Hiring a professional plumber to fix your water-related issues is a smart and effective way to make sure the work is done properly. People who try to repair the damage themselves often find that they not only make the issue worse, but end up spending more money on a professional service.
However, as important as it is to get someone who knows what they are doing to resolve your plumbing issues, there are some jobs you can do yourself. The internet and available instructions in your fixture kits will quickly and easily walk you through the process to do minor repairs or replacements.
Before tackling any water pipe repair, know where the main water line is to turn it off before doing any job. Make sure you have the right tools readily available to do the job. You should have: a screwdriver, pliers, caulking gun, wrench, utility knife, plumbing tape, and plungers for sink and toilet. Once you have everything, read the instructions to make sure you are completely ready to begin. Jobs you can tackle without hire a professional are:
1. Clogged Drain
There are several tools on the market including drain snakes, augers, plungers, and plastic clog removers that you can purchase to unclog your drain.
Most clogs occur from repeated disposal or products going down the sink drain like grease, food, and hair. Preventing these items from entering your pipes by using plumbing screens or hair catchers will help reduce the amount of plugging materials in your pipes.
Pouring natural solutions like boiled water, baking soda and vinegar down your sinks regularly will also reduce clogging without damaging your pipes. Chemical cleaners should be avoided because they damage pipes.
2. Caulking Bathtub, Sinks or Showers
Caulking is important because it helps seal tub surrounds, joints and other cracks or openings so water cannot get into unwanted areas. Follow the instructions on the tubing to apply the new caulk properly.
Adding or replacing caulking can be done with a utility knife, caulking gun and scraper. It is important that the right type of caulk is used. If you are unsure which one to buy, ask the staff at your local hardware store or read the tube.
3. Replacing a Faucet
Most faucets are easy to replace. Simply remove the old one and add the new set. Everything you need, including easy-to-follow instructions, is sold in the faucet kits.
4. Leaky Faucet
Minor leaks that involve replacing a washer, can be done without calling a plumber. Use a screwdriver to remove the handle of the tap. Take off the old washer and install a new one. Make sure the rubber washer you replace is the same size as the old one for proper fit.
5. Fix a Running Toilet
Running toilets are easy to fix by replacing the damaged stop valve or floater switch inside the toilet tank. Replacement kits are inexpensive and come with instructions for easy installation. Once the water is turned off and the tank emptied, you can remove the old valve and install the new one.
6. Replacing a Showerhead
Most showerheads are easy to replace. Unscrew the old one showerhead from the shower water pipe to and replace it with a new one. If you are unsure what you need for your new model, read the instructions first.
7. Replacing a toilet
If you have an old toilet that needs to be replaced, it is usually a fairly simple process. Most toilets come with instructions, and there are also many online videos to help you. Make sure you have everything you need, the main water it turned off, and the old toilet is emptied before starting.
Calling a plumber is advisable for most plumbing jobs. However, some minor repairs or replacements can be done by the homeowner.