A plumbing disaster has a way of coming at you on all fronts. Not only is it annoying and disruptive to your household, it often damages your property. Then, to top it all off, you have to call out a plumber. Plumbers are expensive anyway, but of course, no plumbing emergency ever happens during regular business hours. You can rest assured your plumbing nightmare will begin whenever the emergency surcharges are the highest.
Wouldn’t it be nice to avoid all of the hassle and the expensive? Well, you can. By learning a few simply plumbing do it yourself repairs, you can save time, money and headache. You can intervene in the plumbing problem before your walls are destroyed or your carpets flooded, and of course, you’ll never have to call a plumber out in the middle of the night again. Here are a few simple tricks you can use to fix your plumbing headaches yourself.
Draining your whole plumbing system: it definitely sounds like a job for a professional, right? Well, you can easily do this yourself, should you need to drain your system because of a water hammer problem or to make other repairs. First, you need to shut off the water at the central water meter in your home. Locate the meter – you’ll see a one valve on the side of the meter attached to the pipes that lead into your home and one on the side that leads outside. Shut off the valve leading to the outside. Now, go into your home, and starting at the highest level of the house, turn on all of the sink faucets. After you have worked your way to the bottom of the house, go to the top and repeat the process with the showers. Last but not least, repeat again, this time flushing the toilets from top to bottom. By the time you finish the process, all the water should have drained from the system and there should be no water running from the taps. Now you’re ready to make other repairs.
What about that most common of plumbing problems – a clogged toilet or drain? First, give chemical treatments a try, as long as you don’t have a septic system. Many of these treatments are identical to what a plumber would use to fix the problem and they will work for you, too – at a fraction of the price. If that doesn’t work, a drain snake inserted down the toilet/drain will dislodge the blockage and you will be good to go.
One word of warning – always err on the side of caution. Don’t take on a repair that is over your head to try and save a few dollars. Chances are that you’ll end up digging yourself in deeper and paying a lot more than you would have had you called the plumber out in the first place.