Believe it or not, you don’t need to keep your plumber on speed dial for every minor drain problem you encounter over the course of owning your home. For the run of the mill clog or leak, it may actually be better to fix it yourself – not only will it be cheaper, but you’ll be able to respond immediately instead of waiting for the handyman to show up.
But how do you know which tasks you can handle and which are better left handled by a professional? Here’s a quick run-down:
Clogged drains suck. They’re the bane of every homeowner’s bathroom. Whether the clog is in your toilet, bathtub, shower, or sink, it helps to have the right materials on hand. You’ll need at least two plungers. I have a plunger specifically for the toilet and one for other needs – and I suggest you do the same!
First, try filling the basin with a layer of water several inches tall. Give the plunger a dozen or so strong pushes. If you manage to knock the debris loose, the water should quickly drain.
If you have no luck with the plunger, the next thing to try would be a snake. You can rent power snakes affordably from many rental places. This video provides a great how to.
If those don’t work, you can try harsh chemicals, but we don’t like to use them.
When to Call the Plumber: If plunging and snaking don’t do the trick, or you’re nervous about using harsh chemicals, it doesn’t hurt to call the plumber.
Faucets are easy enough to fix, but to learn how I’ll leave it to YouTube videos – they can tell you how to manage way better than I could. Here’s a video about how to fix a single handle faucet, and here’s one about how to fix a two-handled faucet.
In either case, you’ll want to have pliers, a screwdriver, and an Allen wrench on hand. You’ll also either want to buy a sink repair kit or take the pieces you need to replace to the hardware store to find matches.
When to Call the Plumber: If your sink is still leaking despite making these replacements, you’ll probably need to consult a professional.
Toilet That Never Stops Running
We’ve all used them: toilets that after you flush, they keep going. And going. And going.
Generally speaking, modern toilets should not do this; they are built to save water and therefore should not run continuously. Therefore, if it just seems to keep going, it could be that water is leaking out of the tank into the bowl.
There is a very simple method of testing whether this is the case. Open up the lid to your tank and take a look inside. Sometimes you can tell if the rubber toilet flap is no longer sealing just by how it looks; obvious indications of this would be cracks or tears in the rubber. If you can’t tell, take blue food coloring and squirt in a few drops. (You can use any color, but if it causes any staining most people would agree that blue is way less offensive a stain color than red or yellow.) After 15 minutes, if you have any blue in the bowl, you’ve got a leak.
Fixing this is as simple as replacing the rubber flap. That’s it!
When to Call the Plumber: Sometimes the toilet leaks outside of the bowl – and this can cause huge problems. If you notice damp spots on the floor or wall around your toilet, you’re probably better off calling in the professionals.
Plumbing issues can be really frustrating, but with a little mechanical know-how and access to YouTube you can fix almost any minor problem! If you just can’t make it work, though, don’t be afraid to call in your local plumber for septic repair in Syracuse. You wouldn’t want to attempt to fix the problem only to discover you just made it worse! Good luck with your plumbing endeavors.