Kitchen Solved! What to Do When the Dishwasher Stops Draining

If you’ve opened your dishwasher to find a sudsy puddle on along the bottom of the appliance, follow these troubleshooting tips to take care of the underlying problem yourself.

Dishwasher Not Draining? 8 Potential DIY Fixes

Q: I opened the dishwasher door to find the bottom of the unit filled with dingy water! My first thought was that the cycle didn’t complete so I ran the dishwasher again—but that didn’t do the trick. Why is my dishwasher not draining? Any ideas for a do-it-yourself fix, or must I call a plumber?

A: You did the right thing running your unit a second time. If a dishwasher gets inadvertently shut off during a cycle, there’ll be standing water in the bottom when you open it. When that smart move doesn’t solve the issue, the problem lies elsewhere. Dishwasher service calls are common in the plumbing industry, but fortunately, the fix to a dishwasher not draining is often something simple you can do yourself. So before you call a pro, troubleshoot your dishwasher using the following steps.

Run your garbage disposal.

The drain hose from your dishwasher empties into the garbage disposal drain. If the disposal unit contains unground food, or if food sludge settles in the drainpipe below the disposal, it can prevent the dishwasher from draining properly. Sometimes, just running the disposal is all it takes to get the dishwasher draining again.

In fact, get in the habit of leaving the water on and letting your garbage disposal run an additional 15 seconds after the food is gone. This clears all remaining food that might otherwise remain in the P-trap drain beneath the disposal.

Clean your sink’s air gap.

When a dishwasher hose connects to a sink without a garbage disposal, an air gap—a small, slotted cylinder (often made of stainless steel)—is installed on the top of the sink, right by the faucet. A small hose from the air gap connects to the dishwasher’s drain hose. This acts as a vent to prevent an air lock from forming in the drain hose, but occasionally, the air gap can become clogged with debris. To investigate, twist the air gap counterclockwise to remove it, and check it for gunk. Clean the air gap with water and a stiff brush, replace it, and run the dishwasher cycle again.

Remove standing water.

If running the disposal doesn’t help (or if you don’t have one), it’s time to drain the water to allow a closer look at possible culprits. Place absorbent towels around the base of the dishwasher and then remove the bottom dish tray by simply sliding it out. With the tray out of the way, use a plastic cup to scoop the dirty water into a bucket for disposal. When the water level is too low to scoop, use towels to sop up the last bit in the bottom of the machine.

Dishwasher Not Draining? 8 Potential DIY Fixes


Clear up detergent mishaps.

Dishwashers are designed for use with automatic dishwasher detergents that clean without producing suds. In the course of a hectic day, it’s easy to accidentally squirt regular dishwashing liquid into the unit, which can easily create enough suds to prevent proper draining. The same problem can occur if you run out of automatic dishwasher detergent and substitute laundry detergent in a pinch. Guilty as charged? Simply bail out the tub as described above, and run the cycle again, this time using the correct detergent.

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De-gunk the drain basket.

The drain basket is found at the bottom of your dishwasher’s interior. Its cover often resembles an upside-down basket, which either snaps off or is held in place by one or two screws. (If the bottom of your machine doesn’t look like this, consult your owner’s manual—which you can often download from the manufacturer’s website). Remove the cover, and check for food buildup in the basket beneath. Use your hand or a spoon to remove any debris, replace the cover, and run the dishwashing cycle again.

Note: If you find a lot of food debris in the drain basket, prevent future clogs by pre-rinsing your dishes. Most dishwashers manufactured today feature macerators that grind bits of soft wet food, but they don’t have nearly the power of a garbage disposal. So even if your machine says you needn’t pre-rinse the dishes, do so anyway to avoid repeatedly cleaning the drain basket.

Check the drain hose for kinks.

A kinked drain hose—the lightweight, ribbed plastic hose that connects from the dishwasher’s drain pump to the garbage disposal (or to an air cap)—can prevent water from draining. If something large or heavy was shoved under the sink it might have hampered the hose, so explore the area to locate the hose. If it’s kinked, try straightening it out manually.

Benefits Of High Pressure Drain Cleaning

High Pressure Drain Cleaner

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This high pressure drain cleaning guide will help you understand the terrific benefits of this plumbing technology and service. High pressure water jetting utilizes force pressurized water that is pulled through to clear drains by ripping apart blockage and flushing the remaining debris. The jet nozzle that provides the high pressure water jetting is powerful enough to scrub and clean the sides of drains and pipes in addition to clearing blockages making it a highly efficient drain clearing and cleaning system.

