Hiring a plumber can be expensive. While some plumbing jobs require a licensed plumber and a permit, others are actually quite simple. Follow these easy instructions, and knock out some plumbing repairs on your own!
Ready for some DIY plumbing? All you need are a few basic tools from your toolbox. Don’t worry, they’re all easy to use and readily available at just about any home supply store.
- Two Plungers (one for the toilet, one for the sink)
- Adjusting Wrench
- Pipe Wrench
- Utility Knife
- Caulk & Caulk Gun
- Teflon Tape
3 Plumbing Fixes You Can Do
Clogged Sink / Tub
Before you reach for some expensive, dangerous and possibly damaging drain clearing solution, try that plunger! A few, quick plunges may clear that clog. If the plunger doesn’t work, it might be a bit more of a clog than will normally pass.
If the “unplungable” clog is in your tub, grab that screwdriver and take off the drain plate. Chances are you will find more than just a little hair down there! However gross it is, remove it, and your drain should operate normally.
If the clog is in your sink and a plunger doesn’t work, grab a bucket and place it under the “P” trap under your sink. Use your hand to turn the compression fitting counter-clockwise to loosen the fitting and remove it. Clear the P Trap and allow the sink to drain. Using your screwdriver, probe the pipe that goes into the wall for any close clogs you might find. And then, reconnect everything. Run water and make sure the clog has cleared.
Upgrading Your Shower Head
Changing out your shower head is an excellent way to upgrade your shower and probably one of the easiest plumbing fixes you can do. First, buy a new showerhead – you’ll be surprised how many options are on the market. Then, unscrew the old shower head and clean the old teflon tape from around the pipe threads.
Grab some new teflon tape and wrap it around the pipe threads from the pipe that comes out of the wall. Carefully screw on the new shower head and hand-tighten. Turn on the shower to check for leaks; you may have to use a wrench or pipe wrench to further tighten the new shower head, but do not over tighten. And, you’re done! Super simple.
Caulking Showers and Bathtubs
Did you know that you should be re-caulking your shower and bathtub every 4 years? Caulking is a maintenance item. And something to keep in mind: you should never caulk over existing caulk.
To re-caulk your shower you will need a utility knife, a caulk gun, caulk, masking tape and a roll of paper towels. Use the utility knife to cut out the old caulk and dispose of it. Get as much out as you can, it will make for a better job overall.
Now, mask off the area with your tape. You’ll want to apply a line of tape below and above the area you plan to caulk.
Using the caulk gun, cut the tip off of the caulk tube, slide your screwdriver (or a nail) into the tip, and puncture the tube of caulk to start it flowing. Slowly apply the caulk in the cracks in an even bead. Wet your finger and use it to smooth out the bead into a nice, concave arch. The paper towels are to help you clean up the caulk on your hands or drips to the tub – inevitably, you’ll make some mess, but it’s easily cleaned up.
Know When to Call for Help
Don’t be afraid to roll up your sleeves! Some plumbing fixes are well within your wheelhouse, even if you don’t consider yourself all that handy. Should things go wrong or you’re confident you’ll flood the house, take our advice and call a professional plumber.
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