Home Plumbing Tips and Maintenance
These helpful tips should help keep the plumbing in your bathroom running efficiently:
- Once a week run hot water down the drain to help keep it free-flowing.
- Use Baking Soda & Vinager to bathroom drain lines once each month to keep soap scum from building up and causing clogs.
- Repair leaky faucets to avoid further damage to the fixtures and faucets.
- Tubs and showers should be fitted with strainers that catch hair and soap chips. Clean the strainers regularly.
- To remove unsightly mineral deposits on your shower head, put one cup of vinegar in a plastic bag and place it over the shower head. Hold it in place with a twist tie and let stand overnight. In the morning, remove the bag and wipe off the mineral deposits with a damp cloth.
- Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket. Do not flush facial tissue, cotton balls, make-up pads, sanitary products or diapers as they do not dissolve and can clog the lines. Keep a trash container in each bathroom and toss these items away.
Showerheads develop uneven spray when the holes become clogged with mineral deposits from the water. To clean:
- Unscrew swivel ball nut – you will need adjustable wrench or channel-type pliers. (Hint: to protect the finish from scratches, first wrap the jaws of the tool with masking tape.)
- Unscrew collar nut from showerhead.
- Gently clean the outlet and inlet holes of the showerhead using a thin wire.
- Flush the head with clean water.
- You may want to soak the showerhead in vinegar overnight to remove mineral deposits. Reassemble the showerhead.
Testing a Toilet for Leaks
Check the water level in the tank to be sure that the water is not overflowing by way of the overflow pipe (the pipe in the middle of the tank with a small piece of tubing connected to it).
- If water is running into the overflow pipe, adjust the fill valve until the water stops approximately one inch below the top of the overflow tube (there may be a water level mark stamped on the side of the tank).
- Test the flush valve mechanism by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank.
- Check the bowl after 15 minutes, if the water in the toilet bowl has changed color, the ball or flapper is leaking and needs to be replaced.
Cleaning an Aerator
Low water pressure from the faucet or water leaks from the handle are usually caused by lime buildup and sediment blocking the small openings inside the aerator. Clean the aerator using the following steps:
- By hand, carefully unscrew the aerator from the faucet turning counterclockwise. If it will not unscrew, wrap the jaws of your pliers with masking tape and loosen the aerator with the pliers. Continue by hand.
- Take aerator or spray head apart.
- Use a small brush dipped in vinegar to remove sediment.
- Reassemble the aerator and screw back on to the faucet.