High pressure drain cleaning equipment is made up of professional, industrial grade components including a flexiblespartan hydro jetting equipment line which can pass through drain elbows and handle several thousand PSI. The jet nozzle which can use multiple back-firing jets to pull the line through the drain pipes and a forward firing jet which breaks apart the blockages. There are many types of jetter nozzles available to the professional plumbing contractor and each one does something a little different. Some are great for clearing grease and sludge others for cutting tree roots and even others that bang the inside of pipe to knock off stubborn grease and scale build-up.


obrienjetterHigh pressure drain cleaning systems are suitable for residential and commercial drains. For the service to be most effective it is important to discover the correct drain opening in order to access the source of the problem without having to pass through traps and tight drain elbows which could stop the jet nozzle from pulling forward.

Debris, grease, sand, and sludge are the usual suspects when it comes to drain line blockages. A high pressure drain cleaning syste

m can flush out the system by breaking up the debris and sludge, emulsifying the grease, penetrating hardened scale, and pulverizing minor tree roots if they are the problem. If your plumbing professional does determine that tree roots are the problem, a commercial hydrojetter is the only sure-fire way to rid yourself of the problem. Make sure that you follow up your drain cleaning with 6 month treatments of Root-X to ensure no new roots grow in the line. In the spring and winter tree roots grown and bore deep down for water so their tiny hairlike filaments and can grow very quickly blocking your sewer system.

High pressure drain cleaning is an environmentally safe, cost-effective, and highly efficient plumbing service to consider when it’s time to clean your sewer and drain pipes. It’s especially useful in restaurants and similar establishments that accumulate grease, sludge, debris, and mineral deposits in the drain lines. Scheduling regular sewer jetting service keeps your drains clean. In the long run, you are saving yourself a ton of money in major repair costs and you are guarding against significant revenue loss during the aforementioned repairs. If you don’t service the waste lines it’s not a matter of if it’s just a matter of when.

High pressure jetting is beneficial for home drain and sewer systems as well but it’s not a good idea to use it for older homes with ceramic and clay or wood composite drain pipes. Talk to your plumbing professional about your waste system. It may be necessary to video inspect the sewer line to assess it’s condition. We often say of the line is in such bad shape that jetting will destroy it its only a matter of time before it needs to be replaced. Although you may be able to get away with sewer rodding for a while it’s only a temporary fix.

You will find that high pressure water jetting drain cleaning systems are highly effective when used for gutter and landscaping drain lines, sewer drain lines that flow from your home or building to a septic tank or city sewer, and drain tile lines that are found around buildings. These systems can also effective for thawing frozen pipes and sewer drains as they are able to effectively clear the lines. Please be sure you have an open area when using a hydrojetter to clear ice. The amount of water produced by professional jetting equipment is pretty astounding. You will experience some flooding if the line takes some time to clear. The water backs up out of line until the blockage is clear.

When a professional is going to perform a high pressure drain cleaning service they will locate the main drain cleanout that is found in your basement or outside as well as the priority drain opening and another alternative opening to be on the safe side. They will plan to access the blockage typically from a downhill opening so they can work in an uphill direction as it is …

Why is My Water Heater Leaking?

Leaking water heater dripping from drain valve

If you find your water heater leaking, you need to take action immediately. A leaking water heater may seem like a minor inconvenience, but in reality, it can quickly turn into a major problem. The average water heater has a 50-gallon tank and whenever water leaves the tank (drawn or leaking) cold water will quickly refill it to capacity.

As the tank is constantly refilling from the water heater leak, the area surrounding your tank will flood. Even a small amount of water leaking from your water heater can cause damage to your floors, sub-floors and walls. A significant flood could lead to hefty repair bills and damage to personal property.  Water heater leaks can also be a health concern and lead to mold and mildew.

A water heater leak won’t go away on it’s own. Over time, it’ll get worse.

Not all water heater leaks are serious. Some can be repaired by simply tightening a connection. Others may need a little more attention, but you can probably do the repairs yourself, especially if you enjoy DIY projects.

