Everyone has a few handy plumbing tools at home in case of an emergency. To fix a slow drain or a clogged toilet, it might not take much effort and is possible to do with no external help. However, not all problems related to plumbing can be solved on your own. Other plumbing problems which are relatively more complicated will require professional help. If professional help from expert plumbing engineers is not called out for, a small issue like a leaky faucet could lead to way bigger problems in the future.
One way to avoid regular plumbing issues is a good and regular maintenance regime. Always keep it in mind to have thorough inspections at least once in every few months around your house to look for any leaky pipes and fix it before the problem grows any further. Water leaking from pipes or faucets can cause a lot of structural damage to the flooring, walls, and even the furniture.
Routine DIY Tasks for Maintainance
Almost all routine jobs that allow you to inspect your plumbing system are Do-It-Yourselves. Not only are they simple but they take little of your time either. Make a proper routine wherein you keep a close check on all your pipes which are exposed to your eyes whether they are under the sink or behind the toilet. Look if there is any moisture and take necessary action. Avoid such an inspection on a humid day as the results may vary due to normal condensation on cold pipes. Also, keep an eye on your brass/copper fittings and check if there is any sign of corrosion. Corrosion may also lead to leaky pipes.
Check the water pressure in your taps, faucets and shower heads. If the water pressure is too low, there is most likely some issue. Also, check for the sink drains. If the draining is slow, the drain might be clogged. Check your toilet flushes also, and note if they leak/drip/run or not.
Once you are done with all your Do It Yourself inspections, if you still feel you need to get your plumbing system checked by some professional, go for a certified plumber., it is always a good idea it checked by some professional every 6 months. Once you book an appointment with the inspector, he gives you an in-depth information about the working of your plumbing system and checks every single bit. From the water heater to the garbage disposal, the expert covers and checks every aspect thoroughly. If there’s any fault found by the plumber, he will make sure to solve it for you and give you a plumbing system free from any faults.
Common Plumbing Repair Jobs
Even though it is suggested that you get your plumbing system checked every 6 months, no one can stop a regular clog or a slow drain. If it is ought to happen, it can happen even the week after the inspector corrected everything and left. Such repair jobs include:
- Dripping Faucets – A dripping faucet is not only annoying but also drives your water bill way to the top. It can waste gallons of water if not treated on time. A dripping faucet generally occurs due to the washers becoming stiff, torn or dislodged over time due to the extreme water pressure. The washers are easy to replace and you can easily do it on your own, given the fact that you have the required tools for it ready. Without the handy tools, it might not be as easy as you think. Not every repair can be done by you and if there is an issue in the valve seat (worn out or corroded), the repair should be left to a professional plumber.
- Low water pressure– When you turn on a tap, shower head or a faucet and the water only trickles instead of gushing, the water pressure is considered low. The build-up of sediments or minerals on faucet aerators. is the mostly the cause. Such deposits are carried by the water that runs down and they often tend to sit back while the water continues flowing. You can clean the aerators by taking them out and dipping them in vinegar overnight, it is a very easy process and does not need professional assistance. For shower heads and bathroom faucets, you can fill up a plastic bag with vinegar and attach it to them. Even after this if the water pressure does not go back to normal, there might be some complex issue. Such a complex issue calls out for an emergency and immediate professional help is recommended.
- Running Toilet – If the water from your toilet flush does not stop flowing even after you have flushed, it might be time to get it changed. This is mainly caused due to the flapper valve passing water from the tank to bowl, does not fit correctly. The inner workings are to be looked at and replaced, which can be done by a toilet repair kit. It requires only a little effort to install and is not a complicated process. If you have replaced everything internally, and the water is still running, the issue might be bigger. In this case, contact a plumber.
- Leaky Pipes– Leaks are usually found at joints and can be a nuisance. To fix this, a replacement of the pipe length or its fittings may be required. Repairing a leaky pipe is not tough but is surely messy. To save up on the clean-up time, you may want to get professional help rather than making your own hands dirty.
- Slow/Clogged Drains – When the water down your sink, tub or toilet does not drain quickly like usual, consider the drain clogged. This can happen due to various reasons like food particles in the sink drain, knotted hair in the bathroom drain, grease down the kitchen drain, etc. Most of the times, this can be fixed by a plunger. But if a plunger also cannot fix your problem or you experience a clogged drain just after some time of clearing it up, it is time to take the help of an expert.
DIY Plumbing Repair Tips
• Always have a professional certified plumber’s number handy. Call him for help if your DIYs don’t work.
• Always turn off the main water supply whenever dealing with drains, taps, leaks, etc.
• Plumbing is messy, so dress accordingly.
• Whenever replacing an item, always take the old ones with you to the hardware store so that you make sure you get the exact new ones.
When to call a Plumber
We agree that many plumbing problems can be solved on your own, but the ones which are a little complicated, require the help of an expert in this field. Always consider professional help at the time of –
- The requirement of installation of new pipes, taps, sinks, tubs, etc.
- Water heater problems
- Garbage disposal problems
- Any new construction required
- Leakage in septic tanks
- Breaks/leaks in sewer lines