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3 Plumbing Basics Every First-Time Homeowner Should Know

February 21, 2023 | Blog

As a homeowner, you will likely experience your fair share of plumbing issues. This can be highly stressful if you don’t know how to fix them! It’s necessary to have a basic set of plumbing knowledge to handle problems when they inevitably occur. Ace Air Conditioning & Plumbing is here to walk you through three important plumbing basics!

Plumbing Repair Essentials

Supplying your home with the proper tools for plumbing is just as important as knowing how to use them and for what occasion. Ensure your home is equipped with the following:

  • Heavy-duty gloves
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Pliers
  • Cup plunger
  • Flange plunger
  • Drain snake

If you feel uncomfortable performing a repair or find that you’re unable to do so on your own, you can always contact one of our professional plumbers!

How To Turn Off Your Water Supply

Learning how to shut off the water supply to your home and plumbing fixtures is a critical first step. You’ll need to do this before attempting to troubleshoot most plumbing issues or when you have a scheduled repair. Most importantly, you’ll need to know where your shut-off valves are located and how to turn them off in the event of an emergency, such as when a pipe bursts.

If you find yourself in the middle of a plumbing crisis, it’s best to restrict the entire water supply to your home by utilizing the main shut-off valve. Most are found on the exterior side of the home, facing the front yard and below the water hose connection.

When you have a more localized issue, you will only need to turn off the local shut-off valves situated near the specific fixture. Once you’ve located the necessary valve, you can either use your wrench or hand to manually adjust it to shut off the water supply to that specific area.

How To Fix A Running Toilet

When you first notice a running toilet, use your newfound knowledge of shut-off valves to cut off its water supply as soon as possible. It may not seem like a big deal, but running toilets can waste gallons of water each day, costing you more in higher water bills. You want to quickly identify the issue to know how to fix it.

Inspect The Water Tank

If there is water in the overflow tube, the hollow vertical tube that sits inside, there is most likely a problem with the fill valve. Try moving the attached float rod up and down with the water supply on to see if it stops flowing as you raise it. If so, a slight adjustment of the fill valve will fix it.

Use your screwdriver to loosen the screw on top of the float rod counterclockwise to lower the valve’s sensitivity. If the water does not stop flowing after the adjustment, the fill valve needs replacing.

Check The Flapper

If there is no water in the overflow tube, you might have a faulty flapper, the round rubber seal sitting at the bottom of your tank. To inspect the flapper for wear and tear, flush your toilet with the water supply shut off to drain the excess water. If the flapper looks worn out, it needs replacing.

If it seems in good condition, the connecting chain is likely too short or long. If it is too short, move the hook connecting to the flush lever up a few links. If the chain is too long, trim off a few links using your pliers and reattach.

How To Unclog A Drain

Luckily, a clogged toilet is not a hard fix. You want to have a flange plunger on hand, as they are specifically designed to fit the curvature of toilet bowls. Before beginning, ensure the water supply is shut off. Next, insert the flange inside the drain opening and apply a quick thrusting motion for about 20 seconds to remove the clog. For more stubborn clogs, try a drain snake.

For any other clog, such as in your kitchen sink or shower, you’ll want to use your cup plunger as they are better suited for flat surface drains. First, scoop out any excess water to ensure a better seal and to minimize mess while plunging. Position the cup over your drain and begin thrusting for about 20 seconds to clear the clog. Make sure to apply short and controlled thrusts to avoid accidentally breaking the seal.

Professional Plumbing Repair In Lake Charles

If you need plumbing repair in Lake Charles, you can always reach out to your local plumbers at Ace Air Conditioning & Plumbing. With over 60 years of experience, you can depend on our team of certified experts to get the job done the right way. When you experience plumbing issues in your home that you can’t handle, just give us a call!

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