Do-It Yourself Plumbing Issues

What Plumbing Issues Can I Fix Myself?

We’ve all heard the saying, “Practice makes perfect.” That holds true for being a do-it-yourselfer (DIYer). Some people think they can watch a video, and you can fix anything. It does take a knack for fixing things to be a true DIYer.  Some people have it, and others don’t; but we’re all capable of fixing some of the most basic plumbing problems. Only you will know your limits of what you should repair and what you should pass on to a plumbing expert. Most plumbing companies will share countless stories where they’ve been called to jobs where a homeowner tried to fix something only to make the problem worse. 

Easy Fix Plumbing Issues

The three most basic plumbing fixes are unclogging a toilet, sink, and bathtub drain. What would we do without a plunger? It’s about the most basic, inexpensive tool in our home. I think most would agree that the plunger has pulled us out of what could have been a pretty embarrassing moment and has cleared many drains in our home. Everyone is capable of clearing a basic toilet clog. Sink and bathtub drains could use an occasional plunger, but slow-moving drains are usually the problem. You can attribute slow-moving drains to black slime in your drains. Black slime builds up over time and is a mix of soap scum, shaving cream, toothpaste residue, bacteria, mildew, phlegm, and dead skin cells. The residue from these bathroom products and body fluids start to gather near the top of the drain.  

Eventually, the hair will collect, causing the water to drain slowly. There are two fixes. One – you can pour a quarter cup of baking soda down the drain and drizzle it with vinegar. Then pour a kettle of hot water down the drain–––repeat if necessary. Or two – you can also remove the stopper altogether by removing the spring clip under the sink. Make sure you take a picture of how the clip is attached. The clip is what keeps your stopper in place. Once you remove the stopper, you can scoop the hair out using a metal coat hanger with a hook at the end. When you remove the clog, you can clean the drain by using detergent and a toothbrush. 

Another Easy Plumbing Fix Is Adding New Caulking To Your Tub Or Sink

Add new caulking around the bathtub, and sink. When you see signs that the caulking around your bathroom sinks and tubs have deteriorated, then it’s time to remove the old caulking and replace it with new. Use a putty knife or razor blade to remove the old caulking. Old and new caulking don’t work well together, so make sure you remove all the old caulking completely.  You’ll want to use a caulking gun to layout an unbroken line of caulk. Before you do, mask off both sides of the area using painter’s tape, especially if you’re not used to using a caulking gun. Once your caulk line is made, use your finger to spread it evenly around the tub or sink. Remove the tape when finished. The tape will give you nice clean lines.

Caulking is part of plumbing

Stopping A Leaky Toilet Is An Easy Fix 

Stopping a leaky toilet is an easy plumbing fix for any homeowner. If you have a toilet that’s more than five years old, then once a year, you should check it for leaks. Put a couple of drops of food coloring in the tank and wait for 30 minutes. If the coloring shows up in the toilet bowl, your flapper needs to be changed. You can change the flapper by turning the water off at the toilet.  Shut off the valve right behind the toilet. Flush the toilet and let all the water run out. Remove the flapper from the studs with your hands and then remove the chain from the flush handle. You’ll notice the chain is much longer than you need, count the chain links between the flapper and the flush handle, so it’s easy to reinstall.

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