Plumbing Problems – DIY Fixes vs. When to Call the Pros

With YouTube and DIY videos for anything and everything under the sun, it’s easy to believe you can fix plumbing yourself. But it may not be true.

Plumbers are trained professionals who have the experience and equipment to quickly diagnose the problem and come up with safe and cost-effective solutions. If you mess up the repair and make the problem worse, that would cost you money.

Clogged Drains

Clogged drains are one of the most common plumbing problems, but if you have so many draining problems that you regularly need a plunger or hand-cranked drain snake in your house, there’s likely something rotting in your sewer line.

Serious issues include the stench from the decomposing waste, which is unpleasant and could be hazardous to health, bacteria flourishing in dark, moist environments such as blocked drains, and the monotony of life that is a consequence of living so near to a vast sewage source like it’s some sort of beast that has to be fed everyday so things can function normally.

If you have a blocked drain, try pouring baking soda and vinegar down your drain to cause a bubbling reaction to hopefully dislodge and dissolve the blockage. After that, try pouring some hot water down your drain to flush away any remaining gunk. If that doesn’t work, feel to call in a professional to use more advanced drain cleaning tools so its viral spread and effects can be contained by using an appropriate amount of plunging tools at your fingertips.

Leaky Faucets

A leaking tap differs from a painful tooth – it’s not just an inconvenience, it’s also literally money down the drain, it’s an unnecessary expense on your utility bill, it leads to mould that threatens your family’s health.

Repairs to a leaky faucet would seem to be a simple matter. Step One: turn off the water supply. Make sure all the supply lines to the fixture you are working with are turned off at each water valve under the sink or in the basement – this is important because turn off the water flow too late and your bathroom could flood.

So, before you start fixing the leak yourself, take off the faucet handle and then either take out the base adjusting ring (on round ball faucets) or the packing nut (on rotary ball faucets). Now you should have access to the parts that are leaking. Once they are taken out, cleaning and replacing them will definitely fix the leak; but mind your bottom line, folks – don’t forget which way you put each thing back or it won’t work properly. Okay, so if this does not work, it is definitely time to call in the plumbing authority.

Leaking Pipes

A leaking pipe may be an emergency. If you don’t deal with it, you will soon have a large water damage in your house, which will be very expensive to repair; most likely you will also have mildew or mould problems in your home.

It is something like a leaking pipe in our house: a professional plumber would repair the leaking pipe cost-effectively and quickly, before it causes more serious trouble in the future. If the leaking point is open, or a crack on the surface of pipe, a good plumber could use push-fit couplings or repair clamps to seal it off. Namely, by stopping leaky water from ruining the house.

If your pipe is leaking, call a plumber NOW, and be sure to shut off your water supply before wrapping the leaking pipe with pipe tape to temporarily seal the leak. Most hardware stores have pipe tape; just be sure your water is off first before wrapping any tape or patch! A bucket will help to tide you over until your plumber arrives.

Hot Water Heater

However, if your showers lack sufficient hot water, you should flush your water heater — turn off the gas and electricity to your heater, shut off the water to your heater, then wait until it cools off, before turning everything back on. This is very heavy lifting, so calling in professionals might be your best bet, as the disasters that could result from a mistake could be seriously dangerous, but a DIY approach to it might be fruitful as well.

If your tank has a leak at the top of it, that might be due to loose outlet or inlet connections that have corroded or loosened with time, or compromise elsewhere in the system. Tightening the connections or installing a T&P valve could remedy the situation.

If your unit has light displays, the flashing may alert you to a faulty thermostat or pilot light . Occasionally, restarting the heat can be accomplished by resetting or moving the switch, or you may have to replace these components entirely.

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