How To Fix a Hard-To-Turn Faucet

Bathroom FaucetSome plumbing changes in your home happen so slowly, you do not even realize anything is different. Faucets are a great example of this—one day you realize the faucet is difficult to turn, and wonder how it ever got that way. It did not become hard to turn overnight, but fixing a hard-to-turn faucet is a quick repair any homeowner can do themselves.

Several Sources

A hard-to-turn faucet can be caused by several problems. Your job is helped by knowing (through a little tinkering) what the cause is. Some clues:

Preventative Maintenance for your Plumbing

Throughout the year, a home’s plumbing system gets a lot of use. Frozen pipes, backed up septic systems, and leaks can all be prevented with periodic preventative maintenance on your plumbing. The following are quick and easy things a homeowner can do to maintain their plumbing.

Kitchen

Daily Preventative Maintenance Tips

  • Avoid placing hard food waste into the garbage disposal. This includes bones, dense and fibrous plant products, and stringy waste.
  • Use cold water to flush the disposal for at least 15 seconds before and after use.
  • Never pour grease or oil down the sink as this can cause clogs.

Monthly Preventative Maintenance

  • Grind ice cubes and citrus peels. This will clean and sharpen the disposal blades.
  • Clean the disposal and pipes by pouring baking soda into the drains and following it with vinegar. Let it sit for an hour or so and flush with running water.
  • Check all water connections and pipes leading to the appliances. Make sure there are no leaks and all connections are in good condition.

Tips for Winterizing Your Plumbing

bathtubWinter is quickly approaching and that means it’s time to start your winter prep work. The best time to start winterizing your home is in early to late fall. Properly winterizing in late September or October will ensure that your home doesn’t suffer any damage from an early freeze. The winterizing process should include things like roof repair, plumbing maintenance, and light yard work.

One of the more important areas of the home to get ready for winter are any and all water pipes. Without proper winterizing, plumbing can freeze when the temperature drops down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, but if they are exposed to cold air due to lack of insulation or cracks, they can also freeze at temperatures above the typical threshold. When pipes freeze they can burst, causing damage to the pipe and potentially causing water damage to your home.

Plumbing Tips For Fall Maintenance

image of licensed plumber from Leak Geeks Plumbing

For many people, the fall season means raking the leaves, carving pumpkins and sipping warm cocoa in front of a bonfire. Although these things are a great way to enjoy the fall season, the beginning of fall is also the best time to prepare your home’s plumbing system for the winter. Here are some plumbing tips that will help you do just that.

Plumbing Tips for Pipe Protection

Both interior and exterior pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting without the proper insulation. One of the most important plumbing tips regarding the pipes is to thoroughly inspect all of the pipes, including those in the garage. The best way to ensure the pipes have sufficient insulation is by having a licensed plumber do the inspection, as well as insulation.

Water Heater Plumbing Tips

At the beginning of each fall season you should drain the water heater, especially if you have hard water. If the water heater isn’t drained, sediment will build up in the tank which can cause rust to form. If you already notice rust on the water heater or if it seems like it takes longer for the water to heat up, it is recommended that you have a new one installed to prevent the water heater from going out in the middle of the winter.

How To Diagnose Your Noisy Pipes

plumbing-fixturesMany homeowners have experienced the annoying rattling or clunking sound that emanates from noisy pipes in the home when turning a faucet on or off, but have been unable to identify the cause or the location of those noises. This is a very common problem especially in older homes, but there are several things that can be done to figure out what the problem is and correct it. Some of the possible causes of these loud and embarrassing noises are discussed below, along with some recommendations on how each scenario might be resolved.

Water Heater Repair for Attic Units

Photo of Two Water Heaters Installed in TandemIn many parts of the country, water heaters are commonly placed in the attic. This is manageable until you suspect your water heater has a leak, and accessing it to complete water heater repair is challenging to you and a professional plumber.

Why the Attic?

Homes built on pad foundations (no basement or crawl space) often have attic water heaters. While cheap to install, their attic location makes water heater repair very difficult. Garages are not good locations for gas-fired water heaters specifically, because of the proximity of flammable liquids.

By the Numbers

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety points out several factors that increase your risk of water heater repair and failure:

How To Locate Slab Leaks from Water Pipes

logoSlab leaks are often the culprit if you notice an unexplained increase in your water bill and have ruled out common sources of leaks such as your toilets or outdoor faucets. It is not always easy for a homeowner to determine where leaks from pipes running under your slab foundation may be located. In some cases, you might see wet spots or feel hot areas on your floor that may point to where the leak may be located.