Other Common Plumbing Problems for Texas Homeowners

Dripping faucets. Dripping faucets are usually caused by wear on one or more parts of the faucet. Since various faucet designs shut off water flow differently, a variety of components can cause the faucet drip.  

Free-flowing toilets (water keeps running). A flapper or tank valve that does not seat properly after the toilet is flushed usually causes the toilet to free flow. Until the flapper or tank valve seats properly, all the water entering the tank flows directly into the toilet bowl. Sometimes simply jiggling the tank handle will reseat the flapper or tank ball, thus allowing the tank to refill and the toilet to stop running. If the problem recurs, the flapper or tank ball may be out of adjustment, or the chain from the handle may be too long. Another potential cause of a free-flowing toilet is a poorly adjusted refill mechanism.

Self-flushing toilets. Self-flushing toilets do not actually flush themselves; they simply refill themselves. If the flapper or tank valve does not properly cover the hole in the bottom of the tank after the toilet is flushed, water may slowly leak into the bowl. As water leaks into the bowl, the tank empties. Once the tank empties to a certain level, it refills automatically. The problem is usually corrected by cleaning or replacing the flapper or tank ball.

Toilets that will not flush. A disconnected handle chain may be the cause of this problem. If the tank is full, make sure that the chain connecting the handle arm to the flapper or tank ball is properly connected. If not, reconnecting the chain to the handle arm is usually simple. However, it involves sticking your hand into the tank to retrieve the chain. If the tank is empty, it may be that no water is getting to the toilet from the supply line.

Water heaters. Because improperly installed water heaters can start fires, poison the air inside the home, or even explode, current building codes strictly specify water heater installation. Unfortunately, many of the codes were either not in place or were not followed when many of the water heaters in metroplex homes were installed. Additionally, some plumbers currently install replacement water heaters without fixing code violations—a practice that is both illegal and dangerous. Without seeing the current installation, one cannot accurately predict how much or how little work will be required to bring the installation to code. A quote that brings the installation to code may be more expensive than one that does not, but it also represents more valuable work. To protect your family, if you purchase an installed water heater from a less-reputable source, make sure you get the finished installation inspected by a city plumbing inspector.