It is time for you to become an expert on DIY plumbing, or at least someone that can repair the small plumbing challenges that come up.
Handling overflowing toilets or dripping faucets yourself can save you a whole lot of money. These plumbing tips will help you tackle minor plumbing issues before they turn into something that requires a professional.
Do Not Be Scared to Replace Your Toilet or Faucet Parts
Disconnecting pipes underneath your shower or sink can be messy if you get it wrong. However, you can't do much damage by replacing the cartridge in your faucet or the flapper in your toilet.
Worn out flappers are mostly responsible for leaks between the bowl and tank of the toilet, and they aren't expensive at all. The package also comes with an easy replacement guide.
In most modern faucets, repairs simply require replacing the whole interior with a new cartridge. Here you only need to loosen one or two screws.
So, if you notice drips from your sink, or hear your toilet running often, simply buy replacement parts and attempt it yourself.
Avoid Using Chemicals to Remove Clogs
You don't need costly, chemical cleaners for your drain whenever it clears slowly. Try using a drain snake to manually unblock a drain. Simply put it into the drain and take it out again with (hopefully) the cause of the clog attached.
If you don't have one or don't want to bother, try to suck the clog out using a dry/wet shop vacuum.
Inspect Your Showerhead for Problems
A dripping showerhead can be easily fixed using thread tape. Chances are the threads aren't tightly connected, hence the leaks. Loosen the showerhead, wrap some new tape in a clockwise direction, and reconnect to stop the leaks.
If the showerhead is blocked, soak it for about one hour in a bowl of vinegar and warm water. Remove any mineral deposits in the spray using a small brush.
Use Thread Tape Instead of Thread Sealing Compounds
Thread sealing compound, otherwise called "pipe dope," can leak and smear. Thread tape works just fine or even better for most home DIY projects that involve pipe threads.
Loosen Sturdy Water Pipe Fittings Using Heat
Are you finding it difficult to loosen that under-sink trap or pipe fitting, even with a pipe wrench?
It is nearly impossible to apply brute strength to budge hardened fittings. If you apply heat, on the other hand, you might be able to loosen old, congealed pipe dope.
You can do this with a small propane torch, but this heat will have to be applied for some minutes before the effect is seen. Ensure to protect nearby walls with heat-resistant material.
It may appear obvious, but you should only apply heat to metal water pipes, not on plastic pipes or fittings, and never on or close to gas pipes.
Plumbing Tips to Improve the Efficiency of Your Water Heater
Confirm that the thermostat of your water heater isn't set too high. At 115 degrees, you should still be able to satisfy your hot water needs.
It is possible that sediments are quickly collected in the lines due to the area which you live in. Rid your home of this by draining your tank every six months.
Much of the sediment settled close to the bottom of the tank will be removed, and your water heater will run more efficiently.