Not all home plumbing repair jobs require the help of a professional. Some plumbing projects are simple enough to do on your own as long as you have basic plumbing knowledge and the right tools. Below is quick DIY plumbing advice that you can use to fix basic plumbing problems in your home. However, it’s important to remember that some people simply aren’t comfortable doing their own plumbing. If you’re one of those people, don’t wait to call in a professional. Homeowners often end up making the problem worse by trying to fix the home plumbing system by themselves.
Locate Your Shut-Off Valve
This is one of the single-most important things you can do before starting work on any of your plumbing projects. Even if it’s a simple DIY project such as tightening your toilet seat, you should always start by locating the shut-off valve. Every bathroom has one, and it could be the key to avoiding a major disaster later on. If you’re unsure which valve goes to which sink, toilet or shower, just turn one off and start flushing toilets and turning on faucets. Which ever one doesn’t turn on, is the one you just turned off.
DIY Plumbing Repair for Leaking Pipe
While not all leaking pipes will be easy for you to fix yourself, you can do some of them with minimal knowledge. One example is fixing a leak around the toilet. The majority of leaks around toilets come from the stop valve. Home toilet repair should start like any other plumbing project, by turning off your shut-off valve and then using an adjustable wrench to tighten the nut that connects the valve to the supply tube. If you notice any movement from the valve, stop and brace it with a wrench. Too much movement could cause another leak to spring up.
Home Drain Cleaning
Another common plumbing issue that doesn’t typically require a professional is home drain cleaning. Blockages occur in pipes from time to time. They frequently occur in the traps under your sink. While drain cleaners solve the problem for a little while, they don’t address the root of the problem. To do this, turn off the shut-off valve, and dismantle the pipes under the sink. Start by undoing the sink trap. You may want to put a bucket under the sink to catch any remaining water. Once the pipe is off, use an old toothbrush to remove any debris from the pipe. Once clean, simply reconnect it, and the clog is gone.
Do Your Research
One of the best home plumbing repair tips for anyone to learn is that they don’t know it all. This is why it’s so important to do a little research before you start on any project. Look online for how difficult a project is before getting started. This can give you a little insight to see if you think you can handle the project yourself. Also, use that time to familiarize yourself with the terminology used in plumbing so that you know the specific words to use when searching for the information that you need. Look up questions such as: How much pitch should you give a waste pipe? and What is the function of a vent pipe? The more information you have, the easier it’s going to be to figure out your plumbing project.
Start With the Right Tools
Start going through your toolbox. Having more tools than you think you need is a good thing. Nothing is more frustrating than starting a project only to learn that you need to make a run to the store because you’re missing an item. Some common items you may need include
• pipe wrench,
• metal file,
• plumber’s snake,
• adjustable wrench, and
• tongue-and-groove pliers or Channel-locks.
These tools should be enough to get you started. However, these alone won’t be enough to solve all of your plumbing problems. The tools you need should be directly related to the job you are doing. If you continue to solve your own plumbing issues, you should amass a large collection of plumbing tools.
When it comes to home plumbing repair, a little knowledge and the right tools go a long way. That being said, you can’t always count on what you read on the internet. When you find yourself in over your head, there is no shame in calling in a professional. In fact, calling a professional is a great way to avoid major damage to your home plumbing system.
If you find yourself with a plumbing emergency, contact us today! We are here to answer all of your questions.