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Plumber repairing a toilet - Jarboe's Plumbing, Heating and Cooling

Save a Call to Your Louisville Plumber: Plumbing Troubleshooting Tips

Even minor issues create problems in the home – even if your plumbing problem seems small, it still needs some attention. Anytime you leave a plumbing problem to persist in your Louisville home, you open the door to water waste, water damage, and bigger plumbing issues. Luckily, with a little plumbing troubleshooting knowledge, many homeowners are able to take care of these small issues themselves.

No one wants to be stuck paying a professional to do something they are able to do themselves – with some plumbing troubleshooting instruction, you are able to tackle minor plumbing issues without the service and repair fee! Plus, fix these issues early on to prevent the nuisance they cause, not to mention those potential negatives above. Whether you are an experienced DIYer or not, the plumbing troubleshooting fixes below are fairly simple for many Louisville homeowners to perform.

Read through the plumbing troubleshooting advice below – if you feel comfortable performing these remedies yourself, give it a try. If not, or if these plumbing troubleshooting tips don’t solve the issue at hand, call in the pros. Jarboe’s team of licensed Louisville plumbers are available around the clock to assist you with your home’s plumbing issues.

Plumbing Troubleshooting for Toilet Issues

A malfunctioning toilet is a big problem for Louisville homeowners, especially when it takes your only bathroom out of commission. Running toilets and an inability to flush are two plumbing troubleshooting problems that may have an easy fix. Run through this plumbing troubleshooting advice if you experience the following problems.

Plumbing Troubleshooting to Fix a Running Toilet

Running toilets are a serious problem – they waste a great deal of water. Most of the time, the sound of running water coming from the toilet alerts a homeowner to the issue. Once you hear it, tend to the matter right away. These plumbing troubleshooting tips walk you through some simpler issues to solve.

  • The flapper opens to let the toilet flush and closes to allow the tank to refill. If it does not close all the way, the tank is unable to fill – water continues to run. Take a look at the flapper, it’s at connection between the tank and the bowl portion. Mineral buildup and rust in the tank or other matter may have built up and disrupted the seal. Also, a damaged flapper isn’t able to get a good seal.
  • The flapper is connected to the flush lever arm by a chain – the flush lever arm is connected to the outside flush lever, which moves the flapper when you need to flush. Make sure that chain doesn’t have a kink or isn’t caught upon any other tank mechanisms so the flapper is fully able to close.
  • The fill tube transfers water from the fill valve to the overflow tube – it’s a small section of flexible hosing. It should fit tightly at the fill valve and be open and positioned to spill into the overflow on its other end. Make sure the connection is snug and the fill tube is properly positioned over the overflow.

 

If your toilet continues to run after you try these plumbing troubleshooting tips, call us to request plumbing repair. Prevent water waste until our licensed plumbers arrive to solve the issue – shut off water to the toilet. Locate the shut-off valve on the wall behind or next to the toilet and close it.

Plumbing Troubleshooting to Fix a Toilet That Doesn’t Flush

A non-flushing toilet is something no one wants to discover after it’s been used! Sometimes, the problem just requires a simple fix. These toilet plumbing troubleshooting steps show you how:

  • A lever that is too loose or too tight has the potential to stop the toilet from flushing, because it is unable to properly move. Using a wrench, tighten or loosen the nut on the tank side of the lever (the inner side, not the outer side). Sometimes lever components are reverse-threaded, so the nut may need adjusted in the opposite direction than you are accustomed to.
  • You learned above that the toilet’s flapper is important in flushing, that it raises to allow a flush. That chain we mentioned – it’s important, too. Sometimes, a toilet that won’t flush is as simple as a disconnected flapper chain. It’s either disconnected from the flapper end, or the flush lever arm. Remove the toilet tank lid and check it out. If you find the chain is disconnected, reach in and reconnect. The water inside your tank is clean, so no worries!

