Home plumbing projects don’t have to be intimidating. Many repair and maintenance tasks are possible with basic tools and a little know-how. From fixing a leaky faucet to unclogging a sink drain, here are a few DIY plumbing projects that homeowners can tackle on their own.
DIY Plumbing Projects: Repair a Dripping Faucet
A leaky faucet is one of the most common and annoying plumbing problems. The good news is stopping the constant drip is relatively easy and inexpensive. All you need is an adjustable wrench and some replacement parts, which you can purchase at any hardware store.
To begin, turn off the water valves under the sink so you can work without getting soaked. Then, unscrew the handle and use the wrench to remove the stem assembly from the faucet body. Replace worn washers or O-rings, then reassemble the faucet in reverse order. Your once-dripping faucet should now be good as new.
Fix a Leaking Toilet
A leaking toilet is one of those projects a homeowner can usually repair without assistance from a professional plumber. To determine if your toilet is leaking, drop a few drops of food coloring into the tank and wait fifteen minutes. If the water in the bowl changes color, you have a leak. It could be due to a flapper ball that isn’t sealing properly, and replacement of this part is simple. Another cause might be an old seal beneath the toilet. Replacing the seal involves removing the toilet from its base and replacing the wax seal before re-installing it.
Unclog a Toilet
A clogged toilet is inconvenient. But before reaching for the phone to call the plumber, you may be able to unclog it yourself. You will need a plunger or auger drain snake to do this DIY project successfully. Start by using the plunger. Make sure there is enough water in the bowl to form a tight seal around the drain opening and plunge several times until it has cleared up.
If the plunger doesn’t work, use the drain snake to remove the materials causing the clog. A drain snake, also known as an auger, is a flexible cable that removes blockages from drains. It’s simple to use and doesn’t require any special tools or skills. Insert the snake into the clogged pipe and twist the handle until it breaks through the blockage.
DIY Plumbing Projects: Clear the Sink Drain
Clogged sink drains are usually resolved with household items like baking soda and vinegar or a plunger. To unclog your sink drain, start by pouring boiling water down the drain in short bursts; this will help break up clogs caused by soap scum or grease buildup in the pipes. If that doesn’t do the trick, try using a plunger and drain snake to dislodge stubborn debris in the lines. If all else fails, you may need to take apart your pipes and remove whatever is causing the blockage. Shut off your water supply before disassembling the pipes.
You can remedy some plumbing issues with a few tools and basic know-how, but certain problems require professional help. If you find yourself faced with anything beyond minor repairs (such as replacing old piping or installing new fixtures), leave it to an expert who has access to the equipment and materials needed for larger jobs. Knowing when to call a pro will help you keep your home’s plumbing running smoothly for years.