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Plumbing Maintenance Guide

by hemlane

This is a guide on how tenants can troubleshoot common plumbing issues that may arise. These plumbing issues are common requests that can be resolved without a licensed plumber. Please review the below steps before submitting plumbing maintenance and repair requests on Hemlane.

Leaky Faucet

Most likely, this is a failed washer inside the handle. The faucet is the messenger for the handle.

Fix: Replace the washer

  1. Turn off the water supply valve under the sink. It is recommended to put a cloth or something over the drain to avoid losing parts.
  2. Take the handle apart: Pop the screw cover on top, remove the screw, and pull off the handle.
  3. Disassemble the stem: Use a wrench and line the parts up on the counter in the order they came off, so you know how it goes back together. Examine rubber parts or plastic cartridges for cracks. Any cracked pieces should be taken to your local hardware store for an exact replacement.
  4. Reassemble the stem: From what you laid out, put back in reverse.

Check out these videos for further information on fixing various faucets.

Kitchen Sink Backup

According to TOH plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, chemicals rarely resolve a stoppage and only make a small hole in the stoppage.

Fix: Reset the disposal button
If you have a garbage disposal and it is not working, then it may be a simple reset of the disposal button underneath your sink.

If that does not work, then the plumber will most likely need to address a backup in the disposal. Here is a video on unclogging the garbage disposal.

Preventative Tip #1: Be careful with the food you put down your sink, even if you have a garbage disposal. Here are the top items that you should never put down your disposal:

  1. Oil, fat, and grease -- how to dispose of grease properly
  2. Stringy or starchy vegetables -- for example, celery, kale, lettuce, and potato peels should never be put down the drain
  3. Fruit seeds - the pit and seeds damage the disposal
  4. Pasta and rice - it expands every time water goes into your drain
  5. Egg shells - their thin blade can wrap around the disposal
  6. Coffee grounds - believe it or not, they get stuck in the disposal
  7. Bones - fish bones are the only exception

Preventative Tip #2: Be mindful of items, such as spoons or other metal objects, that may fall down the drain. You will want to carefully remove these, making sure that no one will turn on the disposal while you are reaching for the items.