Few things are more frustrating than a plumbing problem in your Northern Virginia home. While most plumbing repairs should be handled by a professional, some issues can be fixed yourself before you spend unnecessary money on a service call.
Here are some of the most common plumbing problems and simple DIY solutions.
Clogged Sink or Tub Drains
Hair, grease, and soap scum can combine to clog virtually any sink or bathtub drain with enough time. Before calling a professional, there are a few things you can try to clear the drain clog first.
Use a flat-bottomed plunger to force air down the drain and dislodge the clog. If that doesn’t work, pour hot water down the drain, or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar, let it soak, then try plunging again.
Sink traps can also be removed and cleaned if you have the tools. Avoid chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage pipes, and if none of these methods work, call a professional plumber for help.
A professional will have pipe snakes, power augurs, or hydro jetting systems that can cut through the clog quickly.
If your faucet keeps you up at night with a constant dripping noise, look up the faucet model and take a trip to your local hardware store.
Replacement washers, stems, or cartridges are available for many common kitchen and bathroom faucets, and with a few basic tools, you can often replace a damaged part and stop the leak.
Call your local plumber if you lack the tools to complete the repair or can’t find the parts.
A Running Toilet
If your toilet constantly runs, there’s a good chance the flapper valve at the bottom of the tank is leaking.
Flapper valves are available at most hardware stores and can be easily replaced, typically by disconnecting the chain leading to the handle, then removing the pin that holds the flapper in place.
Install the new flapper valve and reconnect the chain. Expert plumbers may be required for any more serious toilet repairs.
Foul Odors from Drains
If you have a sink or tub drain with a noticeable odor, pour hot water or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar down the drain, then rinse it with cold water.
Likely some food scraps or waste have rotted, leaving behind a foul odor in the trap. However, if the smell doesn’t go away, it’s best to call a plumber to determine the cause. Foul odors could indicate more serious problems, like sewer backups.
Leaking Supply Lines
If you notice the supply line for a sink, dishwasher, or washing machine is leaking, use a hex wrench or an adjustable wrench to ensure the hose is tight at each side or a pair of pliers for washing machine hoses.
You should also check that the washing machine hoses have washers in the outlet ends and that they’re in good condition. Replace them if they’re missing or damaged.
If the supply line or the hose itself is leaking, turn off the shut-off valve, if present, remove the line and replace it with a new one. Call a professional if there’s no shut-off valve, or your repairs didn’t stop the leak.
Professional Plumbing Services in Northern Virginia
When you need a skilled plumber for help with plumbing problems in your Northern Virginia home, skip the online search for a local plumber — turn to our experts at M.E. Flow instead.
We can help with any plumbing problem you may encounter, from a dripping faucet or drain clog to a burst pipe or faulty water heater. We serve all of Northern Virginia, including Leesburg, Alexandria, Fairfax, Winchester, and beyond.
With over 70 years of experience, you can count on our family-owned company for great service with upfront pricing and a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
Call our Winchester office at (540) 677-7155, our Leesburg, Alexandria/Lorton offices at (703) 539-5284, or contact us online to schedule plumbing repairs.