Simple Plumbing Issues You Can Tackle on Your Own


Being a homeowner can be a tough job, especially when you have a large home or aging structure that requires constant repairs. Thankfully, when it comes to plumbing issues, most homeowners can tackle a variety of issues on their own without having to pay for a plumber. Keep reading if you are interested in a great do-it-yourself article.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are generally easy fix for any homeowner. In most cases, the shower or sink drain has accumulated hair over time and starts to drain the water very slowly. Although retail chemicals are the go-to product for many, the first tool any homeowner should try is the snake. Purchasing a drain snake online or from a local store will usually unclog even the most stubborn clogs.

Hair clogs can also be dissolved with chemicals even though human hair is stronger than steel. Many retail products boast about their ability to dissolve wadded up toilet paper, hair, baby wipes, and other organic material. However, these chemicals can produce noxious fumes and are not reusable like a snake. Once you use up the dissolving liquid, it is gone and good for only one use.

Although some websites suggest filling the drain with baking soda and then adding vinegar to unclog drains in a few hours, the buildup of carbon dioxide gas pressure created by the reaction can damage latent weaknesses in the pipes, especially older pipes.

Unfortunately, some of these may only provide a temporary solution. A drain that continues to clog may need the attention of a professional. An unresolved clog may cause further damage to your pipes and drains.

Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets can be annoying and also cost money as time ticks away and literally washes your money down the drain. In most cases, homeowners can simply remove the ornamental fittings or caps of the faucet knobs and expose a screw head or bolt.

By loosening the fittings, the knobs can be removed. Once they are removed, the washers can be replaced to snug up the gap and prevent leaks. Replacement washers can be found at just about any home improvement store.

More Extensive Repairs

If your plumbing requires more extensive repairs, you typically need to locate the main water valve. It is usually in the basement of the home. Once you close the main water valve, you can conduct just about any repair easily.

Plumbing generally comes in three different types of piping. Copper pipes that are soldered together with joints and threaded steel pipes are the traditional piping. Newer pipes are made of different types of plastic material.

Copper is used for most hot and cold water applications. However, welding together copper joints can be dangerous due to the fire hazards of using a torch. And the sanding, flux, and soldering process can be difficult to master for a novice. It is also difficult to access many pipes that were installed before the other building materials were finished and built around them.

For do-it-yourself plumbers, the choice material for replacing damaged copper pipes is PEX. These polyethylene pipes are flexible and easy to cut to length. They are installed by simply fastening them with metal crimps or push-to-connect fittings.

This piping material is ideal for any internal plumbing but cannot be used for external piping that may be exposed to sunlight. It can even be installed without the need to purchase any hand tools.

Use caution when attempting these types of repairs. Mistakes may end up costing you thousands of dollars in damage to your home. If you are inexperienced, it is best to hire a professional plumber.



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