Although it is smart to hire a plumber for most plumbing issues, especially serious issues, not every plumbing issue requires a plumber. Many plumbing issues are simple enough for you to fix yourself after completing some basic research. If done properly, you can save yourself a lot of money, time, and headache by performing these basic plumbing repairs yourself.
A few basic tools should be all you need to perform basic plumbing tasks:
- Adjustable wrench;
- Utility knife;
- Plumbing tape;
- Caulking gun.
Before you call a plumber, try using a snake on your clogged drain. If your sink or tub is draining slowly, or if you have standing water, a backed-up shower, or a clogged toilet, a ten-dollar (or less) tool may be the answer. If a plunger or non-corrosive drain cleaner doesn’t work, feed your snake coil into the drain opening, crank it clockwise and counterclockwise to get it as far into the pipe and blockage as possible, then pull the handle up and out to remove the clog. Repeat if necessary. Also, check out one of our recent blogs.
Believe it or not, you can probably fix your leaky faucet on your own, without the help of a plumber. Leaky faucets are usually caused by a broken washer or O-ring. To fix your leaky faucet, you’ll need an adjustable c-wrench, flathead screwdriver, WD-40, and replacement washers and O-ring. Follow these steps:
- Turn off the water valve to the faucet if you want to stay dry.
- Pry the decorative parts of the knobs with a screwdriver, being careful not to scratch them.
- Unscrew the handle from the stem. Remove it with your screwdriver. If necessary, you can use WD-40 to loosen it.
- Loosen the packing nut with your wrench, then remove the stem. If it doesn’t immediately come off, twist it lose. Check the stem for damage.
- If the stem is not damaged, remove and replace the washers and O-rings. If you don’t know what kind you have, take the old ones to the store to get an exact match. They must match exactly to fix your leak.
- Reassemble and test to see if you’ve fixed your leak.
- If you still have a leak, call an experienced, licensed plumber.
Installing a Faucet or Sink
Installing a new faucet or sink is very easy. Check out our recent blog on this subject for step by step instructions.
Leaky Shower Head
To fix a leaky shower head, you likely must remove buildup. Turn off the water to your bathroom and remove your showerhead. Disassemble it and soak the parts in white vinegar for eight hours. This will remove lime and mineral deposits. Once it has soaked, use a toothpick and brush to remove any remaining buildup. Reassemble
There is nothing worse than a continually running toilet. Sometimes all a running toilet needs is for its handle to be jiggled. If that doesn’t work, you need to find the cause.
- Remove the lid and flush your toilet so you can see what’s going on in there.
- Manually close the flapper. If your toilet stops running, the issue is one of three things: the chain could be snagged, twisted, or caught on something. If this is the case, thread it through a plastic straw to prevent this from reoccurring; if the chain isn’t the issue, your flapper could be stuck on its hinge; if neither of those are the issue, the flapper could be misaligned with the opening.
- If it’s not the flapper, your valve could not be fully open. If this is the issue, the water will not fill to the water line.
- If the valve is fully open, your issue might be your float. Pull up on your float. If that stops the problem, you can either adjust the water level to stop where the float stops or adjust the float to stop at the water level.
- If none of these fix your problem, you might need to call an experienced, licensed plumber.
Garbage Disposal Repair
Garbage disposals are relatively simple contraptions. Clogged or jammed garbage disposals are very easy repairs to make. Every new garbage disposal comes with the tools you need to fix it attached to the disposal itself and instructions for how to properly repair the disposal if it becomes jammed. Always make sure the power to your disposal is off at the source before you attempt repairs and check out several of our recent blogs on garbage disposal repair for step by step instructions.
When all else Fails
After reading blogs and step by step solutions online and being unsuccessful, there is always the experts. Call the experts today at (317) 859-9999 or go set an appointment online.