Unfortunately, there’s also times when you’ll find your water tank leaking and you’ll either need to call a plumber to make the repairs, or purchase a new water heater.

Either way, this article will help you determine why your water heater is leaking and what you should do to resolve the problem.

Let’s get started!

Shutting off gas valve

Water Heater Leaking: What to Do First

If your water heater leak is not obvious, then you may want to do a little troubleshooting before turning off the water supply. Just because you have water under your water heater doesn’t mean that your water heater is leaking.

Furnace drain lines, water softener discharge lines, condensation, and other plumbing could be the source. These things can easily make it look as though your water tank is leaking, when in fact, the problem isn’t your water heater at all.

If you can’t identify where the water is coming from, you can dry the area and place some paper towels or newspapers down. Check back over the next couple of days. If the water returns, and you still can’t identify the source, there’s a good chance your water heater is leaking.

Dial valve on a copper pipe

Turn Off the Water Supply

The first thing you need to do is turn off the water supply to your water heater.

On top of your water heater there should be two pipes. One will be warm to the touch and the other cold. Some manufacturers even identify them with red and blue collars or paint.

The pipe that’s cold is the water supply line. It allows cold water to enter your water heater when hot water is drawn. Follow the line and look for a shutoff valve. Most water heaters have a shutoff valve on the water supply line.

How to Turn Off the Water

There are two types of valves commonly used:

  • Ball Valve – Ball valves have a lever type handle. Pull or turn the handle down to shut off the water supply.
  • Dial Valve – Dial valves (also called gate valves) have a wheel that needs to be turned clockwise to turn off the water supply. Turn the dial until it stops.

Although the majority of water heaters have a shutoff valve on their water supply line, some do not.

In this case, you may need to turn the water off using your home’s main shut-off valve. This will shut down all the incoming water to your house, including the water supply to your water heater.

Electrical Panel

Turn Off the Power

With your water turned off, it’s now time to turn off the power to your water heater. The process is different for gas and electric heaters:

Gas Water Heaters

Follow these steps to turn off the power to a gas fueled water heater:

How to Turn Off a Gas Water Heater

  • Locate the valve on the gas supply line. The line is usually within a couple feet of your water heater. It’s located near the bottom and connects to the gas control valve.
  • Turn the valve on the gas supply line clockwise until it stops. This will shut off the gas supply to the water heater.

Electric Water Heaters

Follow these steps to turn off the power to an electric fueled water heater:

How to Turn Off an Electric Water Heater

  • Locate the breaker to your water heater in the household electrical panel. It will be on a dedicated circuit breaker.
  • Flip the breaker to OFF.

Now with your water and power turned off, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and do some troubleshooting!

Corroded water supply inlet valve

Troubleshooting Hot Water Heater Leaks

Right now our goal is to identify the source of the water heater leak. Once you determine why your

Prep Your Plumbing For Vacation

Prep your plumbing for vacation

Vacations are back, and we’re all raring to get out of the house again and scratch that travel itch in this post-pandemic summer. But before you hit the road or board your plane, it’s best to think about prepping your plumbing for vacation. And our Arroyo Grande plumbers have a simple checklist for you to follow so you don’t return home to a soggy mess.

Here’s how you can prep your plumbing for vacation:

1. Do a Leak Check

Even a small leak can result in a skyrocketing utility bill, but it can also do a significant amount of water damage. It’s a good idea to do regular leak checks around your house regardless, but it’s especially important to do so before you head out of town. And don’t think a small little dribble will stay that way; it could get worse, and with nobody around to monitor it, that could mean a big problem.

2. Shut Off the Water Valve

This is a simple and easy way to avoid most any plumbing problem while you’re off on vacation. Shutting off the main water valve cuts off the supply to your house at the source, and since you don’t need water when nobody’s in the house anyway, it’s a good solution. Just make sure you don’t have any automatic irrigation systems in place, or you’ll come back to some dried-up landscaping. If you do have a sprinkler system, make sure it’s set properly and even consider having a neighbor check in periodically to make sure it’s functioning properly.

3. Inspect/Turn Down Your Water Heater

Newer water heaters have a “vacation mode” that will put the system in a kind of hibernation while you’re away. But it’s also a good idea to make sure your water heater is flushed out and working properly so no issues arise when nobody is around to handle them. For older tank water heaters, you’ll want to manually turn down the temperature so it’s not keeping a tank full of hot water for no reason. You can also drain it and turn it off altogether for ultimate energy savings.

