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Your home is vulnerable to a wide variety of plumbing problems, from a dripping faucet to a break in your water main. While some are more common than others, especially in older homes, many can be quickly repaired by you.

bullettDripping Faucets are among the most common problems, and can be easily remedied. First, turn off the water supply at the main before unscrewing and removing the faucet handle. You’ll find a washer that needs to be removed and replaced by one of the same size. Replace the faucet handle, turn on the water and you’ll likely find your problem has disappeared. Replace the faucet cover and your faucet is back in business.

bullettBlocked Or Overflowing Toilets   have plagued homeowners since the toilet was invented. When this occurs, again start by turning off the water at the main, which should stop the overflow. Next, push a plunger (AKA “The Plumber’s Friend”) into the toilet bowl and push down several times to clear the blockage. A special plunger designed specifically for toilet bowls is recommended over a round sink plunger.

If the blockage remains you will need a special metal line (AKA “Snake”) to run into the toilet bowl. That should clear the blockage, but if you regularly experience the problem, give us a call and we’ll be glad to discuss solutions.

bullettWater Heaters should be flushed regularly. Just hook a garden hose to the heater’s drain valve, positioning it to allow full discharge of the heated water into a floor drain or sink. Be careful – the water is a scalding hazard and can also harm or kill plants! It usually takes just a few moments to empty the heater, and when the water is clear, shut the drain valve and your heater should be back in business. Water heaters can last between 20 and 30 years, and regular flushing can help yours reach its maximum life expectancy.


bullettMalfunctioning Garbage Disposals are often the result of blockages from waste food. To clear the blockage, take the hexagonal key wrench that came with the unit, apply it at the designated spot at the bottom of the disposal and turn the key clockwise until the unit moves freely. Then run clear water and switch the disposal on before re-using.

bullettLow Water Pressure is often a reduction in water volume. Pressure is consistent – usually between 55 and 75 psi -- throughout your plumbing systems and is rarely low throughout the house. Purchase an inexpensive gauge at your hardware store and screw it onto a hose bib.

If your home’s water volume is low, the problem can be specific to an individual plumbing fixture or throughout the entire system. If both hot and cold water are affected in only some of the faucets, the aerator could be corroded or congested. Remove the aerator from the faucet spout, disassemble the parts and clean or replace them before reassembling the aerator in exactly the same order. If that doesn’t work, give us a call and we’ll help you determine if the faucet needs replacing or if the problem is in your plumbing system.

bullettNoisy Water Pipes are as frustrating as dripping faucets, with banging usually occurring when you turn on your water. This indicates your pipes are not sufficiently strapped. A sudden appearance of banging or thumping indicates something may have failed in your home’s infrastructure and could indicate a change in water pressure. However, a water hammer (thumping) can result from a condition outside the home and should not be permitted to continue indefinitely. It can usually be eliminated by a shock arrestor placed on the main water line near your meter or as close as possible to the source of the noise.

Copyright © 2010, Brosnan Plumbing, Inc