5 plumbing repairs every homeowner should know



Photo: istockphoto.com

While the pleasures of owning are great, there will invariably be some repairs along the way, especially when it comes to your hard-working plumbing. Certain problems, such as repairing broken sewer lines, should definitely be dealt with by a professional; others, luckily, are basic do-it-yourself jobs – no special tools or skills are required. Discover five of the most common problems you are likely to encounter and learn how to fix them quickly with these plumbing repairs.

DIY plumbing repair: fix a sweaty toilet tank



Condensation on toilet cisterns, the one that ends up leaking into puddles on the floor, usually occurs after taking a long hot bath or steaming shower. This is when the temperature and humidity in the bathroom is high, but the water in the toilet tank is still cold (between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit), causing condensation to build up. Imagine how a cold drink develops droplets on the outside of the glass on a hot summer day; the same happens with your toilet tank.

To avoid this pesky problem, this plumbing repair involves installing an anti-condensation tank liner. You can find them in kits at DIY stores and plumbing supply outlets for under $ 20. The kit includes instructions and a large sheet of flexible foam, which you will cut to fit inside the tank. Depending on the brand, the liner will come with a tear-off backing or separate adhesive for installation. You will need to empty the tank and let it dry before you begin. Once the liner is securely in place (you may have to wait overnight for the adhesive to harden), it will form an insulating barrier between the cold water and the outer tank, and puddles will be a thing of the past. .

DIY Plumbing Repair: Removing a P-Trap

Photo: istockphoto.com


Removing a sink trap – a P, J, or S shaped pipe that connects to two other pipes under the basin – is often the key to common plumbing repairs like unblocking a sink, because that’s where most clogs get lodged. Or if someone drops a ring or other valuable item down the drain, you might find them trapped. Follow the steps below to remove, clean, and replace a trap.

1. Place a pot under the plumbing pipes under the sink to catch the residual water that will drain when you remove the siphon.

2. Locate the siphon that connects to the pipe that runs vertically down from the sink drain and the horizontal pipe called the “waste arm”. The trap is threaded at both ends and held in place with nuts. No need to turn off the water supply to the sink, just tell family members not to use the water while you are working.

3. Loosen the two nuts that secure the trap by turning counterclockwise. You can often do this with your hands, but if a nut is really stuck use a pair of adjustable pliers, take it easy to avoid breaking the nut.

4. Detach the trap by pulling it down. It should fall off easily; if not, pull and stir gently until it comes loose. Let the water drain into the pot you placed under the sink.

5. Scrape off any stuck debris you notice in the trap with an old butter knife, then take the trap outside and spray it thoroughly with a garden hose to remove any sludge that may be covering the inside.

6. Reattach the now clean trap by sliding it into place and turning the nuts that hold it clockwise with your fingers.

DIY plumbing repair: caulking a sink

Photo: istockphoto.com


The plumber who originally installed your sink applied caulk around the rim to prevent water from seeping between the basin and the countertop. Over time, however, this semi-solid waterproof sealant can deteriorate, harden or crumble, allowing water to seep into the cabinet below, which can damage stored items and lead to growth. mold.

RELATED: 10 Problems You Can Solve With Caulk

To re-caulk the area around the sink, purchase a small tube of 100% silicone caulk that is clear or a color that matches the countertop or sink. Then follow these steps for DIY plumbing repair:

1. Scrape off the old caulk with a plastic putty knife; a metal knife could scratch the sink or countertop.

2. Wipe the joint between the sink and the countertop with a clean cloth moistened with denatured alcohol. Alcohol will remove residual traces of soap scum or grime.

3. Let the area dry completely.

4. Apply a small bead of caulk about 1/8 ”in diameter all around the sink, maintaining constant pressure on the tube to create an even bead.

5. Dampen a finger with water and carefully run it along the bead of caulk, smoothing the caulk into the crease and forming a nice smooth groove. You may need to moisten your finger several times.

6. Let the caulk dry completely before using the sink. Drying times appear on the caulk tube and average 12-24 hours.

DIY Plumbing Repair: Flushing a Water Heater

Photo: istockphoto.com


The build-up of mineral deposits in your water heater can reduce the efficiency of the appliance. Flushing your water heater every six months will extend its useful life and enjoy more hot water. Flushing instructions can be found in the manual that came with the appliance, and although models may vary slightly, for the most part, the following steps are sufficient.

1. Turn off the power to the water heater. If it’s electrical, turn off the circuit breaker. If it is gas, turn off the gas at the shut-off valve.

2. Turn a hot water faucet elsewhere in your home to “On” and let it run until the water cools.

3. Attach the end of a standard garden hose to the drain outlet at the bottom of the water heater and place the other end in a floor drain or large bucket.

4. Shut off the water supply to the water heater. The shutoff valve is located on the pipe that connects the cold water supply to the top of the water heater.

5. Use a flathead screwdriver to open the drain valve located on the drain outlet where the garden hose is attached. Water will start to drain from the pipe, along with accumulated sludge and mineral deposits. Be careful not to splash yourself, the water will be very hot!

6. Close the drain valve with the screwdriver when the water stops flowing, remove the hose, turn on the water supply to the water heater, then turn on the power again.

DIY plumbing repair: adjusting the water pressure

Photo: istockphoto.com


It’s so frustrating to want a strong and powerful jet of water but only a trickle comes out of the tap! Fortunately, most water flow problems are an easy fix.

• First, check the water pressure at the various taps. If only one faucet is affected, the problem could be mineral deposits. Most faucets have either a small strainer or a water-saving filter on the end of the faucet that twists. Remove the screen by turning it counterclockwise. If it is clogged with debris, rinse it and put it back.

RELATED: Top Tips For Troubleshooting Low Water Pressure

• Shower heads are known to develop hard water deposits that can turn a refreshing spray into a disappointing dribble. If the low water pressure is only affecting the shower, remove the shower head using a set of locking pliers to turn the nut that holds it in place. Soak overnight in white vinegar, then rinse and replace.

• Low water pressure at all taps is a real red flag. Call your local municipality to find out if work is planned on the water lines that supply your home, which could affect your pressure. If no work is done, turn off all faucets and any other appliance that uses water, such as a dishwasher. Then check the water meter (usually located near the sidewalk or alley). If the meter is running, despite all your taps being closed, there is a leak somewhere between the meter and your house. This indicates a serious situation and a plumber should be called immediately.



Leave A Reply