If you’re having some annoying plumbing problems, it may help to know that there are a couple of them you can actually fix yourself. You don’t always need to pay a plumber for a house call. These common but easily repaired plumbing problems may be yours.
Are you suffering from noisy pipes keeping you up all hours of the night? The banging, hammering and high-pitched squealing your water pipes can make might have you feeling as if you’re living in a Yellow Submarine. The banging and squealing is probably because of an improper fitting of your pipes passing over or through wooden framing. Identify the sounds and figure out what pipes are causing the noise.
1. Banging Noises: Improperly installed water pipes can cause all sorts of noises by hitting the floor joists. They should be anchored with plastic or metal straps horizontally every 6 – 8 feet or vertically 8 – 10 feet. If you have banging pipes, you have loose pipes. This is a quick fix by adding more anchoring straps to the pipe. Design a blanket from an old garden hose, inner tube, or foam pipe insulation to wrap about the pipe.
2. Squealing or Squeaking Noises: These noises come ONLY from your hot water pipes. You’ll hear this noise from friction caused by expanding pipes in the strap. This is the reverse of the banging pipe yet has the same solution of using a rubber cushion between the strap and pipe.
3. Water Hammer Noise: This is heard when you shut off a faucet or appliance too fast. The water hammers against your pipes, most commonly in toilets. Generally, plumbing systems have short vertical pipes to cushion the shock of water being turned off or on. With no air cushion, the hammer sound occurs. To fix it, use the main shut off valve to turn off the water. Next, open all of your faucets to empty the whole system. Close faucets and turn on water. Your chambers should be refilled with air.
When flooding starts from cracked pipes, rusted water heater or overflowing toilet, shut off water immediately. While you can stop this from getting worse, you’ll probably need a plumber’s services to figure out and fix the overall problem.
For standing water, you’ll need a sump pump to remove the water. This is easy to do with the right equipment or you can call the plumber. Whatever you decide, watch out for electrical wiring if there’s a flooding situation. Stay out of water if there’s a chance of electrical outlets or wiring.