Skip to Content

How to: Fixing Common Plumbing Problems


Common plumbing problems can waste water and drain your pocketbook. If it's a major plumbing issue, such as a leaky water heater, you should call your plumbing professional right away. However, you may be able to handle some plumbing problems with a little elbow grease and patience. Here's what to know about common draining and toilet problems.

Clogged Drains

Drain clogs and slow draining are often isolated to one fixture, such as your kitchen or bathroom sink and drain. If the obstruction is located in the p-trap beneath the sink, removing and then cleaning the p-trap is often the most effective solution.

  • Turn off the hot and cold water valves under the sink.
  • Scoop out any sitting water in the sink.
  • Place a bucket under the p-trap to catch the remaining water that's in the sink and trap.
  • Loosen the slip nuts on both sides of the p-trap.
  • Remove the p-trap.
  • If the clog is in the trap, take it outside and clean it with the garden hose. Use a flexible wire brush to help.
  • Re-attach the p-trap and turn on the water valves.
  • If the clog wasn't in the p-trap, contact your plumber.

If you are experiencing slow draining throughout your home, call your home service professional.

Toilet Leaks

Whether intermittent or continuous, toilet leaks waste a lot of water. The problem of running toilets is located in the flapper and seat assembly. If the running water stops when you jiggle the handle, the chain may simply be getting caught between the flapper and seat. Take up the slack in the chain.

Intermittent leaking usually means the flapper isn't sitting tightly on the seat. This could be due to a worn out flapper and seat, or the flapper may be crooked. Adjust the flapper and wipe of the seat seal with baking soda. If it continues to leak, replace the seat and flapper.

To learn more about fixing common plumbing problems, contact the professionals at Valley Heating, Cooling, Electrical. Additionally, visit our website for in-depth information on most HVAC topics or just give us a call at (408) 868-5500.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the South Bay Peninsula and Santa Cruz areas of California about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Share To: