If there’s one room in the house to be extra thankful for trouble-free plumbing, it’s got to be the bathroom. Thankfully our Arroyo Grande plumbers are here to help you steer clear of plumbing emergencies with these handy bathroom plumbing tips to help keep plumbing problems from sinking your day.
Toilet Maintenance – Find Those Leaks!
Sure, the drip-drip-drip of a leaky faucet is a pretty telltale sign of a leak, but did you know that your toilet is a far more likely culprit when it comes to bathroom leaks?
If you suspect your toilet is leaking, you’ll first want to check the water level in the tank to be sure that it’s not overfilling and wasting water by way of the overflow pipe (usually in the middle of the tank with an opening that’s even with or just slightly higher than water level.) If water is spilling into the overflow pipe, you’ll want to take these steps to stop it:
- 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.
Faucet Maintenance – Go With The Flow—And Keep it Flowing!
While the faucet is a simple enough device, it’s moving parts can still wear down over time, causing degraded performance, and, eventually, leaks. Even a slow leak—a drip every other second—can add up. If left unchecked for a year, that slow leak can waste over 1500 gallons of water—that’s nearly 100 showers!
In addition to staying on top of leaks, it’s always a good idea to regularly clean your faucet aerators. Sediment and mineral deposits can begin to clog the mesh screen, restricting water flow and place unnecessary back pressure on the seals inside the faucet valves causing premature leaks.
Cleaning the aerator is as easy as 1-2-3:
- Using your hand, unscrew the aerator from the faucet by turning counterclockwise. If you’re unable to unscrew it, you can use a pair of pliers or channel locks, but be sure to cover the jaws of the tool with tape or a rag to avoid scuffing the finish.
- Once removed, disassemble the aerator and soak the aerator screen in vinegar before brushing away any sediment.
- Then, reassemble the aerator and screw it back on to the faucet. All done!
Showerhead Maintenance: Harness Your Shower’s Full Power!
Even in homes with relatively soft water, showerheads can develop uneven spray patterns over time as holes in the showerhead become clogged as mineral deposits and scale from the water accumulate. Not to worry, to restore the spray pattern, simply follow these steps to clean it:
- Fill a plastic bag with 1-2 cups of vinegar
- Place it over your showerhead, securing it with a rubber band or twist-tie and let it soak for several hours.
- Remove the bag and wipe away the mineral deposits and scale with a wet rag. Done!
Bonus Tip! — Avoiding And Fixing Bathroom Clogs
Filed under the category of worst way to spend your weekend, dealing with bathroom clogs is far from fun. Here’s a few tips for keeping clogs where they belong—on the feet of folks from the Netherlands!
- Equip your tub, shower and sink drains with strainers to catch hair, soap chips, etc. Be sure to clean the strainers regularly!
- Don’t use your toilet as garbage disposal! Items such as cotton balls, paper towels, make-up pads and sanitary products won’t dissolve and will only clog your pipes in record time.
Unfortunately, even with the best intentions, clogs have a nasty habit of forming all on their own. When you run into an extra stubborn clog and need assistance don’t hesitate to call in a professional, our Arroyo Grande plumbing pros will have your bathroom back in action in no time.