Think you’re all thumbs when it comes to fixing things? Think again. The best way to keep your plumbing functioning smoothly and be prepared for any emergencies is to do some simple maintenance on a regular basis. And there are a lot of things you can do that do not require a lot of do-it-yourself expertise. Here are some easy fixes that you can do yourself when it comes to simple plumbing.
Keep the Drains Clear
It doesn’t take much to maintain a clear drain. For sinks, use a baking soda followed by white vinegar (use a 2/1 ratio of baking soda to vinegar). Then run hot water to flush. It’s easy on the pipes and will help keep your drains flowing and smelling fresher.
Check Caulking Around the Sink
Check the seal around your sinks to make sure that no water is getting through and entering the cabinet below. If you need to recaulk, it’s an easy process. Just reseal the gap between the sink and counter and wipe the excess caulk off before it dries.
Replacing the Toilet Flapper
If you notice that water is leaking from the tank into the bowl when the toilet is idle, you may have a worn out flapper. These are the rubber stoppers that “flap” down over the opening in the tank, allowing it to fill. They are cheap and just slip on. Just take a look at how the current flapper is connected and buy the same type.
Replace the Toilet Seat
Want to replace that broken toilet seat? It’s a simple procedure. Just take a look at the old seat and unscrew the two bolts holding it in place. Once you remove it, you can take note of the size of the old seat – or take a picture of it – so when you buy the new one, you know you are getting one that will fit. Simply screw in the bolts and you’ve got a new seat.
Locate and Test Water Shut Off Valves for Toilets and Sinks
These are simply knobs that go from the pipe in the wall to your sink or toilet. It’s a good idea to know where they are and test them to make sure they are not stuck. If you need to turn off the water to the toilet or sink, you’ll know how to do it quickly.
Locate and Test the Main Water Shutoff Valve to your Home
Similar to the fixtures, it’s important to know where the main water shutoff is for your home and test it to make sure it is functioning. If there is a burst pipe in your home, you’ll need to turn off the source of the water to stop the flow.
Identify and Protect Exposed Pipes from a Freeze
If you have pipes or fixtures that are exposed to freezing temperature, make sure they are covered or insulated before that cold snap hits.
Sink and Toilet Plunging
Basic plunging skills will save you a call to the plumber. Many simple clogs can be cleared with a plunger. So know how to use one and keep one handy. You can even have a separate one for you sinks.
Diagnose and Fix a Running Toilet
Toilets that are constantly running can cost you a lot of money. If there is a leak in the tank and water is continually filling, the first step is to diagnose it. If it’s the flapper, this is an easy fix. And if it’s the fill valve that allows the tank to fill to a certain point and then stops, then you may need to adjust or replace it.
Shower Head Replacement
Want to change out a showerhead? It’s a relatively easy process. If it unscrews easily simply remove the old showerhead, clean the threads on the shower arm and screw on the new one. If it’s tight, place a rag or towel over the arm extending from the wall and hold it with a pair of slip-joint pliers. Use an adjustable wrench to remove the old showerhead, turning it counter-clockwise or to the left. Clean any residue or old Teflon tape from the threads before putting on the new showerhead. If the new showerhead requires it, put Teflon tape over the threads prior to screwing on the new one.
Have a plumbing problem that you can’t get a handle on? Call the experts at Agentis, we’re ready to help with both complex and simple plumbing issues.