When something goes wrong with the plumbing at home, it can be a big source of stress and worry for anyone. In a family home, however, the stakes are higher, and you need to sort the problem as soon as humanly possible. You might be tempted to call in the professionals straight away, and while that might be needed in some cases, there are several home plumbing problems that you may be able to fix for yourself. Doing so will prevent you from having to wait for a plumber to become available and save you the cost of the plumber’s bill.
Here are five home plumbing issues that you can fix for yourself.
Before you start
It is important to prepare before you start a DIY job, especially one that involves water. If water is leaking into your home, make sure that you turn off the electrical supply, followed by the mains water. You will probably need a set of tools that might include a pipe wrench, basin wrench, pipe repair clamp, plunger or drain snake, and a cranked spanner. You should wear clothes that you are comfortable in and do not mind dirtying. If you have any concerns about a task, run into unexpected problems, or just want some professional advice, head over to gjsplumbingandheating.co.uk.
1. Blocked drain
When a drain is blocked, you may find that the toilet will not flush properly, your bath or sink is slow to drain, or water will come back out of plug holes. If you can see the problem, e.g., hair has become clogged in the shower drain, the blockage needs to be removed and cleaned. However, in some cases the blockage may be somewhere you cannot see. If so, you can lift external manhole covers and/or probe drainpipes outside the home. A drain rod to dislodge the blockage with a plunger to remove it is the best approach.
2. Leaking pipes
A burst pipe may need urgent professional attention if a significant amount of water is entering your home, but minor leaks can be dealt with a temporary fix. A pipe repair clamp can be clamped or screwed onto the problem area, or you could use self-fusing repair tape to wrap the pipe up. Alternatively, you might be able to use burst pipe coupling, or a pipe repair kit, but it is often best to get the broken pipe replaced by a professional.
3. Blocked or running toilet
When a toilet takes a long time to drain or the water rises when you flush, you need to clear a blockage. With a pair of rubber gloves, a plunger, drain chemicals, and some paper to catch mess, you should be able to clear the problem quickly. In some cases, you might need to use drain rods or wire from a coat hanger to break the blockage into smaller pieces.
4. Dripping taps
A dripping tap is not only annoying, but it will also increase your water bill and can lead to problems with damp and erosion. Depending on the taps you have, you will need to replace the washers and or ceramic discs that have become worn. If that does not work, the O-ring seal may need replacing. Click here for more information.
5. Low water pressure
Before you assume that you have a plumbing problem, check with your neighbours to see if they are also experiencing unusually low water pressure. If not, you should check the shut-off valves near the water meter to ensure they are open, and whether you have any blocked drains or frozen pipes.