4. Check Drains

It’s not like we’re getting many summer rainstorms in California, but you never know when one might hit. So make sure all your exterior drains and downspouts are clear to prevent any unexpected flooding.

Inside the house, make sure nothing is clogging your drains—especially in the kitchen sink—so you don’t arrive home to nasty odors emanating from your pipes. It’s a good idea anyway to regularly clean out your home’s drains.

5. Have a Neighbor Check In

Lastly, there’s no harm in having someone check your house periodically—even if you’ve taken all the proper plumbing precautions—just for peace of mind. Like we said before, checking to make sure your sprinkler system is working and drains draining is a smart move, and leave the phone number for Griffin Plumbing in case of emergency. Just be sure to buy your friend a nice souvenir from your trip!

For more vacation plumbing prep, our friendly Arroyo Grande plumbers are always a simple call or click away. Contact us online or call (805) 934-1949.



How to Repair a Shower Diverter

Turning on your shower should be as easy as the flip of a switch. But when your shower diverter breaks, taking a shower is not so easy—water continues to pour from your tub’s faucet after you’ve switched the diverter. Luckily, repairing a shower diverter is quick and fairly simple.

What Is a Shower Diverter, Anyway?

5 Ways to Fix a Shower Diverter Pull-up

A shower diverter is the mechanism that reroutes the water from your bathtub faucet to your showerhead. Many shower diverters are controlled by a pin knob that you pull, but there are many types. Maybe yours is turned on with a button or with a third faucet handle between the bathtub’s hot and cold knobs.

How to Determine that Your Shower Diverter Is Broken

This one’s easy. If, after you trigger your shower diverter, water continues to leak out of the bathtub spout rather than the showerhead, the shower diverter is not working properly. This could mean that the inner rubber stopper isn’t creating a good seal to fully block and redirect the flow of water, or it could be another problem. Follow the steps below to troubleshoot and address the issue.

How to Repair a Shower Diverter

Once you’ve determined that your shower diverter is broken, don’t delay in repairing it. Though it might be an easy task to put off, a broken shower diverter wastes water and creates a poor shower experience. Repairing a shower diverter is a home improvement project that you can complete in just one day. Here’s how to repair a shower diverter in seven simple steps:

  1. Turn off the water supply to your shower.
  2. Seal off your drain with tape so that small screws or other important parts are not lost down the drainpipe.
  3. Tighten the screws behind the faceplate of the diverter valve. If you attempt this fix but the water continues to pour or leak slowly from the bathtub spout after the shower diverter has been engaged, move on to the next step.
  4. Disassemble the shower diverter. If your diverter has a rotating valve, unscrew the nut at the stem of the diverter and remove the entire valve. If it has a gate-type valve, unscrew the threaded tub spout.
  5. Replace the diverter. To be sure you purchase the correct replacement, bring your old diverter with you to the store.
  6. Install the new diverter, making sure that the parts do not cross-thread each other. Use a wrench to tighten the diverter, being cautious not to overtighten it. Twist the gate or adjust the stopper to ensure that it is in the correct position, depending on whether it is engaged.
  7. Turn the water supply back on. Engage the shower diverter, directing the water flow to the showerhead. If your shower flows well and no water leaks from the bathtub spout, then your shower diverter replacement was successful.

If replacing the diverter did not solve the problem, we recommend contacting a plumber for assistance.

Prevent Shower Diverter Wear and Tear

To reduce strain and wear on your shower diverter and help prevent the need for shower diverter repair, always release the diverter to let water flow from the tub faucet for a few seconds before you turn off the water.

If you’re not up for replacing your shower diverter yourself, call Mr. Rooter® Plumbing for help. Our plumbers are dedicated to exceptional customer service while they provide you with expert plumbing repair. Call Mr. Rooter at (855) 982-2028 or request an estimate today.

With your newly upgraded bathroom fixture, consider making improvements to the rest of your bathroom. Contact your local Mr. Handyman for bathroom upgrade help. Their professionals can help you save space and improve your bathroom overall. Just like Mr. Rooter, Mr. Handyman is part of Neighborly’s community of home service professionals. Find a home service provider in your neighborhood today!

