Amongst the challenges of managing your home smoothly is the plumbing system that can become problematic at any given time, usually without warning. Most HDB apartments are part of a comprehensive drainage and sewerage system that ensures that their overall plumbing is adequate for the capacity of the town or neighborhood to which they belong.
The challenge is thus in maintain the plumbing system in your individual home, meaning that it rests within your range of responsibilities as the resident. You may not know that most plumbing problems have a solution that will not need professional plumbers but if they persist, or become frequent, then you will need to consult a professional.
Here are some of the common plumbing problems that you are likely to encounter and how you can avoid them for a better living experience in your HDB apartment;
-Low water pressure
-Slow draining sink
-Smelly sinks and bathtubs
1. Dripping faucets
A dripping faucet is often costly if you leave it for a long time. At first, most people would not notice that they have a leaking faucet in their home but if you spend enough time there, you will either hear the consistent sound of dripping water or you will notice that the surface under the faucet is always wet. One way to solve this problem is to replace the washers because the dripping is as a result of worn out, or simply inefficient washers. Alternatively, you could replace the entire tap as well. The good thing about a dripping faucet is that the solution is not only very easy to accomplish by yourself but also very efficient and cheap thus saving you from the enormous utility bills that would result from the continuously dripping water.
2. Low water pressure
Having low water pressure often implies that you have some build up of calcium deposits in your faucet’s aerator. Sometimes however, the low pressure may be due to a water shortage so you have to be sure that it is not affecting other taps as well. If you have hot water in your apartment, you can test the faucet by checking if the low pressure affects both the cold and hot water and if this is so, then you need to clean out your aerator. In order to fix the blockage in your aerator, you have to remove it carefully and scrape off any debris that you will find on it before replacing it. A clear faucet aerator guarantees good water pressure for your home.
3. Running toilets
Running toilets are not only costly and annoying but also very easy to fix if you can establish the cause of the running. You will know that your toilet is running if after flushing the water keeps coming from the WC to the toilet bowl thus creating a continuous stream of water that does not stop unless you turn the water off from the main pipe. The first possible problem here is the toilet fill valve, which may be faulty thus letting the water through. Another possible problem would be an imbalanced float apparatus or even loose fill tube. The solution here would be to replace whichever part of the toilet that is not functioning properly and you can find this out by observing the parts individually. If the valve is faulty, the water will seep through consistently and often silently, but the fill tube is likely to produce more noise as water oozes out of it continuously. The key here is in buying the right toilet replacement kit in order to save you from ridiculous water bills.
4. Leaky pipes
Most people find puddles under their sinks and think lightly of them. You however need to appreciate that a leaky pipe is not only a nuisance but also a threat to your health and the sanitation of your house. In order to solve this problem, you will have to either replace the joint at which the leak is occurring or change your entire plumbing system since most leaks are a symptom that the apartment’s plumbing has become old. Repairing a leaky pipe is often a temporary step that will keep your apartment habitable while you arrange for a permanent solution, which in this case is replacing your plumbing system in general.
5. Slow draining sink
If your sink, toilet or tub is draining very slowly or the water will simply not go out, then the drain has a full or partial clogging. This is also a very common occurrence especially since the causes include hair, small items like bottle caps, and food particles in the kitchen sink among other things that can easily clog the pipes. To solve this, you will need to use a commercial clog remover to clean the drains and thus eliminate the clog. You could also use a flashlight and a pair of tweezers to remove the hair or other debris in your drainage and thus stop them from blocking your pipes. Alternatively, drain screens will prevent the debris from getting into the pipes in the first place.
6. Smelly sinks and bathtubs
A foul odor is often indicative of a broken trap or a dry one. A trap can get dry if you do not use that sink or bathtub often and the best way to solve this is to pour water into it more often. This will prevent the drying and thus keep it from smelling. If the trap is however broken, you need to replace it immediately given that the foul smell will keep you from enjoying your apartment. You can find a replacement trap easily at a good hardware store in Singapore near you and in most cases; they come with instructions on how to install them.
7. Blocked toilet
Most people will tell you that they have some horrible memories with blocked toilets and this means it is a very common plumbing problem in HDB apartments. Toilets block because of a number of reasons including pipe clogging and the only solution is to clean up the pipe and remove the accumulating waste. You can accomplish this with a good plunger or pipe snake. The idea is to get rid of the waste accumulating in the pipe and thus prevent flooding your bathroom when you flush the toilet.