Backed-up sinks. Discolored water. Leaks. These issues may sound scary, but the truth is they’re common problems in many homes. In fact, plenty of them can be fixed with just a few simple steps.
With the proper tools and skills, you can save yourself time—and money—by tackling these issues yourself. Plus, knowing how to take care of common problems will help you know when the issue is more complex 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 ordinary plumbing problems all by yourself. We’ll take a look at a couple of frequent plumbing dilemmas and how you can take care of them.
1. Why Is My Sink 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 blocked or disconnected.
Fortunately, this issue is simple to correct:
- First, try using a plunger to eliminate any blockages that may be causing the gurgling noise.
- If a plunger isn't effective, you can try using a drain snake to clear away debris from the pipe. Last of all, if your plumbing vent is blocked or disconnected, make sure to reconnect it and check for any other obstructions.
If you’re still having trouble, it may be best to call a qualified plumber in Paxinos. They can help determine the reason you are having the issue and provide you with lasting solutions.
2. Why Is My Sink Not Draining?
If a sink isn't draining, in most cases that’s a result of something obstructing the drainpipe. However, it also can be an indicator of a larger problem with your plumbing system.
Common reasons why the water in your sink won’t drain:
- Blocked or clogged pipes: Gradually, hair, food scraps, grease, animal fats and other materials can collect in the pipes, causing a blockage that prevents the water from draining.
- Broken seals: If the sink’s rubber seals are cracked or broken, they may not be making an effective seal around the drain to keep out air and enable the water to drain.
- Crud in the trap: The curved pipe under the sink, called a P-trap, can become blocked with debris or form leaks which restrict it from draining properly.
- Blocked vent pipe: A clog in a vent pipe, which allows gas to leave your plumbing system, might stop your sink from draining. Vents can be blocked by debris where they leave your house.
To unblock a pipe, try using a plunger to force the blockage through the line. If that doesn’t work, give some thought to using a plumbing snake to remove hair or other debris and allow the water to run through. Other techniques are to utilize baking soda and vinegar or a drain-cleaning product to disintegrate the clog.
Depending on your plumbing setup, you may have the ability to search for a blockage in the P-trap, which is a bend in the pipe under your sink. This is achieved by disassembling the pipe and cleaning out the line. To do this, first switch the faucet off and set a bucket under the bend. Then, take the pipe apart and extract any debris. Once it’s clear, put the pipe back together and rinse with hot water.
If trying to clear the line and P-trap doesn't clear the blockage, look at 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 overly ambitious bird or another critter. If this also doesn’t work, you may want to get in touch with a skilled professional for plumbing repair in Paxinos to make sure there isn’t a more substantial problem with your plumbing.
3. Why Is My Sink Water Cloudy/White?
In general, cloudy or white-looking water is a result of air bubbles in the water. This is usually benign and can often disappear on its own. It might be caused by a water company doing work on the lines, or a close-by 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 dissipate and the water will eventually clear. If the water is still cloudy after 24 hours, you may have another issue and will want to talk to a professional for assistance.
The cloudy water also could be due to high levels of minerals in the water in your home. Excessive minerals accumulate until they alter the water’s appearance and taste, in which case a water softener may help. It can prevent hard-water buildup from harming your pipes and producing the distasteful cloudy water.
If cloudy water is a persistent problem, consider washing out the aerator, which is a screen at the end of your faucet. Use a water and vinegar mix to remove any debris or buildup. If that doesn’t work either, you probably will want to seek advice from a professional plumber and let them find a solution.
4. Why Is My Sink Leaking/Dripping?
The reason for a leak or water drip directly below a sink is usually because a plumbing fixture has failed or malfunctioned. At times, it’s caused by a clog blocking the line.
Here are a few of the more common causes of sink leaks and how you can fix them:
- Loose Connections: One of the most common causes of a drip underneath the sink is a result of loose connections between pipes, fixtures and hoses. If any component has not been properly 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 a sufficient seal. If you observe water seeping from the sides of the handle or base of the faucet, it's likely that a new washer is required.
- Corroded Pipes: The pipes underneath a sink can wear out over time, causing weak spots and cracks. Corrosion is particularly common when working with older or lower-cost materials, so it's important to keep an eye out for any warning signs of degradation in order to avoid a major leak.
- Plugged Drains: A clogged drain can cause water to back up and start dripping from the seal. It's important to always check for any signs of blockage and to clear away any debris that may be restricting water flow.
5. Why Is My Sink Water Brown?
The most commonly encountered cause of brown tap water is rust. Rust normally comes from high levels of iron in the water, which can be the result of corroded pipes or worn-out fixtures. Rust may also show up when sediment accumulates. Buildup may appear if the filtration system is declining or there are high levels of minerals like manganese.
In some cases, 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, reach out to them to inform them of 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 Paxinos can help you figure out if the discoloration is originating from a rusting pipe that needs to be replaced, or if a filtration system may clear up the unsightly problem.
6. Why Is My Sink Draining Slow?
The most commonly encountered reason for a sink to drain slow is a partial clog in the pipes. Hair and soap buildup are likely culprits for a clogged bathroom sink, while food particles and grease—along with soap scum—often are responsible for kitchen sink clogs.
Three ways you can fix a clogged sink include:
- Plunger: One way to eliminate 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 attempt to dislodge the clog.
- Plumbing snake/weasel: If a plunger doesn’t work, you may try using a plumbing snake—a long, thin section of plastic—to put down your pipe to attach to the clog so you can yank it out. Sometimes, these are known as plumbing weasels.
- Chemical Clog Remover: Multiple chemical clog removers are available to break up blockages in sink pipes. Be certain to follow all directions, and that any brand you buy won’t damage your home’s pipes or the basin in your sink.