5 Common Plumbing Repairs You can Fix on Your Own

For small plumbing repairs, you can save yourself money by doing them yourself. It is important to remember to call a plumbing professional if you find yourself in over your head and the repair turns out to be more difficult than you thought. With that in mind, let’s explore a few common plumbing problems a lot of homeowners face and how you can fix them on your own.

1. Leaky Faucet

Just about every single lever leaky faucet can be fixed in one hour or less. The repair is easier than you may think. Don’t allow that endless dripping to annoy you any longer and put an end to the many hundreds of gallons of water you could be wasting!

  • Determine where the leak is coming from
  • Turn off the water supply; there should be shutoff valves under the sink
  • Turn the sink on to relieve pressure and ensure you shut off the water properly
  • Remove the handle and disassemble the faucet
  • Keep all your parts in order as you remove them
  • Inspect interior of the valve for deteriorated gaskets and mineral deposits
  • Clean the surface, use vinegar to loosen any mineral deposits
  • Replace any worn parts
  • Reassemble the faucet
  • Turn the water back on and run it until the water flows freely and all the air is out of your pipes

2. Running Toilet

There are a few toilet related issues that can be resolved in little to no time at all. Whether your toilet won’t stop running, your flush isn’t strong enough, or if your bowl doesn’t refill, odds are the repair is simple.

Weak Flush

  • Remove the toilet lid
  • Locate the fill tube, it will be a small flexible tube running from the fill valve to the overflow tube
  • Reattach the fill tube and make sure it sits at least one inch above the rim of the overflow tube
  • Flush and make sure the water goes down

Running Toilet

  • Adjust the flapper chain
  • If this doesn’t stop your toilet running, then you probably have a worn out flapper
  • Remove the part and take it to the hardware store to find an exact match
  • Put on the new part and flush your toilet

3. Clogged Drain

Shower drains often get clogged with hair. Drainage chemicals may work temporarily but the problem will just continue to recur. Here’s how you can unclog your drains without chemicals in about five minutes. All you need is a screwdriver and a coat hanger.

  • Remove your stopper, you will probably have to shut the stopper and then unscrew its top
  • Once you remove the stopper, bend your coat hanger and pull out the obstruction
  • In almost all clogged drain cases, the issue is a wad of hair stuck on the crossbars right beneath the stopper
  • Run the water to make sure the obstruction is clear
  • Replace your stopper

4. Unclog a Toilet

A clogged toilet can cause a household disaster, but usually the problem is super simple and can be fixed in a handful of minutes with little more than a toilet snake. Obviously, your first attempt should be to use a plunger, but if this doesn’t work, use a toilet snake to fix a more serious clog. A toilet snake is a long coil with a corkscrew at the end to cut through debris and pull out foreign objects that may be causing the blockage. If the toilet snake still does not fix your problem, call a plumbing professional as soon as possible.

5. Leaking Water Heater

If you are having issues with your water heater, you may experience low pressure in the shower and other places. If you have a leaky water heater valve, it is because your valve is either defective and it needs to be replaced, or your temperature is set too high. Set your temperature to 120 degrees, or go with the medium setting if your thermostat doesn’t have specific temperature readings. If this doesn’t fix your leaky valve, simply replace the part.

By following these tips, you should be able to fix some of the most common plumbing issues people have in their homes. If you followed these tips and were not able to resolve your issue, you should contact a local plumber to avoid further damage.

Darren Harms
[email protected]

I enjoy researching and writing about home improvement projects including HVAC, plumbing, electrical, lawn care, and more.

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