A broken toilet, leaking faucet or overflowing sink? In most cases, you don’t need to call a plumber. Instead, you can find the services and products that are right for your plumbing needs at your local hardware store. There you’ll also find a wealth of information on how to use these tools safely in the home.
These typical plumbing issues manifest when you are most hurried. For instance, it frequently occurs when you are running late for a meeting and there is suddenly no water in the tape. Your day will be ruined, and in such circumstances you will inevitably become impatient. It seriously causes disappointment and frustration if you’re a working person.
You might be surprised by just how easy it is to handle common plumbing repairs yourself. Here’s our list of five basic steps that will help you fix your own plumbing problems.
- Turn off water supply. Shut off the main water valve (usually located under the kitchen sink) before any work begins. If you’re working outside, shut the water off at the well.
- Open the drain if necessary. Most drains have screw-in plugs, but check with your local building inspector to confirm your specific situation. Check the bottom of the trap for loose debris and make sure there’s no blockage. Remove any obstructions so they can’t get caught in the pipe as you flush the toilet.
- Drain the system. Run cold water through the pipes until the entire house has been emptied. The water should flow without stopping or backing up. If it does, stop draining and turn the tap back on to see where the problem lies.
- Replace the plug. Toilet plungers come in many different shapes and sizes, but all generally fit into an opening about half the diameter of the pipe itself. Insert the plunger into the drainpipe and push down firmly. Be certain to keep the plunger level while doing this. Keep in mind that the larger the diameter of the pipe, the harder it is to reach when you’re standing above the floor. Also, avoid getting too close to the water itself; the force of the water could dislodge the stopper.
- Check the traps. You should be able to easily remove the two flaps from the base of the toilet bowl. These flaps serve as a vent for odors when the toilet is not in use. The traps should look clean, clear and dry. Make sure there are no foreign objects or hair inside them, especially if you’ve recently used the bathroom.
If you want to take advantage of a professional υδραυλικος, however, here are some things you shouldn’t do yourself.
Fixing a dripping faucet
There are few things more frustrating than watching a leaky faucet drip day after day. The best way to solve this problem is to replace the rubber washer that attaches the fixture to the wall. It’s usually located beneath the spout, and you can unscrew it quickly and easily with a standard adjustable wrench. Once you’ve removed the old washer, install a new one carefully. The washers come in a variety of sizes and colors, so you may have to experiment a bit to find the correct size. After you’ve inserted it into place, screw it securely to the threaded hole.
Replacing a faulty showerhead
Showerheads are notoriously susceptible to leaks. The easiest way around this problem is to replace the entire head. When shopping for a replacement, pay special attention to the pressure rating. A low-pressure head is less expensive. But you really should consider replacing the whole thing if the unit loses its seal or develops leaks over time.
Patching a toilet tank lid
Toilets are notorious for developing leaks. To fix this problem, you’ll first have to locate the source of the leak. This is usually either the tank lid or the gasket between the lid and the body of the toilet. The most common cause of leakage is rust. Use a chemical cleaner designed specifically for toilets to clean the area thoroughly. Then apply mineral oil, which acts as an anti-rust agent. Finally, you can cover the area with an epoxy resin. Let it set overnight, then cut away the excess material.
Repairing a frozen pipe
To repair a frozen pipe, follow these steps:
- Remove the cover plate from the end of the pipe nearest the location where the freeze damaged the pipe.
- Loosen the clamp on the pipe using a pair of channel lock pliers.
- Insert a flexible plastic tube into the pipe.
- Connect the other end of the tube to a garden hose.
- Blow out air bubbles with a long pole or broom handle.
- Turn on the hot and cold water taps to the affected part of the pipe.
- Wait 10 minutes, then test for leaks.
- If you want to save money, you can try this DIY project instead.
Installing a garbage disposal
Garbage disposals are typically made from cast iron, which means repairing one can be tricky. If you’re lucky enough to find a good deal on a complete unit, you might be able to buy the parts separately. Otherwise, you’ll probably have to disassemble it yourself. The most common problem with garbage disposals is the rubber seal.
Follow these steps to replace the seal:
- Unscrew the top.
- Remove the three nuts holding the seal in place.
- Replace the seal with a new one.
- Install the top once again.
Once you’ve replaced the seal, you can reinstall the rest of the parts. First, attach the motor assembly to the housing. Next, insert the cutting blade into the top of the mechanism. Attach the auger shaft to the gear box. Finally, install the gear box and the lower plate onto the housing.
If you’re interested in learning more about plumbing and how it works, you might like to read on.
Why do I smell gas?
Gas leaks are often caused by worn-out valves. You should always inspect your gas lines regularly, particularly when you change the temperature settings on your thermostat. You’ll know the lines are ready for service when the yellow color fades.
Replace the main line
When the gas company discovers a gas leak, they’ll send a repairman equipped with a detector to pinpoint the source. If you suspect your furnace is causing a leak, you should contact the manufacturer directly. They’ll provide you with a repair kit that includes a special tool capable of identifying the leak.
How to unclog a toilet bowl
The most common method of solving a clogged toilet involves flushing with a solution containing baking soda, vinegar and other cleaning agents. Follow these instructions:
First, run warm water into the toilet until the water level rises over the rim of the bowl. The water must remain at least 1 inch above the rim for several seconds. If the water doesn’t rise, there’s probably something blocking the drain.
Next, add a cup of white vinegar to the water. The mixture should foam immediately. This indicates that the toilet bowl is free of dirt.
After a few moments, pour in a container of baking soda. Wait 15 minutes, then flush the toilet again.
If none of these methods work, you’ll need to hire a professional plumber.
How to troubleshoot a water heater
Water heaters are surprisingly simple devices. There are only four components to a typical model — the heating element, the tank, the thermocouple, and the safety switch. Unfortunately, these components are also among the most difficult to maintain properly.
Here are some tips to get started:
- Check the thermostat setting. The default setting is 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Set it to 140 degrees, if possible. If you need to adjust the setting manually, leave the control knob in the “Off” position and move the dial clockwise.
- Clean the unit. Cleaning the tank periodically helps prevent deposits that can reduce the efficiency of the heater.
- Make sure the water isn’t freezing. If the water turns blue on the side of the tank, you’ll need to thaw it first.
- Inspect the coils. Inspect the coils every six months or whenever they begin to show signs of wear and tear. Don’t attempt to touch these coils; the electricity flowing through them is extremely dangerous.
How to install a new faucet
Faucets have a number of different parts, including a stem, a cartridge and a lever. All of these parts are designed to fit together snugly. If you’re having trouble installing a new faucet, you can use this guide to assist you.
Disconnect the water supply. Unplug the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom from the main water valve.
Remove the existing faucet from the wall. If the fitting screws into the wall, loosen the screws and pull the faucet away from the wall. If the faucet screws into the countertop, use a flathead screwdriver to pry off the cap.
Clean the faucet threads. Apply a dab of penetrating oil to the threads of the old faucet.
Attach the new faucet to the thread. Tighten the faucet slowly. Avoid overtightening the connection.
Plug the water inlet back into the main water valve.
Flush the faucet. Flush the pipes with cool water to ensure the threads are tight.
Test the faucet. Turn the faucet on and off several times. If everything looks fine, you’re done!
How to install a new bathtub
Most tubs are constructed of fiberglass panels covered by acrylic sheets. You can replace the panels yourself, but it’s much easier to purchase a completely new tub. Here’s what you need to know:
Remove the old tub. This step is critical. If you fail to do this, you’ll damage the walls and floors of your home.