Simple Running Toilet

  1. Lift the lid of the toilet tank. Locate the fill valve, which is typically a tall cylinder with a float attached to an arm.
  2. Observe the water level: There should be a fill line marked inside the tank. If the water level is above the fill line, the issue likely lies with the fill valve.
  3. Adjust the fill valve: There’s usually a screw on the arm connected to the float. Turning the screw clockwise will lower the float and decrease the water level. Make small adjustments and check the water level after each turn.
  4. Test the toilet: Once the water level is adjusted to the fill line, flush the toilet to see if it stops running. If the problem persists, consult a professional plumber.

Low Shower Pressure

Taking a relaxing shower with weak water pressure can be frustrating. Here are some reasons for low shower pressure and how you can address them:

Reasons For Low Shower Pressure

  • Mineral buildup: Over time, mineral deposits can accumulate in the showerhead restricting water flow.
  • Clogged showerhead: Tiny debris or sediment can clog the holes in the showerhead, reducing pressure.
  • Faulty shower valve: A worn-out shower valve might not be allowing water to flow through at full pressure.

Cleaning A Clogged Showerhead

  1. Remove the showerhead: Most showerheads can be unscrewed by hand. If necessary, use an adjustable wrench to loosen it carefully.
  2. Clean the mineral buildup: Soak the showerhead in a vinegar solution for several hours. You can also use a descaling solution following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Clean the spray holes: Use a small brush or toothpick to remove any visible debris from the tiny holes in the showerhead.
  4. Reattach the showerhead: Wrap Teflon tape around the threads for a secure fit, and then screw the showerhead back onto the hose.

If cleaning the showerhead doesn’t improve the pressure, the issue might lie with the shower valve or a deeper clog in the pipes.  In this case, consulting a professional plumber from Hubbard Mechanical is recommended.

Dripping Or Spraying Hose

A failing hose under your sink or behind your toilet can waste water and lead to potential damage if left unaddressed. Here’s how to identify a failing hose and replace it yourself:

Signs Of A Failing Hose

  • Visible leaks or cracks: Inspect the hoses for any bulges, leaks, or cracks in the rubber.
  • Loose connections: If the hose connection feels loose at the faucet or appliance, it might need to be tightened or replaced.
  • Deterioration: Over time, hoses can become brittle and weak. If a hose feels stiff or shows signs of aging, it’s best to replace it preemptively.

Replacing A  Faucet Hose

  1. Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink or behind the toilet for the specific fixture. Turn it clockwise until the water supply stops completely.
  2. Open the faucet: This will relieve any pressure in the line.
  3. Disconnect the old hose: There will be nuts on either end of the hose connecting it to the faucet and the shut-off valve. Use an adjustable wrench to loosen and remove these nuts carefully.
  4. Install the new hose: Wrap Teflon tape around the threads on both ends of the new hose. Screw the hose onto the faucet and shut-off valve, tightening the nuts securely but not excessively.
  5. Turn on the water supply slowly and check for leaks at the connections. Tighten any loose connections if necessary.

Conclusion

By familiarizing yourself with these five common plumbing Lexington KY fixes, you can tackle minor issues in your Lexington home with confidence. Remember, for complex plumbing problems or anything beyond your skillset, Hubbard Mechanical is always here to help. Their licensed and insured technicians can diagnose the problem accurately and provide a safe, long-lasting solution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Here are some frequently asked questions Lexington homeowners might have about DIY plumbing:

What tools should I have on hand for basic plumbing repairs?

A well-equipped toolbox is essential for tackling minor plumbing issues. Here are some essentials:

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Phillips head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Plunger
  • Bucket
  • Teflon tape

How can I tell if a clog is deep in the pipes?

If plunging and a drain snake don’t solve the clog, it might be located deeper in the main drain line. Signs of a deep clog include slow drains in multiple fixtures or backups in multiple drains. In these cases, it’s best to call a professional plumber with specialized equipment.

Is it safe to use chemical drain cleaners?

Chemical drain cleaners can be harsh on pipes and pose a risk of chemical burns if not handled properly. While they might seem like a quick fix, they can sometimes worsen the clog or damage your pipes. It’s generally recommended to opt for mechanical methods (plunger, drain snake) or the baking soda and vinegar solution for clogs.

When should I call a plumber instead of attempting a DIY fix?

If you’re uncomfortable with any aspect of the repair, unsure of the cause of the problem, or dealing with a complex issue (extensive leaks, broken pipes),  it’s always best to err on the side of caution and call a licensed plumber.  Hubbard Mechanical’s experienced technicians can diagnose the problem accurately and provide a safe and lasting solution.

How can I find a reputable plumber in Lexington, KY?

Look for plumbers who are licensed, insured, and have positive reviews from previous customers. Hubbard Mechanical is a trusted name in Lexington, known for their expertise, reliability, and fair pricing.

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