While there are many plumbing issues that require an experienced plumber to perform the plumbing repair, there are a few tasks that practically anyone can do on their own. Since many plumbing issues can present quite a problem if not taken care of quickly, knowing how to fix common plumbing issues yourself can potentially save you a lot of money and stress. After all, no one wants their favorite items to be contaminated with toilet water! In order to give you a hand, here are a few how-tos in order to fix common plumbing issues on your own.
A Leaky Faucet
For the average person, you’re likely going to encounter a leaky faucet at some point in your life. It makes itself known by its rhythmic dripping. If it’s a particularly bad leak, you may even discover a steady stream of water. Leaky faucets can present quite the problem if they’re not handled quickly. On the one hand, they can drive up your water bill. It’s also just a general waste of water, and with how precious water is in many states and countries, this is a resource that should never be wasted.
The underlying cause of a leaky faucet typically has to do with the washer being worn down or damaged. Like most things, the tiny parts break down eventually. This is especially true if your faucet sees a lot of hard water and other build-up that can lead to rapid deterioration. To fix it, simply take the faucet head off, remove the broken washer, and put it in a new one. By and large, the faucet should stop its annoying dripping.
If it doesn’t, then your faucet itself may be cracked. A bit of plumber’s clay might be able to seal up the cracks, but this is typically only a temporary solution. You may just have to find yourself a new faucet entirely.
Slowly Draining Sink
Whether it’s your bathroom sink or the kitchen sink, if the plumbing system is clogged, then you’re going to notice some slow draining action. This can be especially frustrating when it takes hours for something to drain. That’s old, stale, and at that point, contaminated water sitting in your sink that you don’t want to touch. For those who need to use the sink, this presents quite the problem. Not to mention, it also leaves your sink susceptible to germs and deterioration.
To fix that problem, you need to unclog the pipes that are directly linked to the sinks. In some cases, a simple cleaning of the drain is all that is required. For the kitchen, you may just need to run the garbage disposal a few times to remove the chunks of food that could be blocking the pipe. If you still notice a slow drain, however, then it’s time to break out the chemicals.
Thankfully, there are lots of chemicals available at local stores designed to unclog pipes. Typically, they do this by breaking down the materials inside of the sink. For the bathroom sink, a lot of that could be toothpaste that has hardened and stuck to the inside of the pipe. The chemicals will break that crud down and the water will have free access down the pipe once more. To prevent pipes from clogging, you may want to install a cover that can keep some of the larger clumps from going down the drain. It may be nasty, but cleaning the cover is a lot easier than unclogging a drain.
Similar to the sink, if the drains of your bath and shower don’t have a cover, then you’re letting in a lot of large particles and materials down that drain. Hair, especially, is the main culprit here. For smaller pipes, all of that hair can eventually clog up the pipe. This is especially true when it gets matted with soap scum. While you may not like the idea of opening up the drain and reaching in to pull out a mass of hair, there are solutions similar to unclogging a sink’s pipe for your bathroom and shower.
Chemicals to break down hair and other materials can be used to clear out the pipe. Each chemical has its own preferred method of use, but typically, you’ll have to pour a certain amount into the drain and let it rest for a prescribed time. Afterward, you’ll need to rinse the area, and then pour some more. The cycle continues until the debris is all dissolved, and the pipe is able to wash away water with ease once more.
Toilets can cause a whole lot of damage if they’re not performing well. A clogged toilet can cause a terrible back-up which could result in your bathroom suddenly being flooded with toilet water. Nasty! However, that isn’t the only problem that your toilet may face. For some individuals, the primary issue with their toilet is that it won’t stop running after it has been flushed. This is an issue that could end up flooding your basement since the water is fluctuating between the toilet and sewer tank.
Luckily, the fix isn’t too terrible. Simply take off the top of your toilet and take a look at the flapper. Sometimes the chain can be worn down or the delicate attachments might have been ripped off during a particularly violent flushing motion. You can easily purchase a new flapper and chain and attach them to the correct locations. In other cases, all you may need to do is adjust the flapper, so it reads the water levels of the toilet correctly.
Whichever method works, you’ll find that your toilet finally stops running, and you can put those nightmares of a flooded basement to rest.
Leaking pipes are a huge problem. That water is damaging everything it touches. What’s worse is that if the problem arises in your basement, and your basement isn’t a place that people typically go into, you might not notice the problem for a while. As such, the next time you do venture down into your basement, you may find yourself with an indoor pool. All of the items that you had packed away are basically ruined. Not to mention the germs and mold growing in the area.
To fix it, you’re going to need plumber’s clay and epoxy resin. It can temporarily stop water flow. However, this is a fix that you may just need a professional’s aid to assist.