Leaky faucet. Clogged pipes. Running toilet. All of these are common plumbing issues most homeowners experience at some point. A major part of homeownership involves dealing with problems as they arise – without the assistance of a landlord. When it comes to plumbing, there are plenty of small problems that are easily fixable with a little knowledge, and the right tools.

Bigger issues warrant calling a professional local plumber, but for those willing to get their hands dirty, there are some plumbing tasks you can likely handle yourself. A few things to note before attempting any DIY plumbing solution or repair:

Shut Off the Main Water Supply:  remember to turn off the main water supply before attempting any plumbing repairs. Even minor issues can become major disasters if you skip this step.

If you are Unsure, Call a Plumber:  Youtube can be a valuable resource, but a licensed, local plumber is your best reference if you have questions or concerns before attempting a repair.  

Don’t Attempt Anything Without the Proper Tools:  This goes for replacement parts as well. Having the right tools and parts ensures your repair is done correctly and lasts. 

Common Minor Plumbing Problems

Whether you’ve owned a home or not, you have likely experienced a clogged drain at some point. This is one of the most common plumbing issues faced. Luckily, you can attempt to fix minor clogs by pouring a mixture of warm water and white vinegar down the drain. If that doesn’t work, a plunger or hand snake may do the trick. However, stay far away from drain cleaners as those can have negative impacts on your pipes.

Dripping faucets are another common occurrence in homes and can wreak havoc on both your sanity and your water bill. Often, the cause of the drip is simply a washer that has been knocked loose or worn down. If that is the case, replacing the washer should do the trick. However, this a classic example of when forgetting to shut off the water supply can easily turn a minor situation into a major disaster!

For a toilet that constantly runs or has weak flushing capability, a DIY fix may be all you need. Adjusting the float in the tank, untangling the chain, or other simple steps can get your toilet back to running efficiently.

Plumbing Tools for Homeowners

The above-mentioned issues, as well as others, may be well within your wheelhouse of skills and knowledge. However, having the correct tools on hand makes all the difference.

  • Adjustable Pipe Wrench: Pipe Wrenches help you easily grab onto pipes – their teeth grip on when turned one way and release when turned the other. Their adjustable nature makes them useful on many different sized pipes.
  • Plungers: This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure to have more than one plunger on hand. When it comes to unclogging toilets, a flange plunger is best. The extension on these creates a better seal when plunging a toilet. Cup plungers are great for clogs in sinks or bathtubs (and saves you using the same one you use on your toilets).  
  • Drain Snake: If plunging didn’t solve your problem, a drain snake might. When it comes to minor clogs, these can be a lifesaver. Drain snakes allow you to clear built-up debris such as hair without damaging your pipes in the process.
  • Needle Nose Pliers:  Among other things, these pliers are wonderful when clearing sink and shower drains. If you don’t have a hand auger, pliers allow you to quickly clear hair from a drain.
  • Thread Seal Tape:  This tape doesn’t always solve the issue of a pipe leak (although it may work for smaller ones). However, it is a great temporary fix to limit the water leaking and property damage until you source a permanent solution.

Professional Local Plumbers for Plumbing Issues and Emergencies

In any plumbing situation, if you aren’t 100% confident you have the skills and tools needed to address it, the best bet is to call a local plumber. At Flotechs Plumbing and Heating, our experts are highly experienced and trained to handle any number of plumbing repairs or emergencies. From leaky faucets to burst pipes, we can give you peace of mind knowing that your home is repaired at the highest quality. We also provide a wealth of knowledge and can help you avoid future issues. If you require plumbing services – big or small – contact us today!