Basic Plumbing Questions Answered

Man removing a pipe beneath a sink

Here are a few common and basic plumbing questions, along with answers, to help you better understand the plumbing tasks you might need to tackle in your house.

Question 1 - How Do I Snake A Tub Drain?

man using a snake on a bathtub

In order to snake a tub drain you will have to take off the overflow plate first. You can do this by removing the screws around it easily with a screwdriver. Once you have taken it off you can use a plumbers drain snake, which kind of looks like a pipe brush but thinner and you can move it in and out and all around the opening as far as it will go. The reason for this is that whatever may be caught will be broken down by the snaking and can either be removed or will flow out in pieces. Or if it is hair, which is common, it will break into smaller pieces.

Question 2 - How Should I Fix a Clogged Sink?

The first thing you want to do is try hot water. Many times running very hot water through will loosen up anything that is blocking or clogging the sink. Next, try using a plunger. If this step does not work then you can move on to a liquid cleaner or unclogger. This can be used as per the directions on the back of the bottle. Basically you will want to pour a determined amount down the drain and let it sit. Then once it begins to go down, or the time has run out, you can rinse it with hot water. If this still does not work then you can take apart the drain under the sink with a wrench and snake it like the above instructions.

Question 3 - Why Does the Faucet Drip When the Toilet Is Flushed?

drop of water falling from a faucet

This is a very common problem and sometimes happens when you have installed one or the other. The most likely answer to this is that there is a worn seat washer. This can be fixed easily with a wrench. The problem could also stem from a faulty pressure reducing valve.

Question 4 - What Do I Do When Pipes Rattle?

This is also a common question and can be fixed a couple different ways. First you want to make sure that your pipe is not old or rusted and that it is properly insulated because rattling pipes are heard if one of these things is not done properly or has worn out. Second, you can check to see if a washer in either the faucet or valve is loose. If the pipe is touching a hard surface or another pipe because it has moved over the years, or become loose, it could rattle against it when water moves through. All of these can be fixed easily with either the replacement of a pipe washer.

Each one of these questions is common and the answers can help you with some of the basic plumbing problems that you experience. Make sure that when doing any project you check to see if it is up to code with the building department, that you take safety precautions, and you shut off the water supply while you work.