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Almost every renter or homeowner has a few needed tools on hand to deal with minor plumbing problems. A lot of times, slow drains or clogged toilets may only need a plunger push and a little elbow grease for it to work as intended. If you are handy around your home, you can tackle a simple repair like changing worn-out washers or replacing drain covers. But bigger and more severe plumbing problems need professional attention. Repairing some common problems like leaking toilets and slow drains could lead to more serious issues later. 

Plumbing maintenance

One way to minimize or even prevent expensive repairs to your property is to schedule regular home maintenance. Because a lot of problems with piping sneak up on you in the long run, a thorough inspection is vital to catch minor problems before they become a serious issue.

Hidden leaks in heaters and sink drains are more than just a simple nuisance. Over time, it can cause serious damage. Water that seeps into plaster and sheetrock contributes to the growth of mildew or mold. Wood flooring or porous tile can warp or discolor when wet.

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Routine Do-It-Yourself maintenance tasks

A lot of routine maintenance is simple DIY jobs. Inspections are the foundation of any scheduled maintenance. People may use their tubs and sinks daily, but they might overlook small concerns unless they set aside time for a thorough inspection. Go through the house and take a closer look at the plumbing system.

Examine exposed pipes, including behind toilet tanks and under sinks, for signs of moisture. On humid days, some condensation on cold metal pipes is pretty standard, so take note of any dampness, as well as recheck the piping when the house is a lot cooler.

Check for any signs of corrosion on copper and brass fittings. Corrosion happens more rapidly in wet or damp metal, so damaged pipe connections could reveal a leak. Turn on faucets in sinks, tubs, and showers to monitor the pressure in your house. Some variation between various types of faucets and purposes is normal, but they need to have a steady and consistent flow of water.

Note how fast the water drains in the sink after testing the faucet. Slow draining could mean that there is a clog in the sink pipe. While you are making your inspection, flush toilets to make sure they do not leak or run at the base. Leaks and runs are common signs of faulty wax seals.

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Professional inspections

An inspection from a certified professional plumber can give homeowners a more in-depth look at their home’s piping system and drains. The inspector will check the garbage disposal unit, heater, and areas of the house covered by the plumbing system. A thorough inspection might include lead testing, filter system inspection, as well as video inspections of the pipelines.

After the review, clean and remove aerators on showerheads and faucets. Sediment build-up can slow down the water flow. If homeowners choose to hire a professional to do the plumbing maintenance, the plumber hired will take care of these steps for you. Some of the duties licensed professionals can perform include:

Drain treatment to help maximize the flow rate

Cleaning of heaters and garbage disposal unit

Common repair tasks

Even the most thorough maintenance inspection will not prevent the occasional leak or clog, especially when it comes to older houses. High water tables can also contribute to septic problems that can affect drains and toilets. A lot of these common problems have simple solutions.

Dripping faucets

If you have tried to fall asleep while the faucet is dripping in the kitchen or the next room, or have wrestled with kitchen sinks that did not know when or how to stop, you know it touches your nerves, and your annoyance level is off the charts. A dripping faucet can also shoot your bills through the roof. A single faucet can send massive amounts of water per year down the drain, one drop at a time.

Water entering the property is underwater pressure to help move through the pipes. When the tap is turned off, silicone or rubber washers form a tight seal that prevents water from going in pipes and out of the faucet. These washers can become stiff, dislodged, or torn, allowing water through and producing drips in the long run.

While homeowners can replace the rubber or silicone-based washers by themselves, the repair can be more challenging than what most homeowners might expect without specific plumbing tools. If the leak is repaired as soon as possible, the valve seal might get corroded or work, necessitating an involved repair that is best left to certified professional plumbers or contractors. Not all kitchen sinks have a rubber or silicone washers to hold back the water. Ceramic taps or also called canister or disc taps to use durable ceramic plates put together to form a tight seal.

Although these types of seals need less maintenance compared to rubber or silicone washers, the repair is a little more complicated than simple rubber or silicon washer replacement. If your house uses a lever-operated tub or sink, instead of a tub or sinks with separate knobs, there is a big chance that you are using canister taps or ceramic disks.

Do-It-Yourself repair tips for your plumbing system

Before repairing, turn off the main valve.

Get ready to get wet, so wear appropriate clothes. Even if you are very careful, plumbing repair and maintenance are a bit messy.

The saying “to measure twice and cut once” applies to washers, pipes, and other fittings or carpentry. If possible, take the broken parts to the hardware store to make sure you purchase the right item.

Keep the service provider’s number in case of an emergency. You may not need their number at the moment, but if something happens like a geyser in the kitchen or a broken valve, you will be glad that you kept the plumber’s number.