Saturday, June 1, 2024

What Should You Do When Plumbing Issues Arise: A DIY Guide

What Should You Do When Plumbing Issues Arise: A DIY Guide

Plumbing system issues can often be entirely unexpected. That’s what makes dealing with them quite nerve-wracking.

However, there are a few things you need to know about each type of plumbing problem, so you can better understand what to do in these situations and avoid unnecessary damage.

Read on to find out more!

Common reasons why plumbing issues arise

There can be various factors, but most importantly, it can be a combination of things.

For example, pipes might get clogged or experience low pressure due to hard water and the absence of a water softener.

Things like baby oil, olive oil, moisturiser, and even oil-based soap can build up inside the drain and cause clogs or slow-draining water.

Pouring bleach or other corrosive substances, even drain cleaners, can damage your plumbing system over time and cause clogs, the buildup of dangerous fumes, leaks, or even a burst pipe.

You might find it surprising, but using the toilet as waste disposal is also a common reason. As a rule of thumb, things like candy wrappers, rubber gloves, or food leftovers have no place in the WC.

Whatever the reason, you must remember one thing: acting quickly to avoid water damage, costly repairs, and a more extensive water bill is essential.

Plumbing repairs

Pipe ruptures and broken pipes are serious issues that must never be taken lightly.

For example, there’s not only water damage and bills to consider. Various pests can also enter your home through a damaged plumbing system.

Typically, these kinds of problems are best handled by calling a professional plumber. Even if you possess the necessary tools and are pretty handy around the house, it can still be quite a risk, for improper repairs can lead to even more significant problems.

That’s why it’s best to shut off the water flow from the main valve and find the nearest licensed plumber with the know-how and specialised equipment to solve the issue reliably.

If there is a small pipe hole, or you must apply a short-term solution to prevent home flooding, try installing a new coupler. But follow the rules:

  1. Before embarking on this task, remember that there are different glue types for each type of pipe, so be sure to choose the right one.
  2. Before you apply the glue to your pipes, remember to prime them. Plus, make sure you shopped for a suitable coupler – for PVC or CPVC pipe type.
  3. Don’t attempt drilling by intuition if you want to access a pipe behind a wall. Drill the wall only after you check for pipes and cables with a stud finder or endoscopic camera. Drilling through wiring can cause electrocution and put on risk your life.

You can follow a simple rule to detect leaks– just check your winter water usage. You might be looking into a serious problem if, during the colder months, the amount exceeds 3000 gallons per person.

Also, you can check your water meter a few hours after no amounts have been used. If there’s an increase, that’s a sign you might leak.

Dealing with a running toilet

A constant drip from your toilet tank can make you feel insane at midnight.

Most often, the reason for your nightmares is damage or defective parts (for instance: a flapper, an overflow pipe or the water level). It’s often caused by an old, faulty toilet flapper since low-quality rubber decays over time (or mineral deposits build-up due to hard water).

Whichever the reason, If not fixed immediately, the problem can cause water damage and additional costs in terms of water bills.

Luckily, the toilet mechanism is comparatively simple, easy, and quick to fix, even by a DIY plumbing enthusiast. However, if you have to replace the water bowl, the professionals’ plumbing knowledge is a must.

Fix a leaky faucet or a shower head

Another common issue almost every home stumbles upon is a leaky faucet or tap.

Ignoring the problem will throw money down the drain and add to your water bills. Even worse, it’s entirely possible you can stumble upon a significant water damage problem.

Before you proceed with the repairs, ensure you’ve turned off the water to the faucet and use either a drain plug or a rag to avoid a screw or a washer going down the drain and ruining everything.

You will then have to disassemble the faucet and inspect each part to determine what exactly needs replacing. And if you need to replace a washer or an O-ring, ensure they’re an exact fit.

Another reason behind a leaky faucet issue could be low water pressure. That is why the water pressure meter should be an inevitable part of every toolbox.

If the water pressure is normal, search for the problem in the fixture itself. The plumber’s tape is handy when you need a short-term solution.

Or, if your aesthetic sense doesn’t allow “patching up” the fixture, go straight to a local DIY store and buy the exact-match seals or replacement parts.

A leaking showerhead can waste about 500 gallons of water annually, equivalent to 60 showers. And when you add that to your water bill, you can easily see why leaving the issue unattended is a bad idea.

Fortunately, many showerhead problems can be fixed simply by ensuring a tight connection using pipe tape and a wrench.

Why it’s best to call a licensed plumber

The best rule of thumb is to call a licensed plumber and take care of the problem promptly and from the first time.

You might be confident in doing minor repairs, easy or partial remodelling, maintenance tasks, or preventative checks concerning your plumbing. But if you lack experience, practical,  legal knowledge and tools, it’s much better to entrust your plumbing maintenance to a qualified plumber.

Working with a pro is also advisable if you’re looking to sell your home quickly and efficiently, for a proper plumbing system will only increase its market value.

Handling DIY maintenance projects beyond your experience may cause plumbing disasters with extensive water damage, the necessity of redoing the job, leaking pipes (and the list goes on and on). Then, calling a plumber to restore your home will be a must to make it livable again.

Hiring a professional is a win-win solution. A pro will help minimise the errors while maximising the reliability of the results. Plus, many offer a guarantee for their work’s quality, another added benefit.


So, now that you know more about how to handle different types of plumbing problems, you can be confident that you will react adequately should they occur.

However, in the end, it’s best to call a licensed plumber to handle anything more extensive than replacing a toilet flapper or fixing a leaky showerhead.

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