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting for Common Faucet and Drain Issues

Your Louisville home’s sinks, bathtubs, and showers have drains and faucets – performance problems with these plumbing components can cause a real inconvenience. The plumbing troubleshooting tips below walk you through very common issues homeowners have with these fixtures.

Plumbing Troubleshooting to Solve Low Water Pressure

Low water pressure is sometimes created by significant problems within your plumbing system, but other times, the issue originates from buildup in the fixture. If low water pressure isn’t a problem across your entire home, it’s a good sign that it’s a fixture-specific issue. These plumbing troubleshooting problems help you address the possible cause:

  • Many Louisville homeowners use aerators on their faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. Aerators combine water with air to create volume with less water use. Unfortunately, the aerator is exposed to minerals and sediment in water, which can catch and cause restrictions that result in low water pressure from that tap. Remove the aerator and give it a good clean with a scrub brush and vinegar, then reattach. 
  • If you would rather not remove it, or it’s a difficult fixture like a showerhead, fill a food storage bag with vinegar and position it around the fixture so it is down in the vinegar. Secure it with a rubber band and leave it to soak for a few hours. Next, remove the vinegar bag and turn on the warm water to flush the vinegar and any loosened sediment out of the fixture.
  • Sprayer diverters are another faucet component prone to clogs from mineral buildup and sediment. Unfortunately, this component is a little tougher to reach. You need to take apart the faucet and pull out the spout to reach the diverter. Pull out the diverter and clean it thoroughly with vinegar and a brush, then rinse. Reassemble the faucet and make sure all components are put back in the correct order, or else your faucet will not work correctly.

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting for a Slow Drain

Slow drains leave water in your sinks, tubs, and showers – no one wants to stand around in that while they wash! Standing water due to a slow drain is a problem you do not want. These plumbing troubleshooting steps help you eliminate clogs that cause slow drainage. Keep in mind that sometimes a clog can’t be cleared on your own – call a plumber for help!

  • Tubs and sinks are equipped with stoppers so you are able to plug up the basin. Sometimes, certain issues cause them to plug up the drain when you don’t want it. Remove the overflow plate (for a tub) to access the stopper mechanism. Pull it out and clean off materials wrapped around the assembly. Inspect it for damage – corrosion affects these assemblies and if they are damaged, they need to be replaced. Once it is clean and you have verified condition, reinsert and replace the overflow plate.
  • Clogs may be deeper in the drain line and not affect a stopper mechanism. Start by removing any debris you are able to see at the entrance to the drain line. Use a drain snake to remove clogs, or a plunger to move them through the line. Pouring baking soda and vinegar with hot water down the drain also works to remove clogs without the use of harsh chemical drain cleaners.

 

Plumbing Troubleshooting for Garbage Disposals

Many Louisville homeowners love their garbage disposals for quick and easy food waste removal. When they stop working, plumbing troubleshooting helps get them back in service sooner. 

Plumbing Troubleshooting for a Jammed Garbage Disposal

A garbage disposal can’t clear waste when it is jammed, and if you run it too long under these conditions, you cause damage. These plumbing troubleshooting steps help you solve the problem.

  • Disconnect power – don’t stop at turning it off. Unplug the garbage disposal or flip off the circuit breaker. Locate the hex opening at the unit’s bottom. Using the wrench that came with the system, adjust it clockwise – this helps debris move out of the flywheel.

Plumbing Troubleshooting for a Garbage Disposal that Doesn’t Turn On

If your garbage disposal won’t work but it has power, it may need to be reset. This can happen due to overheating and other operation problems. Reset your garbage disposal with this plumbing troubleshooting process.

  • Turn the disposal off at the switch. Find the reset button on the under-sink components and press it in. If it doesn’t stay in, try again in about 10 minutes. Run the cold water and turn it on.

When Plumbing Troubleshooting Doesn’t Work

If the plumbing troubleshooting tips above haven’t fixed your issue, or the problem is too much for you to handle, call Jarboe’s! Our Louisville plumbers are ready to solve these issues for you with professional solutions. Contact us today for quick, reliable plumbing repairs.