Backed-up sinks. Discolored water. Leaks. These issues may sound frightening, but the truth is they’re frequent problems in many homes. In fact, plenty of them can be fixed with just a few painless steps.
With the correct tools and information, you can save yourself time—and money—by tackling these issues yourself. Plus, understanding how to remedy common problems will help you realize when the issue is more involved and best solved by a professional.
So, don't let a clogged drain or a leaky faucet get you down—with the right know-how, it's easy to fix straightforward plumbing problems all by yourself. We’ll take a look at a few frequent plumbing dilemmas and how you can resolve them.
1. Why Won't My Sink Stop Gurgling?
If you’re noticing a gurgling sound coming out of your sink, it may be the result of of air or water trapped in the pipes. This can take place if there is a blockage in the pipes, or if a plumbing vent has become obstructed or disconnected.
Fortunately, this problem is relatively easy to fix:
- First, try using a plunger to eliminate any blockages that may be causing the gurgling sounds.
- If a plunger does not work, you can try using a drain snake to clean out debris from the pipe. Last of all, if your plumbing vent is blocked or disconnected, make sure to reconnect it and inspect it for any other blockages.
If you’re still having difficulties, it may be best to call an experienced plumber in Reinholds. They can help identify the reason you are having the issue and provide you with answers.
2. Why Is My Sink Clogged?
If a sink is just not draining, generally that’s because of something blocking the drainpipe. However, it also can be a result of a more severe problem with your plumbing system.
Common reasons why the water in your sink won’t drain:
- Blocked or clogged pipes: As time passes, hair, food scraps, grease, animal fats and other materials can build up in the pipes, creating a blockage that prevents the water from draining.
- Broken seals: If the sink’s rubber seals are cracked or damaged, they may not be producing an effective seal around the drain to keep out air and allow the water to drain.
- Buildup in the trap: The curved pipe under the sink, called a P-trap, can become blocked with debris or form leaks which prevent it from draining properly.
- Blocked vent pipe: A blockage in a vent pipe, which allows gas to exit your plumbing system, might stop your sink from draining. Vents can be blocked by debris where they come out of your residence.
To unclog a pipe, try using a plunger to force the blockage through the line. If that doesn’t work, think about using a plumbing snake to remove hair or other debris and allow the water to run through. Other methods are to try baking soda and vinegar or a drain-cleaning product to dissolve the clog.
Depending on your plumbing setup, you may have the ability to check for a blockage in the P-trap, which is a bend in the pipe underneath your sink. This is accomplished by dismantling the pipe and clearing the line. To do this, first turn the faucet off and put a bucket under the bend. Then, disassemble the pipe and retrieve any debris. Once it’s clear, put the pipe back together and rinse out with hot water.
If trying to clear the line and P-trap doesn’t work, inspect where your drain vent extrudes from your house to make sure it isn’t blocked by debris such as leaves, dirt or even a nest by an misguided bird or other animal. If this also doesn’t work, you may have to contact an experienced professional for plumbing repair in Reinholds to make sure there isn’t a bigger problem with your plumbing.
3. Why Is My Sink Water Cloudy/White?
Quite often, cloudy or white-looking water is due to air bubbles in the water. This is usually harmless and can often clear up on its own. It could be caused by a water company doing work on the lines, or a neighborhood construction project.
One way to check if cloudy water is created by air bubbles is to fill a glass of water and then leave it on the counter. Chances are the air bubbles will go away and the water will eventually become crystal clear. If the water is still cloudy after 24 hours, you may have another problem and will want to talk to a professional for assistance.
The discolored water also could be due to high levels of minerals in the water in your home. Excessive minerals collect until they alter the water’s appearance and taste, in which case a water softener may be of assistance in fixing the problem. It can prevent hard-water buildup from ruining your pipes and creating the distasteful cloudy water.
If cloudy water is a reoccuring problem, consider washing out the aerator, which is a screen at the end of your faucet. Use a water and vinegar mix to eliminate any debris or blockages. If that doesn’t work either, you probably will want to consult a skilled plumber and let them work toward a solution.
4. Why Won't My Sink Stop Leaking?
The reason for a leak or water drip beneath a sink is often because a plumbing fixture has worn out or malfunctioned. At times, it’s caused by a clog blocking the line.
Here are some of the more commonly seen causes of sink leaks and how you can fix them:
- Loose Connections: One of the most common causes of a leak underneath the sink is a result of loose connections between pipes, fixtures and hoses. If any part has not been correctly tightened, or if it was not sealed right in its fitting, water can quickly escape from these weak spots.
- Worn-Out Washers: Over the years, the washer in a sink fixture can become worn out and fail to create an adequate seal. If you see water seeping from the sides of the handle or base of the faucet, it’s very likely that a new washer is needed.
- Corroded Pipes: The pipes underneath a sink can corrode over time, resulting in deterioration and cracks. Corrosion is especially common when working with older or inexpensive materials, so it's important to look for any indications of degradation in order to avoid a major leak.
- Plugged Drains: A clogged drain can make water back up and start dripping from the seal. It's important to check for any indications of blockage and to clear away any debris that may be slowing water flow.
5. Why Is the Water from My Sink Discolored?
The most commonly encountered cause of brown tap water is rust. Rust usually comes from excess iron in the water, which might be the result of corroded pipes or worn-out fixtures. Rust may also develop when sediment builds up. Buildup may form if the filtration system is declining or there are significant levels of minerals like manganese.
In some instances, the water can be discolored from silt or clay particles that have been stirred up from service on the water line or your plumbing. If you purchase your water from a municipal utility company, be sure to contact them to notify them about the discoloration. They will hopefully be able to tell you if there has been any recent construction on the water lines.
A knowledgeable plumber in Reinholds can help you confirm if the discoloration is originating from a rusting pipe that needs to be replaced, or if a filtration system may get rid of the unsightly problem.
6. Why Is My Sink Draining Slower Than It Used to?
The most widespread cause for a sink to drain slow is a partial blockage in the pipes. Hair and soap scum are likely reasons for a clogged bathroom sink, while food scraps and grease—along with soap scum—often are responsible for kitchen sink clogs.
Three ways you can fix a clogged sink include:
- Plunger: One method to clear away a partial clog is with a plunger. If there isn't any standing water in the sink, allow it to fill with enough water to cover the drain. Then, use the plunger to try to dislodge the clog.
- Plumbing snake/weasel: If a plunger doesn’t fix the problem, you may try using a plumbing snake—a long, thin piece of plastic—to put down your pipe to attach to the clog so you can pull it out. Sometimes, these are referred to as plumbing weasels.
- Chemical Clog Remover: Many chemical clog removers are available to dissolve blockages in sink pipes. Make sure to follow all directions, and that the remover won’t damage your home’s pipes or the basin in your sink.