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5 Common Plumbing Issues - And How to Fix Them!

30.12.20 01:47 PM By Brandon

Plumbing problems can be as small as an annoying drip or escalate to a massive burst or backup that's capable of destroying your home and belongings. We want to help you see the difference between something insignificant, show you how to fix it, and know when it is best to give us a call.

 

We'll tackle a few of the most common issues that we see and show you how to DIY the fix. Our pros recommend preventative maintenance to avoid the inconvenience and expense of having to repair something. But we know that even with regular maintenance, things can still go wrong and help is always just ONE call away.

woman using black plunger on clogged toilet

How do I clear a clogged toilet?
Prevent It

  • Don't flush anything besides bodily waste and toilet paper down your toilet. Paper towels, wipes (even the "flushable kind"), facial tissue, and feminine hygiene products are not friends to your plumbing. 
  • When it comes to toilet paper, only use what's needed - too much toilet paper in one flush can prevent your toilet from flushing.
  • Over time, mineral deposits from hard water can cause build up in your plumbing, which will need to be removed professionally. You can prevent this calcification by having a water softener installed in your home.

Fix It Yourself

  • Your trusty old plunger can often clear tough clogs. Make sure you have a tight seal on the drain and be aware that you can displace water from your toilet bowl when you plunge.
  • Try an enzyme or bio drain cleaner to clear the drain but avoid chemical drain cleaners as they can cause burns, damage your plumbing, and are bad for the environment.
  • Use a plumbing snake, known as an auger, to break up the clog in your toilet, allowing you to flush away your backup.

Make ONE Call

  • If your toilet experiences regular clogs, it can be a sign of build up in your plumbing or even tree roots growing through your pipes. Calling a reputable plumber to have everything inspected will show you exactly what needs to be done to fix the problem.
  • Regular clogs in one or more toilet in your home accompanied by sediment build up can be a sign that your aging plumbing needs to be replaced.
  • Low water pressure can also cause backups as the toilet doesn't produce enough pressure to flush effectively. If you notice a consistent low flush pressure, call to have things inspected before a problem arises.
man using plumbing snake on sink drain

How do I unclog my pipes?
Your toilet isn't the only plumbing that can clog. All household plumbing is susceptible to obstructions and clogs. If your drains slow down or stop altogether, here are your first steps to troubleshoot.
Prevent It

  • Don't pour coffee grounds, oil, grease or other fats down your drains. These can adhere to pipe walls and build up overtime, creating blockages.
  • If you have a garbage disposal, avoid overloading it by feeding only small amounts of food scraps into it at a time.
  • Be sure to use sufficient water to flush your drains after each use.

Fix It Yourself

  • Pour boiling water or other combinations of common household items like salt, vinegar, and baking soda can be used to clear clogs. Be sure to avoid regular use of chemical cleaners as they can deteriorate your plumbing with repeated use.
  • Your plunger can also help unclog a drain. If you're plunging one side of a double sink, make sure to plug the second drain or you'll end up with a giant mess on your hands!
  • A plumber's snake - or a wire coat hanger in a pinch - can be used to try to dislodge the clog.

Make ONE Call

  • Drains can be tricky and if you're not having luck with our DIY tips, we're ready to come out and get things flowing again.
clean toilet in bathroom/restroom

How do I stop my toilet from running?
Fix It Yourself

  • Check to ensure that your fill tube is secure, your float is set high enough, check your flapper chain and flapper. If the inside of a toilet tank is new territory for you, check out this helpful step by step guide to walk you through this DIY.

Make ONE Call

  • If you can't tweak things yourself to stop the running or if you notice a leak that's preventing your toilet tank from staying filled, call a plumber to make this fix. Left unaddressed, a running toilet can waste thousands of gallons of water a month!
hand under faucet - experiencing low water pressure

Why is my water pressure low?
Low water pressure can create frustration with some of the simplest household tasks - washing dishes, showering, even flushing the toilet all become much more difficult with low water pressure. Like many household system problems, the solution can be a quick fix or a big problem.
Fix It Yourself

  • Some homes experience a drop in water pressure when too many water sources are on at once. If you only notice your dip in pressure when several fixtures are in use simultaneously, try to coordinate your water use to eliminate the dip.

  • Your home's water can be turned off at your shut off valves - but if these valves aren't fully open, they can be the cause of reduced water pressure. If you're not sure where to locate your valve, this guide can walk you through it - it's an important thing to know in case of emergency anyway!
  • Fixtures can become clogged or corroded over time. Try cleaning your shower head or faucet to increase the water pressure.

Make ONE Call

  • Clogged or corroded pipes can also be the culprit for low water pressure but you'll need to call a trusted plumber out for an inspection to identify this issue.
  • If you've exhausted the troubleshooting list above and continue to experience low water pressure, it's best to have a professional come out to get things back in peak condition.
Hand under faucet feeling water flow

Why is my water cold?
Turning on your water to find that it's run cold is more than a little annoying. No one likes a cold shower and washing your dishes just doesn't work quite as well with cold water. The life of a water heater is about 10 years, give or take a few but your water running cold isn't necessarily a sign that it's time for a new one. 
Prevent It

  • Regularly flushing your water heater removes sediment and allows your water heater to work more efficiently while maximizing its life. While this is an easy task to take on yourself, our Preferred Plans for home maintenance tackle this job for you.

Fix It Yourself

  • Check the temperature that your heater is set at. Most tank systems recommend a water temperature of 120 degrees, though temperatures can be set slightly lower to save on energy costs.
  • Is your heater plugged in (if it's electric) or your pilot light lit (if it's gas)?
  • Your tank is empty. If someone in your home ran a load of laundry, started the dishwasher, and then the water went cold halfway through your shower - you may just need to leave time for your water heater's tank to refill and heat.

Make ONE Call

  • If everything appears to be working correctly, or if any of the things above seem amiss, it's probably time to give us a call to take a look.

Regular Maintenance

Most of the problems above are often easy to prevent through proper use and regular maintenance. 
Regular maintenance not only ensures that your heat will work when you need it to, it also extends the life of your unit.


Now, it's easier than ever to keep your systems running their best with the ONE Service Pros Preferred Plan. When you become a Preferred customer, you'll receive regular maintenance, get bumped to the front of the line for service calls, and enjoy discounts on repairs that may pop up. You can even expect to see some exclusive member deals throughout the year. Check out all the benefits - including how to get one month FREE!

View Our Plans