Functioning plumbing in your home is necessary to give you the convenience of such things as running water, sink disposals, and flushing toilets. Plumbing problems can make you realize how much you rely on modern plumbing and the urgency in which you need to get it fixed. Because not all plumbing problems require the services of a professional plumber right away, you can use these plumbing hacks to do your own plumbing system repairs.
Clean Your Shower Head
When you shower every day, you may not notice the build-up that begins to collect on your shower head's sprayer holes. Over time, these holes become lined with hard water deposits, altering the water's trajectory. After several months, the water can stop spraying out of the clogged holes altogether.
You can fix this type of issue by yourself, at home, with a product you most likely already have in your kitchen. A solution of vinegar and water will soak the hard water deposits from off your shower head.
If your shower head is detachable, place the shower head inside a bowl full of one part white vinegar and one part water. Make sure the mixture completely submerges your shower head. For an attached shower head, fill a gallon plastic bag with the mixture and attach it around your shower head with a tightly-wound elastic. Let this sit overnight, then the next morning wipe down the shower's sprayers to remove any particles still remaining.
Remove a Toy Clogging the Toilet
If you have small children in your home, there is a chance a child will flush a toy down your toilet. If the toy is large enough, it won't go into your sewer pipes, but will remain inside the toilet's main pipe. A toy in the pipe will prevent waste from flushing, so you will need to get it out.
Don't use a toilet plunger on the toy because it will only push it further into your plumbing. Instead, get a wet/dry vacuum and place the nozzle into the toilet's pipe to suck out the water and the toy from the toilet plumbing. Most wet/dry vacs have anywhere from two to six motor horsepower and several can suck up two gallons of water in under two seconds.
Prevent Sink Drain Clogs
It is better to do preventative maintenance on your sink drains to keep them draining freely than to wait until they are clogged to clean them out. Most sink and tub drains get clogged with hairs and soap scum that collect inside the drain. If you can clean the gunk out of the drain every couple of months, you will prevent the buildup from accumulating and causing a clog. You will also avoid using harsh chemicals to dissolve drain clogs.
To maintain your drain's cleanliness, remove the drain stopper and scrub it clean with a scrub brush. Then, using needle-nosed pliers, pull out any clogs of hair down inside the drain. Once you have removed all the soap scum and hair clogs, use a pipe cleaning brush and scrub out the inside of your drain to remove all gunk and build up from inside. Rinse the area clean and replace the sink stopper. You can do this to your bathtub and shower as well.
Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal
When your disposal becomes jammed, food can build up in your sink and cause a clog. The next time your kitchen garbage disposal becomes jammed up, use a wet/dry vacuum to clear the interior of any items that can jam the disposal blades. You won't need to put your hand down inside the disposal ever again with this method.
Poke the vacuum's nozzle down inside the disposal and move it around inside, sucking from all angles inside the disposal. You may hear the loose item being sucked into the vacuum's nozzle. Switch on the disposal to make sure it is working properly again. You may need to push the reset button on the disposal's motor underneath the kitchen sink to restart the motor.
These four kitchen and bathroom hacks can help keep your plumbing fixtures working great.