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No hot water

We've all been there. Get up, brush teeth, turn on shower, wait. And wait. When the hot water does not come, try a couple easy fixes before calling the plumber.

Check the pilot light on the hot water heater, and relight it if necessary. Next, check the temperature setting. The recommended setting is 120-125 degrees. That should ensure a sufficient hot water supply without causing painful burns.

If those solutions don't fix the problem, it might be time to call the plumber to assess whether you need to replace your water heater or upgrade to a larger model.

Clogged drains

If you abuse your drains, that will eventually catch up with you. What do we mean by abusing drains?

Let's start with the kitchen sink. Regardless if you have a garbage disposal, there are some things that should never be poured down the kitchen sink drain. Grease or food fat is the biggest troublemaker. That bacon grease might seam harmless when you first pour it down the drain, but once it cools it will harden and block the pipe.

Hair is the worst offender in the bathroom. Make a habit of cleaning the stopper mechanism of debris and soap scum. Simply pull it out and wipe clean before replacing. If the drain is still slow, you might need to clear the trap, the u-shaped pipe under the sink. If the clog is beyond those two spots, you may need a plumber to snake the drain.

Running Toilets

Does your toilet continue making noise long after flushing? Sure you might be able to jiggle the handle and stop it, but that isn't fixing the problem.

Lift the tank lid and check the flapper chain. If it is too long or too short, the flapper can't properly seal the tank. Or it might have just come undone. Either way, this is an easy DIY fix.

If the chain is working properly, the problem could be a worn flapper. Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank. If the colored water travels to the bowl, you know the flapper is not sealing and needs to be replaced.

Garbage disposal jams

Every time in a while, you might flip the garbage disposal switch and nothing happens. Most likely the motor is jammed, and fixing that is a simple task.

Before doing anything else, cut the power to the disposal. After clearing any debris from the disposal, use the disposal wrench (or an Allen wrench) to clear the jam. Simply insert it into the hole on the bottom of the disposal and turn in both directions. Clear debris one more time, then push the reset button, also located on the bottom of the disposal.

Now you can restore the power and give it a test. To keep your disposal working well, remember to always run cold water while the motor is on.

Quick Fixes for Common Plumbing Problems