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5 Quick Plumbing Fixes Explained In Detail

When your home has a plumbing problem, it needs to be fixed right away. But DIY fixes are often temporary and can lead to damage.

For example, plunging a sink can create a clog that requires professional help. This is why it’s important to know when a DIY fix could be dangerous.

Install a Water Filter

Plumbing emergencies rarely happen at convenient times, like 3 am on Christmas Day, during a major storm, or when you’re trying to host a dinner party. Fortunately, many common problems can be repaired with simple DIY tools and a little know-how. Here are five quick plumbing fixes every homeowner should know about.

Leaking pipes are a serious problem that can cause extensive water damage and lead to expensive repairs. But they’re also one of the easiest things to fix if you act quickly. To do so, first locate the leak and turn off the water supply. Showers and tubs have a shut off valve usually located on the wall, while sinks have a small knob under them that you can turn clockwise to stop the flow of water.

You can then install a new faucet or replace the water filter under your sink. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for connecting the pipe and tightening the screws. It’s a good idea to wrap the male ends of any threaded fittings with Teflon tape to ensure a leak-free connection.

If you have a water filtration system, cut a piece of tubing that’s long enough to reach from the filter to your cold-water line. Connect the filtered water tubing to the pipe using slip joint push fittings. These can be purchased from most hardware stores. If you’re unsure how to use them, ask a professional for help.

If you’re not comfortable working with epoxy putty, duct tape is also an effective solution for leaking pipes. This will work only if the crack is not too big and you’re planning on replacing it with a more permanent solution soon. Close off the water supply and dry the area before applying the duct tape. Once it’s dry, turn the water back on and check for any signs of a leak.

Replace a Leaky Faucet

A leaky faucet may seem minor, but over time it can waste water and increase your water bill. Fortunately, it’s usually an easy fix, especially for pros like the Akron plumbers.

Start by shutting off the water supply valves beneath the sink. Next, plug the drain with a stopper or rag to prevent small parts from falling down the drain during disassembly. You can also turn off the main water supply valve to the entire house to prevent a flood in the event of a serious leak.

Once the water is off, it’s time to remove the handles. Most modern faucets are designed with decorative caps at the top of each handle. You can usually slip the blade of a screwdriver underneath and pry these off. Be careful not to bang on the insides — this could damage them.

From here, you can access the parts inside the handles. If your faucet is a cartridge or ceramic-disk model, you’ll need to either replace the O-rings or the entire cartridge. A trip to your local hardware store should provide the right part for your specific faucet model. For ball models, you’ll need to install new springs and valve seats. You can buy these individually or in a premade kit.

Once you have the new parts, reassemble the faucet. Remember to tighten the screws and connections securely, but don’t over-tighten, which can cause damage. You can also use a drop of lubricant to keep the O-rings and other moving parts in good condition. Be sure to replace the decorative cap if applicable and test the faucet for leaks. If you still see a leak, it’s probably time to call in a plumber.

Seal a Leaky Pipe with Epoxy Putty

As a homeowner, you must be prepared for all kinds of emergency situations. It is crucial to know how to perform simple plumbing repairs so you can minimize damage and buy time to call a plumber for permanent repairs. This will save you money and prevent extensive damage to your home or business.

A pipe leak is an emergency that should be fixed immediately to avoid costly water damage. A plumber can replace the damaged section of pipe, but if you’re on a budget or don’t have the time to wait, there are some quick fixes that can be used in the meantime.

One option is to use plumber’s tape, which creates an impermeable seal and stops a leak. You can also use a rubber hose to stop the leak from spreading further. Both of these solutions are inexpensive and will work for a short amount of time.

Another quick fix is to use epoxy putty. This glue-like solution is available at most hardware stores and has a moldable consistency that allows you to shape it around the damaged area. Before applying the putty, clean the area to remove dirt and debris and make sure it is dry. You can also use duct tape to provide additional support and hold the putty in place.

When using epoxy, follow the instructions on the packaging to ensure it is mixed properly and applied correctly. Some brands require sanding or roughening the surface before application, while others are ready to use right out of the package. Once the epoxy is molded, it will take roughly an hour to set. After this time, you can turn on your water and check to make sure the leak is no longer present.

Tighten a Clogged Drain

A clogged drain is the last thing you want on your hands, especially if it happens on a holiday, at night, or during a heavy rainstorm. Not only will the backup of water cause significant plumbing damage to your home, but the mess can also lead to mold growth and structural issues. While some homeowners are quick to call in an expensive plumber, many common plumbing problems can be easily fixed with a little DIY know-how.

The first thing to try when a drain is clogged is to pour a few cups of hot water down it. If the clog is caused by grease, this can break down the fats and help them dissolve into the water system. However, if the issue is more severe, it may require a bit more invasive methods to get it under control.

Another simple but effective drain unclogging method is to use baking soda and vinegar. Simply pour equal parts of each down the clogged drain, cover it with a plug (if possible), and allow the chemical reaction to work its magic. After a few minutes, flush the drain with hot water to see if it worked.

If a plunger doesn’t do the trick, you can try using a plumber’s snake — also known as a wire drain auger. This tool is flexible and coils around the clog to locate and dislodge it. Just feed it down the drain and crank the handle to advance it through the clog and break it up. Be careful not to scratch your sink or tub finish while using the snake, and be sure to wear gloves. Reassemble the P-trap and rinse the drain with plenty of hot water afterward to remove any traces of the clog material.

Remove a Clogged Toilet

A clogged toilet is one of the most common plumbing problems and can seem like an emergency, but if it’s not severe enough to warrant a professional plumber, it can be dealt with at home. The location of the clog and the type of clog will determine what steps to take, but a few simple tools can often help you get the job done.

The first step is to turn off the water supply. Once the water is shut off, remove all items from inside the bowl, including the toilet paper roll and holder. Then, using a plunger, create a seal over the drain hole and push down and up quickly about 10-15 times. This creates suction and pressure that can dislodge the clog. If this does not work, try a chemical drain cleaner. Make sure you read the directions carefully, as some products require a specific amount to be effective and can cause damage to your pipes if used incorrectly.

If these methods don’t work, it may be time to call a plumber. A professional can use a long snake or auger that can reach deeper into the pipes to break up or pull out a stubborn clog.

To prevent a clogged toilet in the future, have your drain lines professionally inspected and cleaned regularly to eliminate build-up. Also, educate your household about what can and cannot be flushed to reduce the risk of clogs. If you do find yourself in a clogged situation, remember that removing the toilet can be messy and requires some finesse. If you’re uncomfortable tackling this fix yourself, Silver State has experienced professionals ready to handle your emergency, 24 hours a day.