Plumbing problems can be a nightmare, but not all issues necessitate an immediate call to a professional. With some know-how and the right tools, a few common plumbing issues can be resolved without costly repair bills. Here are plumbing concerns you may be able to fix on your own.
Common Plumbing Issues You Can DIY
1. Leaky Faucets
A leaky faucet is irritating and leads to wasted water and increased bills. Often, the cause is a worn-out washer or O-ring. To fix it, turn off the water supply, disassemble the faucet, and replace the damaged or deteriorating O-ring with a new one. Make sure to tighten everything securely when reassembling the tap.
2. Clogged Drains
Clogged drains in sinks, showers, or bathtubs are frequent occurrences. For minor clogs, sometimes, a homemade solution of baking soda and vinegar followed by hot water will help break down the clog. If that doesn’t work, use a plunger or a drain snake to remove the blockage. Avoid chemical drain cleaners as they can be harsh and damaging to pipes.
3. Running Toilets are Common Plumbing Issues
A running toilet wastes a significant amount of water. Often, it’s due to a faulty flapper or a problem with the fill valve. You can usually repair this by adjusting the chain on the flapper or replacing it altogether. For the fill valve, make adjustments to ensure the water stops at the right level.
4. Low Water Pressure
Various factors, including mineral buildup in the aerator or showerhead, can cause low water pressure. Remove the aerator or showerhead and soak it in vinegar to dissolve the deposits. In some cases, a clog in the pipes might be the issue, requiring professional attention.
5. Dripping Pipes Are Common Plumbing Issues That Are Easy to Fix
A dripping water line can be a minor annoyance or a sign of a more significant problem. Inspect the joints for leaks and tighten them if possible. Use plumber’s tape or a sealant to fix small leaks. It’s best to seek professional assistance for larger or more persistent leaks.
6. Faulty Garbage Disposal
If your garbage disposal is not working, verify it’s switched off and the power is disconnected. Use an Allen wrench in the bottom of the disposal to manually rotate the blades. Sometimes, objects causing a jam can be dislodged this way. Avoid putting fibrous or hard items into the disposal to prevent future issues.
7. Prevent Frozen Pipes
In colder climates, frozen pipes are a real concern. Water freezes in the water line, which may cause the pipe to burst. Prevention is the best measure for frozen pipes, but if a pipe freezes, you can use a hairdryer or heat lamp to thaw the pipe slowly and carefully. Never use an open flame, as it can damage the plumbing. Open all nearby faucets to allow the water to flow once it thaws.
While these fixes might address the immediate problem, always be cautious and know your DIY limits. If an issue seems too complex or risky to handle, call a professional plumber to avoid causing further damage. Regular maintenance and being proactive in addressing small issues will prevent major plumbing problems in the future, saving you time and money.