This blog is made available by Mr. Rooter LLC, for educational purposes only to give the reader general information and a general understanding on the specific subject above. The blog should not be used as a substitute for a licensed plumbing professional in your state or region. Check with city and state laws before performing any household project.

Contact us for more information.…

How to Fix a Leaky Showerhead or Shower Faucet

Testing repaired shower head

A leaky, dripping showerhead is not only annoying, it wastes water. Before you call in a professional, this fairly common household problem may be relatively simple to fix by yourself (depending on the cause of the problem). Contact us if you want more information.

Fix the Showerhead

How to Clean Your Showerhead

Step 1: Turn Off Water

Shut off the water main to the whole house. Have a towel handy — your water main may be shut off, but there could still be some water left in the pipe that will come out.

Step 2: Remove and Inspect

Remove the showerhead by unscrewing it from the pipe with your hands. If the head is stuck on tight (as they often are if they haven’t been removed in a while), use pliers or a crescent wrench to unscrew it. Look at the threads inside the showerhead for a small plastic washer or rubber O-ring. It’s often the wear and tear of age on this component that can cause a showerhead to leak and start dripping. Over time, it dries out and becomes brittle which decreases its ability to hold in water. If it looks worn or damaged, replace it.


Place a towel or large rag on the shower floor to protect it from possible damage if you happen to drop a tool. Also cover the drain so that any of the small parts from the showerhead don’t accidentally go down it.

Remember not to force anything. Whether you’re taking off the showerhead or putting it back on, don’t tighten it so tightly that you damage or crack something and then need to take on a larger project.

Step 3: Clean the Showerhead

Since you have the showerhead off, now is a good time to clean out the showerhead, especially if you’ve noticed decreased flow. Oftentimes, there can be mineral deposits or sediment left by hard water on the interior of the showerhead or at the pipe stem (where the pipe connects to the showerhead). This can significantly affect water pressure and flow and can contribute to a leaky showerhead.

In a small cooking pot or pan, mix water and three cups of vinegar and bring it to a boil. Once it’s started to boil, turn off the heat. Place the showerhead (minus any rubber parts that can be removed) into the solution and let it sit for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Then remove, rinse and scrub the inside and outside jets with an old toothbrush; do this until no deposits remain.

Step 4: Tape It Up

If the washer or O-ring looks okay or you’ve replaced it, the next step is to wrap the threads on the pipe stem with Teflon® tape. Don’t overdo it with tape though. Wrap a thin strip around the threads at the very tip of the pipe stem.

Step 5: Reattach the Showerhead

Screw the showerhead back on by hand-tightening it until you can’t turn it anymore. Then use pliers to give it a final turn. Remember not to turn too hard or you could break the showerhead or pipe.

Step 6: Turn On the Water

Turn the water back on and then run your shower for a few seconds. Turn it off. Wait a few minutes and then check to see if there still is a drip or leak.

Fix the Shower Faucet

If you’ve fixed the showerhead and a leak persists, you may have a leak in the shower faucet. Usually, this is from a worn-out washer on the shower stem, which can easily be replaced. You don’t need to call a plumber. Follow these steps to do it yourself.

Step 1: Cut Off Water

As you did with the showerhead, you will need to cut off the water supply to the shower at the water main. Next, open the faucet and let water drain out. Keep a towel on hand to soak up water that may be released from the pipes once you remove the faucet.


Because you will be standing in the tub or shower to do this project, be sure that the floor surface is dry. Any moisture could cause you to slip and fall.

Step 2: Take the Faucet Apart

How you disassemble it depends on what kind of faucet you have: one-knob or two-knob style. If you have a two-knob system then you will need to replace both valves. Use a screwdriver and crescent wrench to unscrew the valves and remove the shower faucet knobs or handles. Remove the guard and set it aside. You should see two nuts. Unscrew the larger of the two; only one of them needs to be unscrewed to reach the shower stem. Remove the shower stem by unscrewing it in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 3: Replace

5 Reasons Why Plumbing Is Important

5 Reasons Why Plumbing Is Important Image

Even from ancient times, plumbing was an important issue in the construction and development of cities. Our plumbers in London present you five reasons why plumbing is important.

1.    Use of one of the most important resources

Plumbing enables us to use safely one of the most important resources: water. This way, we can maintain our health and hygiene by using clean water, which is not a resource everybody on Earth has access to.

