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Plumbing Safety and Do-It-Yourself Tips

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Plumbing DIY Tips

Plumbing problems are inconvenient, unsanitary and can be hazardous to your home. But before calling a professional plumber to make the repair, you may be able to troubleshoot the issue yourself. Weather you’re dealing with a dripping faucet, clogged pipe or low water pressure, there are a few things you can do before calling your local plumbing company.

Below are some simple plumbing DIY tips to help you when a plumbing issue arises at your home. Save time and money with these helpful plumbing tips troubleshooting hints.

  • If your toilet is clogged, remove blockage with a plunger or closet auger.
  • Most drain problems can be avoided with regular maintenance. Run hot water down your drains every few weeks to remove accumulated soap and grease.
  • To keep your laundry tub from having drain blockages, tie an old stocking over the end of the drain hose to catch lint.
  • Here is a simple test to see if your toilet is leaking: put food coloring in the toilet tank. If the water in the toilet bowl turns the color of the dye without flushing, you have a leak.
  • Poor water pressure from your kitchen or bathroom faucet could be the result of an accumulation of sediment particles in the aerator. Remove the aerator, check for any blockages and run under water to clean.
  • Run ice cubes through your garbage disposal once a month to help keep unpleasant odors from building up.
  • Clean floor drain strainers regularly.
  • Clean pop-up stoppers in the bathroom sink and tub regularly. Pull them out and rinse them off.
  • Weak pressure in your showerhead can be as simple as mineral buildup. Clean outlet holes with a pin or soak the faceplate in vinegar to remove deposits.
  • The most effective way to clear a clog is with a drain snake.
  • If you need help making a repair, contact BGE HOME for a plumbing repair from a certified plumber.

The Toilet is Clogged

When your toilet won’t flush properly and the water starts to rise to the top of the bowl, it’s easy to feel a sense of panic as you try to navigate what’s wrong with your toilet or plumbing system. Try the plumbing tips below before calling BGE HOME for a plumbing appointment.

Try to remove the blockage with a plunger

The first thing to do when your toilet is clogged is to try and remove the blockage yourself with a plunger or closet auger.

Grab some dish soap from the kitchen and pour it in the toilet bowl

If it’s a stubborn clog, consider dropping a few squirts of dish soap in the toilet (about 1/4 cup). Let the dish soap sit for 5 to 10 minutes so it has time to move down the drain. After that, add hot water (not boiling, just hot) to the toilet bowl and give it a little more time to site. If you’re one of the lucky ones, the soap will act as a greasy lubricant and may help unclog the drain to get your plumbing system up and running properly.

Use some baking soda & vinegar to loosen the toilet clog

Another creative way to try and unclog a toilet is to pour one cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar down the toilet drain. When these two elements combine, the chemical reaction will bubble up and hopefully loosen the clog. Let the baking soda and vinegar sit in the toilet bowl for about 30 minutes before pouring hot water in the toilet.

How To Troubleshoot a Running Toilet

A running toilet is a common problem for Maryland homeowners that can waste water, and money. If there’s a running toilet in your home, there are several things to check for:

  • Is the float arm not rising high enough? Bend the float arm down or away from tank wall.
  • Is the float ball filled with water? Replace the float ball and install a new flush valve assembly.
  • Is the tank stopper not seated properly? Adjust the stopper guide rod and lift wires or chain.
  • Is the flush valve seal corroded? Replace it.
  • Is the overflow tube cracked? Replace it.
  • Does the ball cock valve not shut off? Replace faulty washers or install new ball cock assembly.

The Faucet is Dripping

Have you noticed a pool of water under your sink? Is the annoying drip drop of the bathroom sink keeping you awake at night? If your kitchen faucet or bathroom faucet is dripping with no end in sight, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem yourself.

  • If the kitchen faucet is leaking, turn off the water at the valves located under the sink. Use a wrench to loosen the setscrew which is located on the faucet handle and carefully remove the handle. Then, use some slip-joint pliers to remove the bonnet and fish out the springs. You may want to clean out any built-up sediment from inside of the faucet. Remove the O-rings from the faucet and install new O-rings. Reassemble the faucet and check to see if it is still dripping. If it is, contact your local plumbing professional at BGE HOME.
  • If the laundry faucet is leaking there are a couple things to look for. If the faucet is dripping from the spout, it may mean that you need a new faucet washer. On the other hand, if water is leaking around the faucet handle, you may need to replace the rubber O-ring.

The Sink Won’t Drain Properly

Is the sink in your bathroom or kitchen draining at a slow pace? This common plumbing problem is usually caused by some sort of blockage that is restricting water flow. To try to fix this issue yourself, consider the plumbing tips below.

  • Use a plunger to try and unclog any items that may be obstructing the drain. You may find things like hair or food remnants are blocking the drain.
  • Pour some baking soda and vinegar down the drain. This fizzy concoction can help loosen the clog.
  • Use a plumber’s snake to fish out objects that are obstructing water flow.

If the above plumbing tips don’t work and your sink is still draining slowly, contact the professional plumbers at BGE HOME in Maryland to schedule a service.

Plumbing Safety Tips

Safety should be a priority on any plumbing job. Here are some helpful hints to keep you safe.

  • Wear eye protection to avoid injury.
  • Always know where your water supply shutoffs are located. This includes the main water shut off, toilet shut off and sink shut off valves.
  • If a plumbing repair is near an electrical source, be sure to turn off the power to that electrical source to avoid getting electrocuted.

If you tried the plumbing DIY tips above and are still having a problem, schedule a service call with a certified BGE HOME plumber.We provide professional services to homeowners across Maryland, from Anne Arundel County to Baltimore County and Montgomery County. See what ares we serve online today.

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Everyone needs to make home improvements from time to time and we are no exception. We are currently upgrading our online service scheduling experience, but you can still schedule service by contacting our Customer Care Center. Call 888.243.HOME to schedule service today.


We’ve changed our name to Constellation Home!

New name. Same everything else. As we prepare our new website over the coming months, expect to be directed to pages on constellationhome.com. Learn more about our name change.