Troubleshooting Home Plumbing Issues

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 13, 2012

If you’re keen, handy, and don’t mind putting in a little work, there are lots of home improvement tasks around the house that can be done by skilled homeowners. When it comes to plumbing, here are a few do-it-yourself projects that you might want to try yourself.

Leaky faucet
Leaky faucets are fairly common and a pretty easy DIY fix that we had discussed a few months ago. Take a look at DIY Leaky Faucet Fix for step by step instructions to repair a dripping faucet.

Clogged sink or bathtub drain
Clogged drains in the kitchen and bathroom are one of the most common household plumbing problems. If the sink or tub is backed up but it does slowly drain, you can try pouring boiling water down the drain to dissolve grease or bits of soap that may be stuck. Even better, you may want to follow the boiling water with baking soda and vinegar, let them sit then rinse out with another kettle of boiling water. If that doesn’t work, try to clear the clog with a plunger. If the clog is still being stubborn you will likely have to remove and clean the trap and snake the line.

Clogged toilet
Much like a clogged drain, your first recourse for unclogging a toilet will be a plunger, followed by an auger if the plunger didn’t work.

Running toilet
If your toilet just won’t stop running after you flush it, you can try some easy tinkering before calling in the plumbers. Take the lid off the tank and check to see if the lift chain is wrapped around the lift arm or if it has come loose. If it’s off or loose, you will simply need to reconnect the chain to the slot in the lift arm. If that doesn’t help, make sure the float is sitting slightly above the water level and adjust the float arm if necessary. According to the folks at the DIY Network, “if the flapper valve and seat seem to be in good working order and your toilet is still running, the ball-cock assembly may need replacing.” You can purchase a do-it-yourself ball-cock assembly kit at the home improvement store and install it according to the kit’s instructions.

If you’re feeling unsure or overwhelmed by any of this, or you’re faced with bigger plumbing disasters, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber to come take care of these things for you. Personally, I like to think I’m pretty handy, but I leave all of the major repairs up to the pros.

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