2.    Reduces consumption

To Reduce Climate Change, Reduce Consumption - Inside Climate News

One of the reasons why plumbing is important is that its innovations to reduce the water consumption, thus saving important resources which are used to render it hygienic and transport it, have greatly reduced the amount of water utilized by toilets, shower heads, faucets and other plumbing devices. Also, an adequate plumbing system inside a house enables us to save our money on water bills. Our plumbers in London are able to improve the plumbing system in your house.

3.    Comfort

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London plumbing enables our homes and lives to be comfortable and attractive, with modern bathrooms and kitchens being not only functional, but also relaxing spots where we can unwind at the end of a hectic day.

4.    It prevents rot and mold

A reason why plumbing is important is that correct plumbing prevents the pipes from leaking, which could cause damage to a house and the appearance of rot and mold on the walls and floors. The plumbing system in a house should be verified at least once a year in order to prevent rather than spend much more time on fixing, making sure that everything is in order before an emergency happens.

5.    Hygiene

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Another reason why plumbing is important is that if plumbing did not exist, our lives would be much less sanitary. We would not have to worry about fixing plumbing deteriorations, however we would have much more illnesses spread through food and other types of diseases caused by unsanitary homes.

Plumbing is without a doubt an important aspect of our lives which in the long term allows us to save a lot of expenses. All buildings, being our homes, the places where we work or malls, have some sort of a plumbing system which needs to be maintained. All the necessities of our lives, such as washing clothes, keeping us clean and cooking evolve around plumbing. In case you are experiencing any plumbing issue, our plumbers in London are ready to help. Contact us for immediate assistance.

How To Fix A Clogged Toilet

Often, we use our toilets daily without giving them much thought. However, once something goes wrong, you will most certainly take notice. Having a clogged or overflowing toilet is a fear many homeowners don’t realize they have, until it happens.

Not only can a clog cause damage to your toilet, but it can also cause expensive problems to your plumbing and home overall. Of course, not all clogs are the same. Here’s how to fix a clogged toilet.

Some clogs require the help of a pro to remove successfully. Contact a plumbing contractor today for quotes from pros in your area, for free.

What Causes A Toilet Clog

What Causes A Toilet Clog?

Toilet clogs are one of the more unfortunate events that can happen in the bathroom. They are messy and inconvenient. While most homeowners assume that a clog forms because of waste, there are many reasons you could find your toilet overflowing. Here are a few:

  • Low water flow
  • Too much waste at one time
  • Toys or other objects
  • Backup in the drain line
  • Blocked plumbing vent
  • Sewer line problems

A few of these issues you might know the answer to already but otherwise, it will take a few methods to solve the issue of the clog. For example, if you have an older toilet with low water flow, you’ll need to use less toilet paper until you can afford a replacement toilet. Other issues, like toys or other items in the toilet, need to be taken care of immediately. Here are a few steps to try:

  1. Stop the overflow
  2. Use A Plunger
  3. Try an enzyme cleaner
  4. Invest in a toilet auger
  5. Call a plumber

1. Stop The Overflow

An overflowing toilet can cause any homeowner to panic. However, this is the time you must know what to do. An overflowing toilet can cause damage to your bathroom, flooring and walls if the water seeps into them. When the toilet begins to overflow, take the lid off of your toilet and make sure the flapper is closing off more water from entering the bowl. From there, turn your water off. Make sure water stops flowing into the tank before proceeding.

Toilet overflow should be taken care of immediately because of the bacteria that can spread and damage it can cause. Mop it up as soon as possible and if you need extra help, be sure to contact a cleaning pro who can make sure your bathroom is spotless again.

If your toilet is not overflowing, this is not a necessary step to take.

Grab The Plunger

2. Grab The Plunger

The next, and most common step, that most homeowners are familiar with is plunging the toilet. However, what matters most here is the type of plunger you use. When people think of a plunger, they generally think of a sink plunger, with a cup shape at the end. However, these will not work well on toilets as they do not create suction. You’ll need to have a flange plunger on hand at all times in the home. This looks similar to the sink plunger, except the end has a lip so you can insert it right into the drain to create a better suction, hopefully removing the clog easily.

