The Instagram DIY culture is transforming homeowners into seasoned professionals. As a homeowner, you stand to benefit from the plethora of DIY resources available to help you tackle plumbing problems. According to Homeadvisor, homeowners spend an average of $300 for a plumber’s service. By learning to handle simple plumbing tasks on your own, you could save hugely on these costs. Dive into this in-depth guide and gain control over your home’s plumbing issues.
Understanding Your Home’s Plumbing System
Before embarking on any DIY project, understanding the basics goes a long way in achieving success. In this regard, when it comes to DIY plumbing, your home’s plumbing system is a good place to start. Firstly, it is divided into two parts – the fresh water supply system and the wastewater drainage system. The fresh water supply brings in potable water from the main city supply or a well, while the wastewater drainage system removes unwanted water from your home.
Familiarization with Basic Plumbing Tools
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with basic plumbing tools before proceeding. Some tools you might come across include pipe cutters, wrenches, plungers, drain snakes, and plumber’s tape. Each tool has its specific function in repair and maintenance work.
Detecting Pipe Leaks
Pipe leaks often lead to wet patches on walls and pooling water. Listen for the sound of running water when no fixtures are in use. Check your water meter reading before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter changes, it potentially indicates a leak.
Fixing Pipe Leaks
Once you detect a pipe leak, turn off the main water valve at once. Clean and dry the pipe around the leak before applying a patch or clamp. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wait for the adhesive to dry before turning the water back on.
Clogged drains are a common plumbing issue homeowners face. Start by removing obstructions by hand, then use a plunger. You can also try pouring hot water down the drain or using a plumbing snake. Avoid resorting to chemical drain cleaners as these can be harmful to your pipes.
Replacing Components of a Faucet
Faucets essentially have four main components – placing cap, screw, stem, and washer. Each component could cause leakage if worn out. You will need to first determine which part is defective, then get a similar replacement part from a home improvement store.
Fixing Running Toilets
A running toilet might seem like a small issue but it can cause a great waste of water over time. Most often you will need to replace the flapper because they tend to wear out faster than other components. Also, check the float assembly and refill tube if swapping out the flapper does not fix the issue.
Understanding Different Pipe Materials
It is helpful to know the different materials used for pipes such as PVC, PEX, copper and galvanized steel as each has its primary uses and benefits. PVC and PEX are more commonly used in modern homes due to their low cost and easier installation.
Proper Use of Plumber’s Tape
Also known as Teflon tape, plumber’s tape helps to prevent leaks at threaded pipe connections. It should be wrapped in a clockwise direction around thread parts of pipes before connection. This will seal off any gaps that might allow water leakage.
Involving Qualified Plumbing Professionals
When dealing with complex plumbing issues such as the installation of new pipes, gas leaks, or heating system repair, always call a professional. Attempting these tasks on your own may lead to more costly damage or even pose a safety risk.
Adhering to Local Plumbing Codes
Adherence to local codes when dealing with home plumbing is not optional. These regulations are designed to ensure safety and effective construction standards. When unsure about particular procedures in line with codes, consult a professional.
Mastering Basic Pipe Soldering
Pipe soldering is essential when joining copper pipes, one accepts the challenges needing an extra set of skills. You must clean the copper pipe and fitting, apply flux, join them together and heat them before applying solder.
Hygiene and Safety during DIY Plumbing
While indulging in these do-it-yourself practices, cleanliness and safety should not be ignored. Use protective gear such as gloves and safety glasses. Additionally, maintain cleanliness to avoid introducing dirt into your water supply.
Treating Plumbing as a Continuous Learning Experience
Treat plumbing as a continuous learning experience because it’s always evolving with new techniques, tools, materials and regulations. Regularly update yourself by following relevant profiles on Instagram, reading professional blogs or watching YouTube tutorials.
Grasping these basics will let you gain control over simple plumbing issues in your home saving both time and money. While DIY practices are beneficial, knowing when to involve professionals is crucial for your safety and compliance with the law. Overall, continuous learning is crucial to stay updated with the evolving world of plumbing.