6 Essential Plumbing Tips and Tricks for Beginners
Are you willing to become an expert in DIY plumbing or a homeowner who can easily fix minor plumbing problems that often come up?
It’s possible to save a lot of money by fixing minor issues such as overflowing toilets or dripping faucets by yourself. It’ll help to fix minor plumbing issues before they turn out to be major issues that only experts can handle.
Here are six useful ideas that you may apply to fix plumbing issues soonest possible. You only need to have some basic skills and the right tool for each job.
Don’t shy away from replacing the interior parts of faucets or toilets
Detaching pipes and other fittings beneath the shower or sink can cause a messy issue in case you make some mistakes. However, replacing a faucet cartridge or toilet flapper would hardly cause any damage.
Most toilet leaks occur due to worn-out flappers. Flappers are inexpensive. They also come with simple instructions on how to replace them.
Most faucets used today can be fixed by simply replacing the full interior component with a brand new cartridge. You’ll only need to remove maybe one or two screws.
Thus, in case your toilet is running often, or you hear the sink dripping, grab some replacement parts to do the simple repair.
Unclog the drains without using chemicals
Whenever you notice that one of your drains is slow, avoid buying expensive chemicals to clean it. You can unclog the drain manually using a plumber’s snake.
You’ll insert the plumber’s snake into the clogged drain and hopefully get rid of the clog. In case you wouldn’t want to experience the hassle of using a plumber’s snake, or you don’t own one, then use a wet and dry vacuum to remove the clog by sucking it out.
Check the showerhead for any issues
If your showerhead is dripping, you can easily fix it using thread tape. In most cases, showerheads drip due to loose thread connections.
You’ll simply unscrew the dripping showerhead and apply new thread tape. Thread tape should be wrapped clockwise. Once applied, reattach the showerhead and check whether the drip has stopped.
In case your showerhead has some clogs, you can remove the clogs by soaking the showerhead in a mixture of vinegar and warm water for approximately one hour.
Loosen the mineral deposits, if any, using a brush. Most showerheads clog due to the accumulation of mineral deposits.
Avoid using thread sealant compounds. Instead, apply thread tape
Thread sealant compounds or pipe dope may drip with time and smear. Thread tape works well with most DIY plumbing projects that involve pipe threads.
You can invest in multi-purpose thread tape (the white one). Yellow tape is ideal for gas line connections while pink is ideal for water connections. Yellow and pink tapes are thicker and easiest to work with.
The tape should be wrapped counterclockwise when applying it on pipe threads. If you’re unable to apply the tape on tight spaces, you can use a pen to apply it. Wrap the tape thrice for the best results.
Loosen tough pipe fittings with heat
If you’re unable to get a pipe joint or any plumbing fitting loose, even when using your pipe wrench, don’t give up yet. Hardened fittings are extremely hard to loosen even after applying extreme strength.
You can loosen a solidified sealant compound by applying heat on the connection. You’ll need to apply the heat for some minutes before making any much progress. Protect the nearby walls by covering the area you’re heating with a material that can resistant heat.
However, you should only heat metallic water pipes and fittings. Never attempt to heat gas supply lines and plastic pipes.
Enhance the efficiency of your water heating system
You should always ensure that the water heater thermostat is not set at the highest level. You can have it set at 115 degrees without impacting on the water temperature.
It’ll also help to insulate the water heater tank. Doing so will keep the water hot for longer. However, avoid covering the thermostat when insulating the tank. You can find inexpensive insulating products that are easy to install.
If you’re residing in a location where sediment tends to collect quickly in your plumbing lines and appliances, then you’ll need to remove it regularly.
You can remove the sediment by draining some water (a quart) from the hot water tank once in every three months. When draining the tank, start with turning off your water heating system power and water supply.
Set a bucket or bowl at the tank opening. Then open the water heater tank and let water drain into the bucket or bowl, preferably one made of steel.
Doing so will remove most of the accumulated sediment and mineral deposits that may have settled in the tank. Accumulation of sediment reduces the efficiency of a water heater.
You might want to leave tough plumbing jobs to the experts. However, you can fix minor plumbing issues such as small leaks and clogs by yourself.
Nevertheless, it’s necessary to keep the phone number of your plumber in your phone book since you might encounter a problem that you can’t fix by yourself.
In most instances, you’ll find plumbing issues that are easy to tackle by yourself. It can be very satisfying when solving plumbing issues by yourself.