Fixing Flappers and Faucets For the New Year

Fixing leaks in your home can reduce your monthly water bill as much as 10 percent. Leaks most commonly appear in toilet flappers, faucets and valves.

A deteriorated toilet flapper is one of the most common causes of toilet leaks. The flapper is a piece of rubber that covers the valve connecting the toilet tank to the toilet bowl. Over time it can crack and have buildup on it that prevents it from sealing properly.

One way to tell if it’s leaking is you will hear the toilet tank fill up constantly and flushing. If you don’t see or hear anything there is a simple way to confirm if the flapper is leaking.

Put a few drops of food coloring into the top of the tank and wait about 30 minutes and if the color has gotten into the bowl then your flapper has most likely failed. Replacing a failed toilet flapper is fairly easy and likely qualifies as a DIY project.  

It’s that Time of Year

As we enter into the 12th month of the year, the Holiday seasons are approaching very quickly. Stores and people are already preparing for holiday shopping. As we all know, things are very expensive these days and there is just not enough room in the budget for things to go wrong. However, that’s not how good Ole Murphy’s Law works. Of course when you are expecting all of your family from out of town to come stay the week with you, a leak happens.  So as you are preparing to write down your holiday list of meals and gifts, here is a checklist for you to make sure that the plumbing in your home is safe and will get you through the rest of the year.

First, and foremost, the weather can be a factor to your plumbing believe it or not. For those of you who live in the mountain areas or high desert, such as: Palmdale, Lancaster, Apple Valley, Victorville, Hesperia, Beaumont, Idyllwild, Big Bear, and Yucaipa, this pertains especially to you. If you have any plumbing pipes ran over head in the attic, make sure that both hot and cold pipes are insulated.  Insulating the pipes will protect them from freezing and splitting.

Check underneath the bathroom and kitchen sinks and inspect the angle stops and flex lines. Make sure there are no signs of green/blue residue or calcium spots (white crystal like substance).  If you notice this, make sure to have them replaced. If there is a bathroom that seldom gets used make sure to run all the fixtures.  This includes sinks, shower/tubs, and toilets for several minutes to make sure there are no leaks.  Turn the angle stops on/off to make sure that they will still turn and function properly.  

If your gas and/or electric water heater is 10 years or older and makes a popping noise like rocks are in it, it might be a good idea to have it replaced. In the winter time we use hot water more than in the summer. A water heater tank at its life expectancy is bound to have problems if it has to work harder.

Be sure to check for loose or wobbling toilets. Wobbling/rocking toilets are a sign of a failed wax ring, which means that water can, and eventually will, start to leak out around the bottom of the toilet. Listen for any continuously running toilets.  If you have to jiggle the handle for the toilet to stop making noise 5 minutes after it was flushed the inner toilet guts are worn out and need to be replaced.  This can also help reduce your water bill.

If you have any questions or would like further information and tips please don’t hesitate to call us at 888-333-5325.   


Tony Falco