Photo Credit :  Andrey_Popov

You don’t have to call a plumbing professional every time you run into a plumbing problem. While it saves you money to do it yourself, it is also convenient. If you have to call a professional, let it be for a major issue. You can learn how to fix minor plumbing problems before they are escalated.

You can solve problems ranging from dripping faucets to overflowing toilets with the right tools. The following are a few tips that will enable you to fix the problems effectively, provided you have the right tools. 

1. Get a replacement for toilet or faucet parts when necessary

When fixing plumbing problems, you are at the risk of causing wet issues if you do something wrong when working on sink or shower pipes, but don’t hesitate to replace faulty parts of your toilet or faucet. There is little you can damage while doing that. You could replace a toilet’s flapper or a faucet’s cartridge if they are causing problems.

Flappers wear out often and usually, worn out flappers cause leakages. Floppers costs a few dollars. Once you get the flappers, you can install it easily because it comes with an installation manual. That should take care of leaks between toilet tank and bowl.

Most faucets allow you to replace the entire interior with a brand new cartridge. You will need to remove some screws, get a new part and replace the old part with the new part.
2. Don’t use chemicals to remove clogs

Don’t trouble yourself with chemical drain cleaners. When you notice your drain isn’t clearing as fast as it should, get a drain snake and unclog the drain manually. It is as simple as inserting the drain snake into the drain and pulling out the clog. If you don’t want to work with one, get a wet/dry shop vacuum. It is effective in sucking out clogs.

3. Don’t be afraid to troubleshoot your showerhead issues

A thread tape is a common way to solve showerhead issues. Dripping showerheads can be a nuisance and the drip is commonly caused by loose threads. You will need to remove a screw or two from the showerhead, open it up and wrap the tape in a clockwise direction. Afterward, the drip will stop after you have re-attached.

Showerheads can also clog. If your showerhead clogs, immerse it in a bowl of warm water mixed with vinegar and leave it there for about an hour. Brush off mineral deposits on the spray that could cause blockages.

4. Use thread tape instead of thread sealing compounds

Thread sealing compounds are not a good option because they can drip or smear. Thread tape will serve you well while you are carrying out projects involving pipe threads in the house. A multi-purpose tape can work even better. A multi-purpose tape is usually white. Usually, thicker tape is pink for water or yellow for gas. For easier handling, you could try one of the thicker ones.

When applying the tape, wrap it counterclockwise around the threads. If you are unable to get the wrap into a tight space, you could roll it around a pen and do it from that. To get the best results, you should roll your tape around the threads about three times.

5. Tough water pipe fittings can be loosened up using heat

Sometimes, pipe fittings, as well as traps under sinks, can be hard to loosen with a pipe wrench. You don’t want to try too hard if the fittings are rigid and tightly attached. Some heat will do that for you. It can loosen up a solidified pipe dope. Using a propane torch, apply heat to the part for a few minutes. See to it that you protect nearby walls by using a heat-resistant material.

6. Increase your water heater efficiency

Adjust your heater’s thermostat to enable it to warm your water to the right temperature. With 115 degrees, water will still be hot enough for your needs. You can make your water stay hot for longer by insulating the water heater’s tank. While at it, make sure you don’t cover the thermostat. To help you in the insulation, there are inexpensive insulating blankets in stores you can buy.

If you live in an area where sediment collects often in the lines, you can manage it by draining your tank at least once in 3 months. Sediment can make your water heater not work optimally.

While you might be reluctant to fix minor plumbing problems, it will do you a lot of good. However, you should not hesitate to get a professional if your plumbing issue is critical.