Hold the phone! Don’t call the plumber yet—your plumbing problem might actually be one that you can fix yourself. Like leaky faucets, clogged pipes, standing water in your tub and even a running toilet.
Often something is just loose or needs to be snaked, so save yourself some money and see if one of the following is a solution to your plumbing problem.
A snake is a great DIY tool to have on hand to fix anything from your sink, slow draining or standing water in your tub, backed up shower or a clogged toilet. Or really, anything with a drain. If plunger or drain cleaner doesn’t work, feed the coil into the drain opening. Crank it clockwise and counterclockwise to get as far into the pipe and the blockage as possible. Then, pull the handle up and out to remove the clog and repeat as necessary.
With a little tool know-how, you can easily fix your leaky faucet yourself. The culprit is often a broken washer or O-ring. Grab an adjustable c-wrench, flathead screwdriver, WD-40 and replacement washers and O-ring, then follow the steps below.
- Turn off the water to the faucet or you’ll get soaked.
- Remove the decorative parts of the knobs by prying them off with the screwdriver. Be careful not to scratch them.
- Unscrew the handle from the stem and remove it with the screwdriver. If it’s stuck, use WD-40 to loosen it up.
- Use the wrench to loosen the packing nut and then remove the stem. It should come right off, but if not, you’ll have to twist it loose. Check if this is damaged.
- If it’s not, remove and replace the washers and O-rings. If you didn’t know what kind you had, you can take the old ones with you to the store to get an exact match. It’s important they match perfectly, or you won’t fix your leak.
- Reassemble and check if it’s fixed.
- If it’s not, you may have a bigger problem on hand—call a pro.
Leaky Shower Head
Fixing a leaky shower head is like removing buildup. First, turn off the water to the bathroom. Then, remove the shower head and disassemble it if you can. Soak the parts in white vinegar for 8 hours to remove the lime and mineral deposits. After, go in with a toothpick and stiff brush to get rid of any remaining buildup. Reassemble and turn on the water.
Except for a dripping sink, nothing is worse than a continually running toilet. Before you do anything, try jiggling the handle. Simple enough, but sometimes that’s all it needs. If that doesn’t work, you’re going to have to do some investigating. Don’t worry, the water is clean. Same as the kind that comes from your tap.
- Flush the toilet and remove the lid so you can better identify the culprit. Flush as needed throughout your investigation.
- Close the flapper manually. If this stops the running, then you have an easy fix on hand because it will be one of three things. Make sure the chain isn’t snagged, twisted or caught on something. Threading it through a plastic straw will prevent any of that from happening. If it’s not the chain, check if the flapper is stuck on its hinge. Lastly, make sure that the flapper is aligned with the opening.
- If it’s not the flapper, check if the water is at the water line. The valve could not be fully open causing the run.
- If the valve is fully open, it could be the float. Pull up on the float and see if that stops the problem. If it does, you can either adjust the water level to stop where the float stops (as long as it’s 2.5 cm under the overflow tube), or adjust the float to stop at the lower level. Just make sure your toilet flushes properly if you go this route. If it’s not the level of the float, then make sure the float isn’t touching or getting caught on anything, and that the hinge isn’t blocked by lime scale.
- One of these should be the problem, otherwise you may need to look into replacing the whole mechanism.
Lots can go wrong in your bathroom, but hopefully one of these fixes is all you need to fix your plumbing issue. If not, we can help you find a pro for any of your plumbing needs!
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