Do you feel tempted to call your local plumbing service the second you notice some water leaking in your home?
It turns out that there are a variety of issues that you don’t need a professional’s help with.
There are plenty of DIY maintenance jobs that you can pull off on your own around the house. Whether it involves stopping a leak, removing a clog, or keeping your house heated, you will be able to handle your own domain.
These jobs give you the ability to feel like you can take care of your own home and keep yourself, as well as your family, comfortable. You will also be able to save hundreds of dollars that you would have had to pay a plumber, otherwise.
By following our guides, you will be able to reduce the time and money you spend on fixing things around the house. Some jobs require more steps than others, by they are necessary if you want to avoid having to do it again.
Here are 7 in-house plumbing maintenance jobs you can do yourself.
1. Replacing Sink Faucets
The faucet in the sink of your bathroom or kitchen may need a replacement if you notice water leaking after you shut it off.
The most common cause of this plumbing maintenance issue is a worn out O-ring. This rubber material is needed to creating a seal between the faucet and water supply so that you only receive the water you need.
If you’ve been using the same O-ring long enough, openings may form in the rubber and let more water slowly sneak out. This can lead to small drips turning into long flows overtime if left unattended.
With this task, all you’ll need is a screwdriver, adjustable wrench and new O-ring. Make sure the water is turned off before you start.
Remove the screw that connects the faucet handle to the stem, and then remove the handle. After loosening the packing nut and taking out the stem, you should be able to access the O-ring.
Replace the old O-ring with you new one, and then reinstall the other parts. Be sure to test your faucet to make sure that there are no more leaks.
Not only will you be able to avoid wet rooms, but you can avoid illnesses that have been associated with faucets left unattended.
2. Unclogging Drains
Clogged drains are a common issue among homeowners because of all the scenarios in which they can happen.
Drains run throughout your house or apartment, connecting different systems in different spots. This requires a variety of approaches, depending on how much clogging you’re experiencing.
You will only need a few tools that you can use for clogs in the sink, shower or toilet. They include plungers, socket and adjustable wrenches, and cable augers.
Put your plunger over the clogged drain and push down and up for thirty seconds to a minute. You may need to spend more time using the plunger if you’re dealing with heaver amounts of hair, food or dirt.
The auger and wrenches come in handy for drains filled with debris or other material from bad weather outside. Cleaning out these drains may take a little more time, but it will be less than if you hired a plumber.
We also advise giving your roof a look to make sure leaves, twigs and other debris don’t get back into the drains once you’re done. This will save you a second job.
3. Fixing Leaks in Shower Heads
Another frequent source of leakage in homes is the shower head above your bathtub. This fixture can cause leaks in different areas, giving you more of a reason to keep an eye on it.
Leaks can come from the wall because deposits from the wall’s material may have sneaked into the head’s nozzle during showers. Like with sinks, the O-ring could have also worn out from years of use and created openings in the rubber.
In both cases, you’ll need a wrench to remove the nuts that keep the head intact. Then, remove the head so that you can apply your fixes.
For leaks from the wall, use white vinegar and water to clean the inside and outside of the head. When you reattach the head to the shower arm, wrap it in Teflon tape to keep it steady.
For leaks from the head, replace the O-ring inside if you notice any openings. Be sure beforehand that your replacement is the same size and has the same design before you put the head back.
Test the shower head after your fix to make sure no water comes out when it’s turned off. Leak detection is another tool to look out for, as these services can save you time on repairs.
4. Caulking Tub Drains with In-House Plumbing
Have you ever had to wait 5 to 10 minutes for water to run down your tub drain after a bath? It may be time for a re-seal.
Taking long baths or using a large amount of water may be causing damage to the caulk that assists the drain. Leaving your drain unprotected can make it easier for bacteria to spread, emphasizing the need to keep bathtubs clean on a regular basis.
You can use a utility knife to chip the old caulk around the drain away and apply the new caulk. Make sure to remove all of the old bits and use a damp cloth covered in soap to remove any potential germs.
Your new caulk should only be designed for bathtubs so that you do it right the first time. Getting your hands on a caulking gun will ensure an easy time applying the replacement.
5. Emptying Garbage Disposals
Garbage disposals are another part of your home plumbing system that can be subject to functional issues. This is often due to jamming or leaving it along for too long.
The disposal’s manual comes in handy in case it either doesn’t come with a reset button or it doesn’t work. You can stay safe while fixing the disposal by wearing rubber gloves and turning off the fuse beforehand.
A wrench will help you loosen the blades and flywheel. This will give you more room to take out whatever garbage is causing the malfunction.
After tightening the flywheel and blades back into place, test the disposal to make sure that it is still working.
With a empty garbage disposal, you won’t have to worry about messes spilling out on the floor. This will be helpful if you’re trying to re-decorate the kitchen or bathroom to look clean and spacious to guests.
6. Fixing Running Toilets
You can also save money on hiring a plumber when it comes to fixing a toilet that keeps running. All you need to do is a little inspection.
Issues with the floater switch, stop valve or rubber flapper. These parts play a role in the amount of fresh water that flows into the toilet.
First, shut off the water supply valve to avoid making a mess during the fix. Once you remove the cover on the top, check the valves, tubes, pipes and flapper for any cracks or leaks.
If you find any, have the replacements on hand. Wrenches and screwdrivers may be necessary for removal and installations.
Once you’re done, you can turn the shut-off valve back on. Be sure to test your toilet so that it runs for the right amount of time.
7. Updating Water Heaters
When it comes to maintenance that affects the whole home, one part you need to check up on is your water heater.
Signs to look out for a faulty water heater include bubbles coming up when it’s in use or if it’s taking too long for the water to heat up. Running too long may also mean that it requires your attention.
A garden hose, flathead screwdriver, adjustable pliers and protective gloves are needed for this job. You might also want to have a friend or relative close by to keep an eye on the water flow.
First turn off the gas or electricity that powers the heater. The supply valve should be turned off, and the valve handle should be turned at 90 degrees.
After turning the hot water on, leave it on while you attach the garden hose to the drain valve. Have a bucket ready beside you to transfer the water.
You’ll then need to do the same drainage for the cold water supply. Once finished, disconnect the hose and tighten the valves so that there is no leakage.
Testing the water heater will include turning on all of the hot water faucets in your home to make sure they are working again. Once they are, you can turn the heater back on.
You don’t always need a plumber to keep your house in shape. There are plenty of jobs for in-house plumbing that you can take on with the right tools and approaches.
As long as you remember these steps and equipment, you’ll be able to fix any problems in your bathroom or kitchen and keep your house or apartment clean and safe.
Check out more of our tips today for how to keep your home in shape and live comfortably.