The plumbing system in a home is often taken for granted, until something goes wrong. Many issues have easy at-home solutions, while others are better left to the professionals.
Make sure you have a plunger on hand for overflowing toilets and clogged drains. You’ll also want a drain snake to tackle serious clogs.
Leaks are one of the most common plumbing problems. Fortunately, they’re also usually fairly easy to fix. The first step is to identify where the leak is coming from. You can do this by tracing the water’s path to the source. Then, find the water’s shut off valve. It’s usually located in an area like the garage, basement or crawl space. Turn the valve counterclockwise to shut off the flow of water to the damaged pipe.
Next, you’ll want to drain the affected area by opening any faucets connected to the affected line. Once the pipe is dry, it’s time to start repairs. To do this, you can use a slip coupling, a small water-tight connection that’s perfect for sealing the break in your pipe. These can be purchased at most hardware stores, but make sure that the coupling is the same size and material as your existing pipe.
You can also try a repair patch and clamp kit, which features a rubber gasket patch and a metal clamp that works to tightly seal the damaged portion of pipe. Before using this solution, it’s important to sand down rough edges of the broken section of pipe to prevent the neoprene patch from tearing. Once you have the patch in place, position it so that it covers the entire leaky section of pipe and then attach the included clamp like a hose clamp.
Another option for a quick and easy pipe repair is epoxy putty. This type of repair compound is designed to fill cracks and pinhole leaks in pipes and harden at room temperature. Before using it, read the manufacturer’s directions for preparation and application, including wearing gloves. After applying the putty to the leaking area, work it into the break with a putty knife and then press firmly around the leak.
For a more permanent solution, consider replacing the broken section of pipe. This is a slightly more involved DIY project that requires some tools and knowledge of plumbing basics, but it’s not as difficult as you might think. Before beginning the replacement, however, it’s important to drain the affected area by turning on any faucets connected to the broken pipe and then locating your home’s water shut off valve. This can usually be found in an area like the garage, basement or outside by the water meter. Turn the water off to the damaged pipe by turning the shut off valve clockwise.
Clogged drains are more than an inconvenience, as they can lead to serious leaks and water waste. Luckily, there are several simple plumbing repair ideas you can try to tackle a sink or shower clog without calling in a professional.
First, look for a visible blockage. If you can see something blocking your drain, remove it as much as possible. A few straightened paper clips or the small plastic hooks found at hardware stores work great for this, as do a bent wire hanger. If the clog is deep and causing your drain to smell, you might need to take more drastic measures.
Pouring boiling water down the drain often clears a clog. However, be sure that the pipe is metal and not PVC or other plastic, as boiling water can weaken and warp these materials.
Another DIY clog buster is a homemade chemical mixture. Avoid conventional commercial drain cleaners, which can eat away at pipes and pose health risks. Instead, try a combination of baking soda and vinegar. Pour about a cup of baking soda down the drain, followed by a cup of vinegar. When the solution starts bubbling, let it sit for a few hours, then flush with boiling water.
If you’ve tried plunging and snaking the clog and it’s still not going away, call in a plumber. They can use tools to dismantle clogs in hard-to-reach places and pull out larger gunk concentrations, such as those that form at the bottom of your drain’s P-trap.
You can help prevent clogs in the future by avoiding items that can clog your pipes, such as grease and oils, hair products, cotton balls, cigarette butts and food scraps. Also, be sure to dispose of these substances properly to keep them out of your drains. You should also clean your drain traps regularly to keep them from becoming clogged in the first place. If you’re too tired or busy to deal with a clog, contact Enercare to schedule a professional drain cleaning. Also, consider getting a plumbing and drain protection plan for your home.
Pipe repair clamps are among the most useful plumbing tools when it comes to stopping leaks and repairing burst pipes. They are very simple to use and can be used on most types of pipes. They are also easy to find, making them an excellent choice for DIYers.
Before using a repair clamp, it’s important to know the type of leak or pipe issue you have. Different kinds of leaks require different approaches and different types of clamps. You should also consider the size of the pipe and its location in relation to the source of the problem. Finally, you should make sure that the clamp is suited to the material and pressure of the pipe.
There are many different kinds of repair clamps available for purchase and installation. You can find them in various hardware stores and online. You should always choose a reliable brand that is known for their quality. In addition, you should read the instructions on the label carefully. Make sure to follow them closely to ensure a successful installation.
Some clamps require a certain level of expertise to install properly. For example, some have to be tightened with a special tool. Nevertheless, most are easy to install and can be done by anyone who is not afraid of a little bit of hard work. It’s important to remember that the best way to prevent a serious leak or pipe burst is by taking the time to properly clean the area and install the correct clamp for the job at hand.
If you do not have enough experience with a particular plumbing task, you can ask a professional for help. This will save you a lot of money and time in the long run. It is also a good idea to keep the shut off valve close to any component you are working on, so that you can easily turn off the water supply and stop a potential disaster from occurring. You should also make it a point to learn where all the components are located in your house, so that you can quickly find them when the need arises.
Pipe fittings connect sections of piping to each other, and they can also be the source of leaks if not properly sealed. Carefully seal threaded fittings with either teflon tape or pipe joint compound. Before you apply these products, use a deburr and gauge tool to remove any sharp edges from the pipe or fitting. This helps to prevent the fittings from leaking after the repairs.
For small leaks and cracks in a pipe, you can wrap the affected area with repair tape. This is a fiberglass cloth coated with water-activated resin that hardens when wrapped around a pipe and activated with water. The resin serves as a new barrier to prevent the leaks from reoccurring.
If your pipes are so damaged that a simple repair is not viable, you’ll need to replace the broken section of PVC. Turn off the water to the damaged area, cut out the old section with a hacksaw, and drain any remaining water from the affected pipe. Dry-fit the replacement section and ensure that it fits properly with the existing pipe fittings. Then, apply PVC primer solvent to the inside of the replacement fittings and to the exterior of the existing pipe. Finally, apply glue to the replacement section and insert it into the existing PVC, twisting and holding firmly for 10 seconds to create a strong bond.
You can also repair leaking pipe joints with a slip repair fitting, which is similar to a pipe clamp except it has male threads on the ends and female threads on the bottom of the body. These fittings can be bought at most plumbing stores. To make a slip repair, first, remove the existing pipe fitting and clean the area around the joint with a clean cloth to ensure it is free of dirt, residue, or moisture. Next, wet the fiberglass wrap and wrap it around the leaking joint, making sure to cover at least 2 inches on each side of the repair area. Once the epoxy has set (most types set in about 25 minutes), run water through the pipe and check for leaking.