3. Try An Enzyme Cleaner

If plunging the toilet did not work, it’s time to try a different strategy. Liquid chemical drain cleaning products are often frowned upon by pros, as they can do more harm to your plumbing than good. However, a natural solution is an enzyme cleaner. These work well if you have natural waste material clogging your toilet, rather than non-flushable items that may have gotten stuck. You can get a toilet enzyme cleaner at your local home improvement store. However, you should know that this is not a quick method. Most enzymes cleaners must sit overnight to remove the clog.

Get An Enzyme Cleaner

4. Get A Toilet Auger

Finally, if nothing has worked yet, it might be time to invest in a toilet auger. These lines can reach down into the base of the toilet and because of its shape and flexibility, can maneuver into your drain removing what might be in its path.

5. Call A Plumber

When you’ve tried all of the above and yet, nothing seems to be clearing this clog, it’s time to call a plumber. It could indicate that you have a bigger plumbing problem on hand. The clog may be deeper in your pipes or there’s an issue with your sewage line. A plumber will be able to identify this and help you find a solution. The average cost to repair a toilet is $195, with most homeowners spending between $152 and $203.

Call A Plumber

Replace A Toilet

As I mentioned earlier, some toilet clogs are caused because the toilet is old and has low water flow. While you can …

How to fix a running toilet

Sometimes toilets act up. One common problem your trusty throne can develop is that it always runs. This constant flow of water is a noisy nuisance — and it’s also a money-waster that you’ll end up paying for on your next utility bill.

Fortunately, it’s usually a pretty easy problem to fix. In this guide, I’ll lay out the likeliest causes for continually running toilets, and I’ll also explain the first steps you should take to troubleshoot and solve the problem. Once you’ve successfully dealt with it, you’ll not only save some cash, but you’ll have gained the skills to tackle running toilets whenever and wherever you encounter them.

Always turn off the water before working on your toilet.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Step 1: Turn off the water

The first step is to turn off your toilet’s water supply. Usually it’s a small knob on the wall to the right of the toilet that sits close to the floor. Turn the knob all the way to the right (clockwise) to close the valve and pinch off the water supply. Doing the opposite turns the water back on.

Step 2: Remove the tank lid

Carefully remove the ceramic lid from the top of the water tank. It’s fragile, so be sure to lower it gently onto a safe resting spot like a bath towel. Now, take a look around. Inside the tank you should see all the main parts responsible for your toilet’s water control. These are the flush valve, the fill valve, and the fill tube.

Here’s a look at a toilet’s water control system. On the left is the fill valve. On the right is the fill tube, flapper, and flush valve.

Brian Bennett/CNET

The fill tube is a hollow plastic cylinder mounted vertically to the floor of the tank. One end of the tube is positioned above the tank’s water line. At the other end of the fill tube in the bottom of the tank is the flapper, the rubber or silicone seal around the drain that lifts every time you flush.

The purpose of the fill tube is to accept water from the fill valve to refill the water tank after each toilet flush. It also serves as an overflow pipe to keep water from overflowing the tank.

As the water level in the tank lowers, so too does the float in the fill valve. A lowered float opens the fill valve and lets water refill the tank. Then, as the float rises again, the water stops running once it reaches a preset level.

Step 3: Check the flapper

Sometimes a constantly running toilet is caused by a faulty flapper. If it isn’t sealing correctly in between uses, the water will gradually drain from the bottom of the tank, and the toilet will run endlessly in a futile bid to fill it back up.

To check if this is the case, press your finger around the flapper’s edges. If the toilet stops running, then your flapper has a bad seal. Next, document how the flapper connects to the bottom of your toilet. Take pictures so you have a record handy, and note the make and model of your toilet, as these details will help you to track down a matching replacement part.

Take the cap off of the toilet fill valve.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Step 4: Examine the fill valve

Fill valves can fail over time too. Dirt, debris, or mineral scale deposits can cause the valve to open randomly, making the toilet run intermittently. One quick fix for this problem is to purge the valve. My toilet’s fill valve is a Fluidmaster cup-style model. To flush it first reach into the tank with your right hand.

Next lift the float up with it resting on top of your hand. Now grip the valve cap with your left hand and rest your thumb across the cap arm. The arm juts out sideways from the valve cap. Press down on the cap while twisting it counterclockwise one-eighth of a turn. Pulling up should then release the cap.

A quick method that might fix your toilet is to flush the fill valve.

