Common Plumbing Issues and How to Fix Them Yourself

Fix common plumbing issues yourself! Leaky faucets, clogged drains, running toilets and more. Read to know how!

Plumbing issues are a common occurrence in households, causing inconvenience and potential damage if not addressed promptly. While it’s always recommended to call a professional plumber for complex problems, there are several common plumbing issues that you can fix yourself with a little know-how and some basic tools. In this blog post, we will explore some of these common plumbing problems and provide step-by-step instructions on how to fix them on your own. Remember, if you’re not comfortable performing any of these tasks or the issue seems beyond your expertise, it’s best to consult a professional.

1. Leaky Faucets

Leaky faucets are not only annoying but can also waste a significant amount of water over time. Most often, the cause of a leaky faucet is a worn-out or faulty washer. Here’s how you can fix it:

  • Turn off the water supply: Locate the shut-off valve under the sink and turn it off to prevent water flow to the faucet.
  • Disassemble the faucet: Use a screwdriver to remove the faucet handle and expose the cartridge or stem assembly.
  • Replace the washer: Inspect the washer and replace it with a new one of the same size and type.
  • Reassemble the faucet: Put the faucet handle back in place and tighten the screws.
  • Turn on the water supply: Slowly turn on the water supply and check if the leak has stopped. If not, you may need to replace the entire cartridge or stem assembly.

2. Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are another common plumbing issue that can be easily fixed with a few simple steps. Here’s how you can tackle a clogged drain:

  • Use a plunger: Place the plunger over the drain and create a tight seal. Pump the plunger up and down vigorously to dislodge the clog. Until you get it right, keep repeating it
  • Try a drain snake: If the plunger doesn’t work, a drain snake can help. Insert the snake into the drain and rotate it while pushing it forward. This will help break up and remove the clog.
  • Use a mixture of baking soda and vinegar: Pour half a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by half a cup of vinegar. Let it sit for a few hours or overnight, then flush with hot water to clear the clog.
  • Clean the P-trap: If the clog is located in the P-trap (the curved pipe under the sink), place a bucket or container under the trap to catch any water. Loosen the slip nuts at each end of the trap and remove it. Clean out any debris and reassemble the trap.

3. Running Toilets

A running toilet is not only bothersome but can also waste a substantial amount of water. To fix a running toilet, follow these steps:

  • Check the flapper valve: Lift the toilet tank lid and inspect the flapper valve. If it’s not sealing properly, it may need to be cleaned or replaced. Turn off the water supply to the toilet before proceeding.
  • Clean or replace the flapper valve: If the flapper valve is dirty or worn out, clean it with a soft brush or replace it with a new one.
  • Adjust the float or water level: If the water level in the tank is too high, it may cause the toilet to run continuously. Adjust the float or the water level to the recommended settings mentioned in the toilet’s manual.
  • Inspect the fill valve: If the above steps don’t resolve the issue, the fill valve may be faulty and need replacement. Consult a professional plumber for further assistance.

4. Low Water Pressure

Everyday tasks like showering and washing dishes become a hassle with low water pressure. Here’s what you can do to improve water pressure:

  • Check the aerator: Remove the aerator from the faucet and clean any mineral deposits or debris that may be clogging it. Soak the aerator in vinegar overnight if necessary, then rinse it and reinstall it.
  • Examine the showerhead: Similarly, remove the showerhead and clean it thoroughly to remove any buildup. If cleaning doesn’t help, consider replacing the showerhead with a newer, more efficient model.
  • Inspect the pressure regulator: Locate the pressure regulator, usually located near the main water supply line or the water meter. Adjust the regulator to increase the water pressure if it is set too low.
  • Check for leaks: Inspect your plumbing system for any leaks that may be causing a drop in water pressure. Repair any leaks you find or consult a professional plumber for assistance.

5. Dripping Showerheads

Dripping showerheads can waste water and contribute to higher water bills. Follow these steps to fix a dripping showerhead:

  • Turn off the water supply: Shut off the water supply to the shower by closing the dedicated shut-off valve or the main water supply.
  • Disassemble the showerhead: Unscrew the showerhead from the shower arm using an adjustable wrench. Take note of the order in which the components are assembled.
  • Clean or replace the washer: Inspect the washer located inside the showerhead and clean it. If the washer is damaged or worn out, replace it with a new one.
  • Check for mineral deposits: Remove any mineral deposits or debris from the showerhead by soaking it in vinegar or using a descaling solution. Scrub with a brush if necessary.
  • Reassemble the showerhead: Put the components back together in the correct order and tighten them securely.
  • Turn on the water supply: Gradually turn on the water supply and check if the showerhead is no longer dripping. Adjust as necessary.

When you know little DIY hacks and have the right tools, you will confidently be able to tackle common plumbing issues at home. Leaky faucets, clogged drains, running toilets, low water pressure, and dripping shower heads no longer have to be a source of frustration. By following the step-by-step instructions provided, you can save money and prevent further damage. However, it’s essential to recognize your limits and seek professional assistance for more complex problems. Regular maintenance and prompt repairs will help keep your plumbing system in good working condition, ensuring the comfort and convenience of your household for years to come.

(To know more about kitchen plumbing, tap on the link)