Being among the home’s most used systems, plumbing problems are expected from time to time. They can be a giant headache for any homeowner, with more than 30 percent of American homeowners reporting plumbing repairs as one of their biggest money drainers according to a recent survey.
Indeed, certain plumbing issues will definitely require the attention of an experienced professional. However, there are a few common issues that you can actually fix yourself – or at least do something to minimize damage before the expert gets there. All you may need is a little know-how and some basic tools.
Below are several common plumbing issues that you can fix DIY, alongside a few tips on how to go about it.
DIY Drain Cleaning: Quickly Unclog Your Drains!
Everyone experiences clogged drains at least once in their lives. While store-bought solutions may be tempting, they can often plug up your plumbing with corrosive chemicals and make the problem worse. It’s cited as one of the biggest mistakes you should avoid to prevent drain clogging. Rather, chemical agents should be the last resort.
Below is a brief guide you can try to quickly fix a clogged drain better.
First, identify where the blockage is located by running cold water slowly down each of your drains one by one. Depending on what’s causing the clog, your best bet will be to “snake” it or use a plunger. Snaking involves inserting an auger (plumbing snake) into your pipes to burst off piles of gunk, hair, and other debris stuck inside it. You’ll need a fully-uncoiled auger with enough reach for the job, making sure not to damage pipes when inserting it.
Also Read: Top 5 Mistakes New Home Owners Make
Detecting and Fix Leaky Pipes Fast!
Leaking pipes are one of the most common plumbing issues homeowners face. Not only do they cause an annoying drip-drip sound, but they can also lead to expensive water bills if left undetected or unfixed. But don’t worry! A leaky pipe is easier to fix than you might think.
First off, identify where your main water shutoff valve is located (usually found in the basement). Secondly, look for visible signs of leakage such as damp patches on walls or ceilings – a good indication that something could be wrong with your pipes. Once you detect the source of the leak, you can apply a patch and seal the leak using a repair clamp.
Replacing a Leaky Faucet
Leaky faucets are usually easy to spot with the telltale drops of water, but it can be tricky business replacing one! However, by reinstalling the new gasket and washer (which you will likely find in hardware stores), along with some basic tools and know-how, this is something that many homeowners can fix themselves. Here’s a brief guide to fixing a leaky faucet on your own.
Turn off your main water supply, and then remove the handle of the faucet before getting down into deep cleaning mode. Wipe away around its ‘seat’ so it’s squeaky clean!
Now take out the washer and replace it with your new one, making sure both sides of the gasket fit snugly together. Make sure to put everything back together.
Replacing the Wax Ring on Your Toilet
A leaking toilet can be an embarrassing problem for homeowners to face, especially if your friends come around to visit! However, the problem could be your old wax ring beneath the toilet bowl, which can be fixed by replacing it with a new one.
The process is relatively simple, but you will require a few specialist tools to replace a wax ring on your loo.
These may include:
- Adjustable wrenches
- Flathead screwdriver
- Sink plunger
Start by shutting off the water supply to the toilet. Disconnect all of the pipes connecting to it, as well as any bolts that may be holding it onto the floor drain or flange. Then, use a putty knife to remove any remaining wax from around the base of your old toilet in order for your new wax ring to fit properly.
Next, insert your new replacement wax ring onto the horn at the bottom of where your toilet fits into its mounting deck. To ensure success here, make sure there are no gaps – just provide firm pressure when pushing down so it seals correctly with no leaks.
Finally, place back on all connections and turn back up the water supply line once installed properly.
Why Plumbing Emergencies Problems Should Be Left to Professionals
Having a plumbing emergency is no joke. Plumbing emergencies should be immediately taken care of by calling an emergency plumber. From ruptures in your main sewer line that require mitigation measures, to broken pipes releasing dangerous waste items into your home’s water supply; most such issues can have severe health risks if not dealt with quickly and correctly.
Emergencies like burst pipes can also result in damage to your property. And after all, many plumbing fixtures are connected directly to electrical systems in homes (water heaters, etc.), adding further liability hurdles when attempting DIY repairs. This is why ARS’ emergency plumbers recommend calling a professional whenever you have a plumbing problem that you do not know how to fix.
These experienced professionals have access to the diagnostic technology needed for locating any hidden pipe leaks or backed-up sewage lines. They also have tools that the average homeowner may not access or afford. So, hiring one will give you peace of mind knowing everything will get properly sorted out before long – and at a reasonable price too!
Being properly prepared before taking on any job is key. Before attempting most DIY solutions, it’s important to ensure you first understand what’s causing the problem, have identified the right parts required for replacement/repair, and have the right tools.
While this list covers a few plumbing problems that you can repair yourself to save time and money, it’s always safer to call a plumber if the task seems complex or you’re unsure of how to go about it.