Brian Bennett/CNET

Place a cup upside down on top of the valve. Turn the water supply back on to full force. Water will then flow through the valve, clearing any debris. Do this for 10 to 15 seconds, then shut off the water. Reverse the earlier steps to reattach the valve cap. This may solve your running toilet issue. It did in my case.

Another fill valve problem is if the float is set too high. That means the water level in the tank sits above the fill tube. This causes water to constantly drain into the fill tube. It can also lead to water spilling onto the bathroom …

Water Conservation At Home

What Causes Noisy Water Pipes?

Editor’s Note: Noisy pipes are an unwelcome distraction. However, it can be hard to locate the source of the problem. To help, we’re featuring our top reasons why your pipes might be making noise one more time. Once you locate the source of the problem, it’s time to make the fix.

Kids may be loud, but your water pipes should never be noisy. Unfortunately, certain water pipes make noises due to clogs, weather, and a myriad of other factors.

See what’s causing your noisy pipes and then, connect with a local plumber to make your house quiet.

What Are Noisy Water Pipes Are Typically Caused By?

Any suspicious noise coming from your pipes can be cause for concern. But no need to panic just yet, if you find the source of the noise it can be an easy fix. Here are a few situations that may cause noisy pipes:

  1. Water Hammer
  2. Loose Pipes
  3. Worn Out Washer
  4. Main Shut Off Valve
  5. Toilets

Water Hammer

Noisy pipes can be caused by several factors. Let’s start with what is commonly known as a water hammer. Water rushing through the pipe and out the faucet moves with speed and force. When you shut off the faucet, the water flow is brought to an abrupt halt. But that energy has to go somewhere. Normally in the wall behind each hot and cold faucet is an air chamber in the pipe. It used to be about 10 inches of pipe soldered vertically.

Then, when the rushing water was stopped, it would push up that vertical pipe where it would hit a cushion of air in the pipe. That would prevent the water force from causing the pipes to rattle, or hammer. Now, there are commercial air cushions that are attached to the pipe in the same place that does the same job. Hammering can develop because over years, the air in that little vertical riser is lost, and thus the cushioning effect is lost.

How to Prevent Water Hammering

Eliminate water hammering by shutting off the main water, opening all faucets, and then draining the whole house from the lowest faucet. When you restore water, air will again be pushed into the risers designed to prevent water hammer.

Loose Pipes

Another cause of noisy water pipes is a loose pipe under the house. The flushed water moves rapidly and in large volume and can cause a pipe to sway, setting up a rattling effect.

How to Fix Loose Pipes

Drain pipes are usually suspended from the floor joists under the house and a little stabilization may be all that is needed. By crawling under the house with a flashlight while someone flushes the toilet, you should be able to find the source by listening and looking.

Worn Out Washer

A worn-out washer in a faucet or valve often causes whistling in water pipes or squeaky pipes. The direct source of this squealing is in the valves that connect to the washing machine.

How to Fix A Worn Out Washer

If you notice the squealing sound comes when the washer is on, you have an easy solution. First, shut off the valve and check the washers in the hose. Replace if they look worn or cracked. If that isn’t it, shut off the house water and repair the faucet. One of the faucet’s washers is likely worn or the valve seat is worn, causing water to be forced through a smaller opening and setting up the noisy pipes.

Main Shut Off Valve

Another source of squealing water pipes, particularly when it seems to resonate through the whole house, can be either the main shut-off valve for the house or the water pressure regulator.

How to Fix Main House Valve

For the main shut-off, turn off the water at the street valve first and then replace or repair the main house valve. If that isn’t it and you have a pressure reducer on your incoming cold water line, it may be in the reducer’s manifold.


Yet another noise problem can come from the toilet. If, after flushing, you hear a banging or rattling at the end of the filling cycle, then it is likely that the ballcock assembly, which controls the filling process, is worn.

How to Prevent Noisy Pipes from Your Toilet

Depending on the style and how new the ballcock assembly is, you might be able to repair it. Otherwise, replace it with a better one.


Loud pipes are not only annoying, but plumbing problems can also occur with noisy water pipes. Fortunately, the problems above can be fixed on your own. As always, if you need help along the way, ImproveNet can help you find a reliable and experienced plumber near you.

Looking for more plumbing tips? Read 4 Ways To Tell