DIY Plumbing Tips for Homeowners

tap running plumbing

This a collaborative post.

DIY plumbing can be a great way for homeowners to save money on repairs and maintenance. From fixing a leaky faucet to installing a new showerhead, there are many projects that can be done with just a few tools and some basic knowledge.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all plumbing projects are suitable for DIY, and it’s always best to consult a professional plumber if you’re unsure about your ability to complete a task.

DIY plumbing projects can range from simple repairs like replacing a washer or O-ring in a leaky faucet, to more complex tasks such as installing a new toilet or maintaining a water heater. In any case, it’s essential to have the right tools and materials on hand before starting any project. Basic tools such as adjustable wrenches, pliers, and pipe cutters are a must-have for any DIY plumber, as well as various fittings and sealants.

One of the benefits of DIY plumbing is that it allows homeowners to take control of their home’s plumbing system. By understanding how to fix common problems, you can save money on repairs and avoid the need to call a plumber for every little issue. Additionally, by performing regular maintenance on your home’s plumbing, you can help prolong the life of your system and ensure that it’s running efficiently.

In this blog, we will be covering some of the most common DIY plumbing tasks that homeowners can tackle, including fixing a leaky faucet, unclogging a drain, replacing a toilet, installing a new showerhead, maintaining a water heater, and insulating pipes. With the tips and information provided, you’ll be able to tackle these projects with confidence and keep your home’s plumbing system running smoothly.

tap running plumbing

DIY Plumbing Tips for Homeowners

1. Fixing a leaky faucet

A leaky faucet can be a nuisance and can waste a lot of water. In most cases, the problem can be fixed by replacing the washer or the O-ring. Both of these parts can be found at your local hardware store and are relatively inexpensive.

Investing in low-flow shower heads, faucets, and toilets is a smart starting step toward plumbing optimization. Aerators and low-flow faucets can reduce water use by as much as 50 percent.

Alternatively, you can spend a few Sterlings on an aerator rather than having to change the whole faucet.

2. Unclogging a drain

A clogged drain can be a major inconvenience. It’s easy to avoid harming your pipes by not flushing harmful substances and other waste down the drain.

Keep hair and soap from causing costly clogs by using a strainer on your sink and tub drains.

When a clog does occur, however, it’s best to not use the strong chemical cleaners that are available because they can damage your pipes and the environment. Instead, you can try pouring one cup of baking soda and then one cup of vinegar down the drain.

You should let it sit for a few minutes and then flush it with boiling water. Natural remedies like this one are not only effective but also easier on the plumbing system.

To clear a clog, you can use a plunger or a plumbing snake.

3. Replacing a toilet

Replacing a toilet can be a big job, but it’s one that many homeowners can do themselves. You’ll need to purchase a new toilet, as well as a new wax ring and mounting bolts. Be sure to turn off the water supply before starting the installation.

When compared to standard toilets, low-flow models can reduce water use by as much as 20% with each flush. The initial investment in these toilets is higher than that of a standard type; however, the money saved on water bills typically covers the difference within a year. Those concerned with both the environment and their wallets might benefit from selecting low-flow models.

4. Installing a new showerhead

Installing a new showerhead is a quick and easy way to update your bathroom. Simply remove the old showerhead and replace it with the new one. Be sure to use Teflon tape on the threads to ensure a tight seal.

Using a regular showerhead for just 10 minutes can squander up to 42 gallons of water. This might add up to thousands of gallons annually, depending on how often your family takes showers. Substituting a low-flow showerhead for your current one is a straightforward task.

5. Maintaining your water heater

Your water heater is an important part of your home’s plumbing system. To keep it running smoothly, you should drain it once a year to remove any sediment that has accumulated. This will help prolong the life of the water heater and ensure that it is running efficiently.

Common trouble areas for leaks in a water heater may be loose fittings, faulty inlet/outlet valves, or temperature and pressure relief valves (T&P).

Water leaks at the fittings-to-water heater junction. Tighten the fittings with a wrench. This may fix your leak.  Replacing fittings solves corrosion. This is easy unless your fittings are copper, which requires soldering, which is usually done by a plumber.

Similarly, water accumulating on top of your unit is a telltale indicator of a leaking inlet or exit line. If you’re lucky, the fitting around the pipe will merely be loose, and all you’ll need to do to fix it is tighten the nuts where the handle attaches. If you tighten the nut and the valve is still leaking, it’s likely that the valve is broken and has to be replaced.

If the tank pressure ever gets too high, the T&P safety valve will activate. The pressure will normalize once the steam valve is opened. It’s time to get a new valve if you notice water leaking from the threads on the old one.

If you don’t feel comfortable resolving these issues yourself as they are a bit technical, you may always hire a plumber.

6. Insulating your pipes

Insulating your pipes can help prevent them from freezing in the winter. This is especially important if you live in an area with cold winters. Pipe insulation can be found at most hardware stores and is easy to install.

Pipe covers are simple to set up and come in a wide range of materials and temperature ratings to protect your plumbing. Popular pipe coverings include fiberglass, foam, and rubber.

Self-sealing foam strips can be an excellent, low-cost, do-it-yourself insulation option.

The plumbing sector is steadily being impacted by technology. If your plastic or metal water pipe gets cold, you can use a pipe heat cable to warm it up. These plug-in cables will keep your pipes from freezing in temperatures as low as -35 degrees Fahrenheit, making them ideal for west-side residences that experience more frigid conditions. They can be used either permanently or temporarily to prevent frozen pipes in unheated spaces.

These are just a few DIY plumbing tips for homeowners. By keeping these tips in mind, you can save money on repairs and keep your home’s plumbing system running smoothly. If you’re unsure about tackling a particular project, it’s always best to consult a professional plumber.

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