If you're going to be heading off to college, and it will be the first time you've lived on your own, it's time to acquaint yourself with some plumbing problems you might encounter. Money can be tight when you're a college student, which means you're probably not going to have much room in your budget for plumbing issues. Luckily, most of the plumbing problems you'll encounter, will be issues you'll be able to take care of on your own. Before you call the plumber, here are some tips on how to care for some minor issues you might face.
Sluggish Bathroom Drains
If your bathroom drains are sluggish, they might be clogged with years of gunk and debris. Hair and other gunk can get stuck inside the drains. When that happens, you'll notice that your sinks and tubs don't empty as quickly as they should. That's when it's time to clean your drains out. Grab a wire coat hanger, and straighten it out. Wrap Velcro around one end of the hanger and secure it with a thin piece of duct tape. Be sure the duct tape is just along the top edge of the Velcro. Insert the Velcro end of the hanger into a drain and twist it around a few times. Pull the hanger out and remove the debris from the Velcro. Be sure to have a plastic bag nearby, and gloves on your hands. The gunk you pull out of the drain will be pretty slimy. Repeat the process on each drain in your bathroom.
Garbage Disposal Woes
If your garbage disposal has decided to stop working, it's probably jammed. This is particularly true if it's making a whirring, or humming sound when you turn it on. The first thing you should do is hit the reset button on the garbage disposal. You'll find it either on the top, side, or bottom of the disposal unit. Once you hit the reset button, try turning the disposal on again. If it's still making a whirring or humming sound, you'll need to grab a broom handle. With the power to the disposal turned off, insert the broom handle into the garbage disposal. Press the end up against the disposal blade and push forward. Continue pushing until the blades move freely. This should clear the jam.
Toilet Keeps Running
If your toilet decides that it's going to keep running long after you've flushed it, there's probably an issue with the flushing mechanism inside the tank. Take the lid of the tank and locate the black plastic ball that's floating on the surface of the water. Grab hold of the metal rod that's attached to the ball, and give it a little bend. The toilet should stop running. If it doesn't, locate the fill cap that's located at the bottom of the tank. It will look like a small rubber bell. Lift the cap up and clean it with a sponge. This will remove the oils and gunk that are preventing it from forming a complete seal.
Now that you're going to be living on your own, be ready for the plumbing problems you might face. For leaks that won't stop, or plumbing issues that persist, be sure to contact a plumber near you.
Many people think that a plumber is there to be called to unclog toilets and drain pipes, but they don't understand that there are a number of other tasks that a plumber can do around the home. As the wife of a plumber, I know very well how much my husband does when he is out working. He comes home and tells me his fun stories about the superhero that was flushed down the toilet or the hot water heater that nearly exploded. My blog is filled with all sorts of tips, stories and information that can help you get a better idea of everything that a plumber can do for you.