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Plumbing tips from your local expert

Often it’s matter of making a simple adjustment inside the tank in order for your toilet to work properly. If the water never completely shuts off, check to see if the water level inside the tank is higher than the overflow pipe. If it is, adjusting the water level should fix it. Some tanks have a set screw on top of the water inlet valve where the arm of the float is connected. Turn it to adjust the water level or bend the float rod down to reduce the level of water in the tank.

 

For toilets with flappers, the water may be running all the time because the flapper chain is so tight and there isn’t enough slack to allow the flapper to completely seat. Simply move the S hook slightly higher on the chain.

 

If you have a tank ball, try adjusting the vertical rod that connects the tank ball to the flush handle rod. This rod is normally held upright by a plastic holder fastened around the overflow pipe. The rod must be perfectly perpendicular to the drain or valve seat of the tank in order for the tank ball to seal properly in the drain opening. If it’s not seated properly, adjust the rod so the water isn’t escaping through the drain.

How to unclog a sink drain

A plunger can often clear up the problem. Plug up the overflow hole if there is one. You should also have enough water in the sink to cover the base of the plunger. Usually this isn’t a problem because the sink is likely to be overflowing. Place the plunger over the drain and push down. Pull back up just a little and repeat 10 to 15 times. You can feel the force on the down stroke and the suction on the up stroke. Then pull up quickly. If all goes well, the water will go down the drain. If it doesn’t work after the first few times, it’s probably not going to.

 

Every sink has a trap, which is a U shaped drain, located directly under the sink. Bail any water out of the sink and then put a bucket under the trap. Remove the trap by loosening the slip-nuts. If your trap has a clean-out plug at the bottom of the U, you can just remove this plug and get at the clog through there.

 

If the clog is farther down the line, you can use an auger or snake to clean the pipe out. You can go at it from the drain, or if the trap is off you should start there. If you still can’t get at the clog, close up the trap and try a chemical drain opener.

How to conserve water in your home

Why have a giant water heater working uselessly all day when you’re out? And why should you waste running water while waiting for hot water to work through the pipes?

 

Better options are point-of-use and tankless water heaters. Tankless models instantaneously heat water as it’s used, so you don’t waste energy keeping water hot when you don’t need it. And small under-the-sink tank heaters keep a supply of hot water where it’s needed.

 

Here are some tips on conserving water in your home:

How to fix a running toilet

Get helpful plumbing tips from Mike, owner of County Line Plumbing & Heating Inc. Need a hand? Call us at 215-429-3350 for an appointment. For your convenience, emergency 24/7 service is available.

  • Wait to wash clothes until there is a full load of laundry.

  • Wash dishes by hand or wait until you have a full load to run the dishwasher.

  • Test the toilet for leaking by placing a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the colored water appears in the bowl without flushing, the toilet needs to be fixed. A leaky toilet wastes 3,000 to 5,000 gallons a month.

  • Fix leaking faucets. Leaking faucets waste up to 5,000 gallons a month.

  • When remodeling a bathroom, request a water-saving toilet. These appliances use half as much water.

  • If using an old-fashioned shower head, replace it. A normal flow from a shower is between 5 to 15 gallons per minute. The use of a flow control device can cut water use by 50 to 70 percent. Flow control devices can be installed on shower heads so water can be turned off when not needed.

  • Brush teeth before shaving to use cold water in the supply line while waiting for hot water for shaving.

Faucet Plumbing Toilet Faucet sink