With the winter around the corner, it’s a good time to shore up your home and make sure everything is in good working order. The last thing you want is to have to call out an expensive plumber and an inconvenient time.

DIY Plumbing Tips

As well as this, why not stock up on the tools and materials you need to fix any issue during emergencies – your family will thank you for it. 

In this article, we will look at some of the most common issues you will encounter in your home this winter and the methods you will need to put them right. Leaking taps are one of them, low water pressure another. You may also encounter running toilets and blocked drains we cover those too. There are many DIY fixes you can do for yourself, but if in doubt, don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber who will be able to offer advice or fix the problem.

Dripping Faucet

One of the most common plumbing issues you will encounter is a dripping faucet. That’s the tapping sounds you hear in the middle of the night and mistake it for something spooky. It happens when the rubber seal around the tap starts to wear, and the water pressure is too strong. It forces water into the seal and causes the drip. Luckily there are some good DIY ways to fix it. 

Underneath the sink, you will find what’s called an isolation valve. You need to turn it to prevent the pressurized water from coming through and sprouting out when you try to change the seal. Drain the remaining water and replace the seal using a washer to support it. Twist the faucet back on over the pipe, and your water dripping problem should be solved. If you encounter any issues, then don’t hesitate to call a professional plumber for advice or a call out. 

It’s advisable not to ignore the problem of a leaking faucet even though it’s an easy one to put off for a while. If you do ignore it, you will find an increase in your water bill and waste that is also environmentally damaging. If you have a leaking faucet, now would be a good time to fix it before the cold weather comes in. It is a persistent problem that won’t go away on its own, but it is easily solved and by following this simple advice. 

Low Water Pressure 

Do you get frustrated every once in a while when the water from the shower doesn’t seem to flow at full pressure? Maybe it goes on and off once in a while, but it isn’t bad enough for you to fix it. It always comes back just in time. This is a sure sign that you have low water pressure. This issue can have several causes and often depends on the quality of your filtration system and mains supply. 

A hard water system that is common in most homes contains minerals that are deposited on the metal surfaces of the inside of the pipes. You will notice this mineral build-up on taps and showerheads as well in the form of limescale. This mineral build-up may be the main cause of your low warmer pressure, preventing the water from flowing through the system as it should. 

Luckily this problem is easy to solve with routine maintenance of the pipes and some regular attention to showerheads, taps, and filters. In the kitchen, the aerators on the taps can be recovered quite easily, cleaned, and replaced. To clean them, use a combination of baking soda and vinegar. The taps and fittings in the bathroom are harder to remove. Fill a bag full of vinegar and tie it over the top; this should effectively treat the limescale. 

Running Toilet 

Do you find the toilet in the bathroom runs for longer than it should after you flush it? This issue can be easy to ignore for a while, but again, it’s a persistent problem and gets worse over time. You will eventually find that the flush runs constantly, and there is nothing that can be done about it except fix it up. Instead of calling an expensive plumber, why not DIY fix it? 

The toilet has a flapper valve that, when opened, allows water to flow from the tank into the bowl. It’s easy for this flapper to become jammed in the toilet chain or to loosen as it wears out. There may also be an imbalance in the float or a loose-fill pipe. These are all issues you can solve yourself with a little bit of DIY know-how and a spot of luck.

If you’ve noticed this issue when you flush the toilet or your water bills are higher than they should be, you might have a problem with a running toilet. One quick and inexpensive way to check is to put some dye into the tank. Check the bowl after around ten minutes to see if any dye is visible – if it is, you have a leak somewhere in the toilet. Have a go at fixing it yourself but don’t be afraid to call a pro if things get tricky. 

Leaky Pipes 

Leaky pipes are very common; unfortunately, they can be very costly, too, particularly in the winter. During the colder months, a leaking pipe can cause all sorts of issues with your heating system and water. If you’re not a pro or a DIY expert, you might have to fork out some unexpected expenses to pay for it – at a time of year when saving money is a better idea. 

To avoid costly expenses over the winter, it’s a good idea to check all your pipes before the cold weather comes in. At your local hardware shop, stock up on joint filler and fitting compounds. These are an effective quick-fix solution to leaking pipes in the dead of winter. Leaks mainly occur at the joint of plumbing pipes, where deterioration can create issues. Check the joints and tie them up as necessary. 

If you’re a fairly good DIY plumber, you may be able to fix the pipes yourself. You will need to buy lengths of copper pipe and brackets to fit them together. You will, however, require the right tools and know-how. If you don’t have these, it’s best to temporarily tie them up and contact a professional plumber like Hy-Pro Plumbing & Drain Cleaning. It’s one job that’s worth paying for. 

Blocked Drains

Have you noticed a build-up of water in the shower in the morning? Is it like standing in a shallow pool of water? It’s not a pleasant experience, and there are several reasons why it can happen. One of those reasons is a blocked plughole; the other is blocked drainage. The plughole can be easily solved DIY style, but the drain could be quite expensive – check to see if you need trench drain system installation and procedures.

The first thing to do is to check the plughole for any signs of debris. This could be hair or soap. Give the plughole a good clean and pour a baking soda and vinegar solution down to help unblock the pipe. If this doesn’t work, you might find that your pipes are blocked somewhere in the system – this can be an expensive job but worth it if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

To prevent blocked drains in the future, regularly clean the shower drain using tweezers and consider drain screens for the kitchen sink. If your problem persists, you might have something stuck in the pipe, such as a bottle cap, that will require a professional service.

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