Dealing with plumbing issues around the house can be stressful, especially if you aren’t experienced with that type of work. Some plumbing problems can be taken care of without the help of a professional even if the person doing it is a complete novice. In cases where you can’t find the exact cause of the problem, you may still be able to do something that solves the issue without needing help.
Easy DIY Fixes
- My Toilet Won’t Stop Running: The most common problem with toilets is that they keep running long after being flushed, and it’s usually because of a faulty flapper allowing water to drain from the tank which triggers the fill cycle. Flappers are cheap to buy and can be easy to replace, and there are plenty of videos to show you how to make sure you’re doing it right. If your toilet is still running after replacing the flapper and adjusting the fill mechanism you should call in a plumber to take a look because it may be an issue with the tank itself.
- My Water Pressure is Too High/Low: Take a look at the supply lines for your faucets if you can reach them. Sometimes the valve isn’t fully opened and can cause low pressure. If water pressure is still too low or high you should look at the Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) at the main supply line coming into your house between your home and the meter. It may need to be adjusted with a wrench until the system is around 75psi. If it’s in need of replacement you should call a pro. Some of the issues causing the change in pressure may require the help of a professional, but at the very least identifying the source of the problem will make a potential visit from a professional easier for everyone.
- My Drains Are Clogged: A clogged drain can often be fixed with a tool called a Zipper, a product every homeowner should have in their cupboard of cleaning supplies. It’s basically a long, flexible plastic stick with plastic barbs that can grab on to hair and debris and pull them out of a drain. We do NOT recommend the use of harsh chemical cleaners such as Drano, because they cause pitting and corrosion in your pipes which lead to more and worse clogs, and can lead to you needing to replace your pipes many years sooner than if you hadn’t used the chemical option. There are augers and other tools you can find at hardware stores if you are looking to save money and feel confident in your ability to use them, and if all else fails then professionals are only a phone call away.
- My Drains Smell Moldy: Some plumbing issues can be solved with common household items! If you smell bad odor coming from your drains there’s an easy way to get rid of it that works most of the time. Usually drain odors are caused by moldy growth because drains are dark, moist places that fungus loves to grow in. Pour half a cup of baking powder down the drain. Wait 20 minutes, then pour one cup of hydrogen peroxide. The mixture should foam up and line the inside of the pipe. The hydrogen peroxide kills any fungus, while the baking soda works to kill the smell. If that doesn’t help it’s time to call in a professional because you may have more serious problems deep in the drain line that require specialized tools to fix.
When it’s Time to Call in the Pros
- My Water Heater Needs Repair: If you’re looking to repair, do annual maintenance, or even replace your hot water heater, it’s always best to call in a professional. Your water heater is such an important and integral part of your plumbing system that you should never want anyone but the best to take care of it.
- My Pipes Are Leaking: Leaky pipes are a tricky problem to tackle by yourself. Attempting to replace or patch pipes by yourself could easily result in additional damage, and you’re going to want to have a professional insured plumber work on them.
- I Need To Replace A Part: Simple things such as certain toilet parts, faucets, and shower heads are one thing, but for anything else it’s advised to call a professional service. Often times you’ll find that plumbing parts require specific tools you don’t own or want to purchase, and in the case of toilet internals you may need someone with a greater understanding of how the flush system operates to ensure it is installed and set up properly.
- My Sump Pump Needs Repair: Not all houses have a sump pump, but for those that do, you may know how important they are to keeping your basement or crawlspace dry. Like any piece of machinery, they will begin to break down over time, and when that happens you will want a licensed plumber to replace it.