While you can fix some plumbing problems on your own, many of them require professional assistance. Knowing when it’s okay to tackle a plumbing repair on your own and when to call in a professional is important because it can prevent irreparable damage to your home. Water can be destructive and damage caused by this type of force can be very costly, which is why preventing it should be a priority.
The following are some basic plumbing issues that you can attempt repairing yourself as well as some information regarding when to call in a professional:
A leaking faucet
Does your faucet drip from the handle(s) when the faucet is being used? This may be a sign that the washer within your faucet needs to be replaced, so you’ll have to inspect it. Start by turning off the water to the faucet and unscrew the handle. Once you do this, you can inspect the O-ring and washer for any signs of damage, and depending on what you find, you can replace it with a new washer and reassemble it. If this does not resolve the problem and you continue to have water leak out around the faucet, it may mean that you have broken plumbing or loose parts and if that is the case, it would be better to call in a professional instead of continuing to try to fix it on your own.
A running toilet
If water continues flowing into your toilet bowl after you flush, it may mean that you have a problem with your lever that is located in the tank behind the bowl. In order to fix this problem, you will have to remove the toilet tank lid and find the chain that is normally attached at the bottom so that you can reattach it to the lever attached to the toilet handle or untangle it, if it has become stuck on the parts inside the tank. Often, a running toilet is also caused by a worn flapper and seal in the tank. The flapper is the rubber piece that lifts up when the toilet is flushed to allow water to enter the bowl from the tank. Flappers are easy to replace and can usually be done in just a couple of minutes. If the toilet still runs after replacing the flapper, the seal may also be worn. Replacing the seal will require removing the tank from the bowl so you may want to call in a professional plumber to help with this problem if you don’t feel comfortable doing it on your own.
As tempting as it may be to pour a chemical cleaner down your drain, DON’T! Chemical drain openers are made from caustic acids and are very harmful to people, pets, and the environment. You can sustain serious chemical burns if the product touches your skin or eyes and it will burn holes through your clothing as well. Chemical drain openers may eat a small hole through the blockage but they will not clear your drain completely. Then when you call a plumber to come and clear the blockage, they can also be injured from residual chemicals in the drain. You can try using a natural alternative like baking soda and vinegar but this generally doesn’t work very well and the drain will quickly become clogged again. Grease is very sticky and even small amounts will cling to the inside of the pipes. If you run hot water down the drain, the grease may loosen a bit but will slide down the pipe further and harden. This will cause any solids in your drain to get caught and cause a blockage further down. Often, clogs will be lodged too deep in your pipes or may be too large for you to clear yourself. If that’s the case, you will need a professional plumber to help clear up your drains.
These are just a few of the problems you may experience, although there are many more and Oliver Plumbing & Heating can help with every one of them! We specialize in both commercial and residential plumbing services, as well as furnace repair and replacement. Contact us today for all of your plumbing and heating service needs!