Dealing with plumbing issues around your home is stressful and costly if you always call a professional plumber. Many minor plumbing problems can be successfully tackled as DIY projects with the right tools and knowledge. Doing it yourself not only saves money on plumbers’ fees but also gives you a sense of accomplishment and control over your living space.
Know when to call a professional
While DIY plumbing can be rewarding, it’s important to know your limits. Certain plumbing issues should only be dealt with by licensed professionals such as:
- Replacing or moving drain, vent, gas, or water pipes
- Major leaks requiring pipe or valve replacement
- Sewer line clogs or damage
- Major toilet repairs like replacing valves
- Electrical issues with water heaters
- Gas line leaks
If you are ever unsure about the severity of the problem, it’s better to call an expert to prevent making the situation worse. Safety should always come first.
Fix leaking faucets
The most common plumber Chiswick in any home is the annoying leaky faucet – whether it’s a drip, dribble, or spray. Start by simply tightening the faucet handle. The process often requires an adjustable wrench or basin wrench to reach the nut that connects the handle to the stem. Tighten this nut 1/8th of a turn counter clockwise at a time until the drip stops. Be careful not to over tighten.
If tightening doesn’t work, you may need to replace worn washers or valves inside the faucet handle. Start by turning off the water supply lines under the sink, then disassembling the faucet handle. Examine washers and valves for cracks and damage, replacing any worn-out ones. Reassemble carefully following manufacturer instructions. Slow or clogged drains are another pesky issue easily tackled as DIY. Start with a simple plunger on the sink and tub drains. Fill the sink about 1/3rd full of water, seal the overflow with a wet rag, then vigorously plunge up and down over the drain opening to dislodge clogs. For toilets, just pump the plunger in and out while sealing it over the drain flange.
Fix dripping faucets
A faucet that won’t fully shut off allows water to continue to drip out, wasting your precious water supply. Start by scrubbing fixtures with white vinegar then rinsing to remove lime and calcium deposits around rubber valves and washers. If dripping persists, shut off the water lines feeding the faucet and disassemble the valve stem. Examine washers and O-rings for damage or mineral deposits. Simply replacing worn washers is often sufficient to stop drips. Make sure parts are placed in the correct order.
Replace supply lines
When pipes under the sink start leaking, it’s time to replace worn flexible supply lines bringing water to the faucet or toilet. Start by shutting off the main water supply and flushing toilets to relieve pressure. Disconnect old supply lines one at a time to maintain control over which lines are active. Clean mineral deposits around connectors. Cut new supply lines to the correct length with pipe cutters. Attach flexible braided stainless steel supply lines with washers, taking care not to kink them.