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Plumbing Tips for the Common Home Owner – Basic DIY Tactics Around the House

The average house plumbing system can present home owners with a range of different maintenance and repair issues. Some of these are quite specific and will require specialised assistance; others however are pretty basic and can be effectively dealt with on your own. Knowing how to handle common plumbing problems at home will make you more self-reliant, and save you a decent amount of money from untimely or unnecessary plumbing repairs.

    • Dripping taps – Dripping taps are by far one of the most common and annoying plumbing problems around the house. Fixing leaky faucets is actually much easier than most people expect it to be, and in most cases there is absolutely no need to call in a professional plumber (unless the problem turns out to be elsewhere). The most common causes of dripping taps include:
      • In compression type faucets: deterioration of washers inside pressure operated taps will cause water to drip or leak constantly, even when the faucet is switched off. The best solution to that problem is to replace the washer altogether. Changing a washer is easy and will cost you hardly anything. Spare washers are found in every hardware store. You’d only have to arm yourself Seattle Plumbing  with the following tools: a flathead screwdriver and pliers.
      • Ball and disc faucets are somewhat different, and when they start to drip or leak, chances are you will have to replace the entire unit. These faucets usually last much longer than their counterparts. If you end up replacing the unit, make sure to a spanner and some Teflon tape at hand.

 

    • Loud Pipes – Loud pipes, also known as water hammer is a bit of an issue, and it is better to call in a qualified plumber if you are dealing with loud pipes, as the problem needs to localised and isolated first. Common causes of water hammer are water inside air chambers, loose pipework and unusually high water pressure.

 

    • Leaking Shower Head
      This problem is also relatively easy and straightforward to deal with, and some basic understanding of how the shower works will save you the money from specialised plumbing services. However, if you realise the problem is caused by something more serious, let the professionals handle the repairs.Causes:

       

      • A leaky shower head problem comes in two variations – a leak near the arm, or a leak caused by clogging of the shower head.
      • If the leak is near the shower arm, then the washer inside the shower head is once again the culprit.
      • If there is low water pressure coming from the shower, yet it leaks, then the cause is most likely a clog.

       

      Solution:

       

      • Replacement of the washer is in order; remove the showerhead from the adjusting ring to expose the faulty washer and replace it with a new one (it is pretty much the same as replacing a tap washer).
      • In case the showerhead is clogged, the leak can be fixed by cleaning the showerhead perforations. Remove the shower, scrape any lime scale from the inside of the head, and if necessary run a needle through the perforations to remove scale built up. If the issue is fixed, water pressure from the shower should visibly improve, and the leak should be no more, or at least quite unnoticeable.

       

      Tools for the job:

      A new washer, a spanner, possibly Teflon tape, pliers.

 

  • Blocked Pipes – Be careful with clogged pipes, as they can be deceptive. Sometimes clogs are easy to remove on your own, other times the issue is quite serious and requires specialised assistance.
    If you aren’t able to remove the clog by plunging, or subsequently cleaning out the elbow shaped pipe or drain, then you better leave it at that and call in a qualified plumber.

If you are keen on DIY home repairs, chances are taking care of basic plumbing problems at home will raise your home handyman IQ and give you better practical skills and understanding of how things work, and how to keep them working.

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