Knowing the basics of plumbing repairs is important for any homeowner. It can be empowering to know you can repair some of the plumbing issues you may run into. You can also save money doing these simple repairs yourself, but if you ever feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to hire a plumber to help you out.
How to Repair a Leaking Faucet
There are four types of faucets and determining which type you have is the first step to successfully fixing a leaky faucet. The four types are compression, cartridge, ceramic disk, and ball type. Each type is slightly different, but still relatively easy to fix or replace. Make sure you turn off the water under the sink before starting any repairs. Most slow drips usually only require a replacement washer, but always make sure you have the correct size before buying a new one.
How to Install a Faucet
For more complicated repairs, replacing the faucet may be your best bet. This is also handy to know if you want to update your bathroom. It’s fairly easy to do, especially since most new faucets will come with instructions on how to install one. A good tip is to plan on replacing your faucet during business hours of your local hardware store in case you end up needing a new or replacement part.
How to Unclog a Drain
Learning how to unclog a drain starts with knowing how to prevent one. Hair catchers are great for preventing clogs in bathroom drains. Equally important is never pouring grease or food bits down sink drains and knowing what can safely go down the garbage disposal. If you do get debris caught in your pipes, you can use a snake or cable auger, plunger, or natural solvents such as vinegar and baking soda to help unclog drains and pipes. Some slow drains, however, could be caused be a plumbing vent issue. These types of issues should always be handled by a plumber.
How to Fix a Running Toilet
A running toilet is usually caused by a defective flapper. The flapper is the rubber stopper in the toilet tank that lifts to let water into the bowl. Since the flapper is rubber, it can deteriorate over time, losing its tight seal and letting water trickle down into the bowl, creating a running toilet. To make sure this is the cause, push down on the flapper. If the toilet stops running, then you need to replace the flapper. Make sure you buy an identical flapper since there are many different types. There are other reasons for running toilets including the float, the fill tube, and the fill valve. If you still have trouble finding the reason for a running toilet, hire a plumber to take a look.
How to Repair A Garbage Disposal
Always turn off the power to the disposal before attempting any repairs. Most garbage disposals will come with instructions that you can follow to properly and safely repair it. It should also come with a hex wrench attached to it. Always use tongs or pliers to pull out clogs and debris. Never use your hand, even when the disposal is turned off.
How to Replace and Upgrade Showerheads
Generally, replacing showerheads are easy to replace and in doing so, think about upgrading to a low flow showerhead to save money on your water bill. Most showerheads will simply screw on to the pipe. If you can’t reach the showerhead to take it off and put a new one on, be extremely careful and make sure the shower is completely dry before using a step stool.
How to Caulk Bathtubs and Showers
Caulking is used to make tubs and showers impervious to water. Start by getting caulk that is designed for showers and tubs by checking the label or asking someone at your local home improvement store. High quality caulking guns are fairly inexpensive and will last longer and are easier to use.