Plumbing Tips For Beginners: Fix Leaky Faucets And More

Ready to take care of minor plumbing problems before they turn into costly ones that need professional solutions? With these useful tips and the right tools, you can save hundreds of dollars by taking care of small clogs and leaks yourself. 
  • Replace Parts Inside Toilets & Faucets

The next time you have a leaky toilet tank or a drippy sink, try fixing it yourself before you go ahead and call a plumber. It may seem daunting at first, but there’s very little damage you can do by trying to replace your toilet’s flapper or your faucet’s cartridge. Leaks between the toilet tank and bowl are often caused by worn flappers. The good news is, new flappers only cost a few dollars and come with easy-to-follow instructions for replacement. Similarly, repair modern faucets by replacing the entire interior with a new cartridge – this only requires you to remove a screw or two. 
  • Unclog Drains Manually Without Chemicals

You don’t always need expensive drain cleaners to clear clogged drains. You can manually unclog it by inserting a drain snake into the drain. When you pull it back out the clog culprit should be attached. You could also try using a wet/dry shop vacuum to suck out the clog.
  • Easily Fix Drippy, Clogged Showerheads

Drippy showerheads can be fixed by thread tape if the leak is a result of the threads not connecting tightly. Just unscrew the showerhead, wrap the tape in a clockwise direction, and re-attach to stop the drip. For a clogged showerhead, soak in a solution of warm water and vinegar for about an hour. Then use a small brush to loosen any mineral deposits that could be causing blockages.
  • Say Goodbye To Thread Sealing Compounds

“Pipe dope”, or thread sealing compound can drip and smear. For most DIY projects, thread tape will work just as well or better. You can buy a multi-purpose tape, which is usually white, yellow tape for gas pipes and pink tape for water pipes. The thicker options are easier to handle. When you wrap the tape, roll it counterclockwise around the pipe threads roughly three times for the best results.
  • Loosen Tough Water Pipe Fittings With Heat

Can’t get that fitting loose with a pipe wrench, no matter how hard you try? Hardened fittings rarely budge with just brute strength. Instead, use a small propane torch to apply heat for a few minutes to an old solidified pipe dope to loosen it. Do not attempt to use this hack on or next to gas pipes, and not on plastic pipes or fittings.