It may come as a surprise, but not all plumbing work around your home requires an emergency call to the plumber. With some simple plumbing tricks, you can easily fix minor plumbing issues yourself.
Sure, you can’t possibly perform slab leak repairs, but even unclogging your shower drain can prevent large-scale water damage in the long run. Besides, by acquiring some useful DIY skills, you could actually save some quid.
That said, let’s make you a skilled DIY plumber!
Unclog the shower drain
How will you know your shower drain is clogged in the first place? You’ll notice the water pouring away very slowly or more noticeably – not draining away at all. If you’re lucky, the debris causing the clog will be visible on the drain cover. If not, this is what you should do:
1. Remove the drain cover and have a closer look down the drain. Be careful when removing the cover –in most cases, you’ll have to use the screwdriver; if you’re reckless, you could scratch the finish.
2. Once you remove the cover, use a coat-hanger hook to fish out the debris.
3. When you’re done, screw the cover back in its place.
Fix chipped enamel on the basin
If the enamel on the basin is chipped, it doesn’t mean it needs replacing. It looks unsightly, though, so you can’t simply leave it be either. Luckily, there is a simple way to fix it. Before you begin, you’ll need to buy some epoxy adhesive. Once you’ve got it, follow these steps:
1. Take a sponge and scrub the chipped area.
2. Afterwards, rub the 400 to 600-grit wet-and-dry sandpaper over the scrubbed area – it will become rough.
3. Mix epoxy ingredients according to the label, making sure that the colour of the epoxy putty matches that of the enamel.
4. Apply the putty by filling it into the chip with a small brush (an old toothbrush will do) and leave it to dry – the epoxy label should specify the required time.
Silence rattling pipes
If you hear a disquieting rattle at night, don’t be alarmed – it might be your pipes. If the water pressure is constantly high, it gradually loosens the pipe nails, which in
turn causes the rattle. This is what you should do:
1. Remove the existing nails and replace them with 1-1/4-in. coarse-thread
2. Add one pipe strap per joist. There’s no need to skimp on pipe straps – they are really easy on the pocketbook.
Unclog shower heads with white vinegar
Water flow from your shower head is low? Chances are the shower head is clogged, but there is an easy and eco-friendly solution. Here’s what to do:
1. To make sure the shower head is causing the problem, remove it and turn on the water. If the flow rate is still poor, proceed with the next step.
2. Choose a bowl big enough to contain the shower head, and pour in some white vinegar.
3. Soak the shower head into the vinegar.
4. Leave overnight.
5. Brush off the residue.
6. Put the shower head back onto the wall pipe.
If you shower head is non-removable:
1. Pour the vinegar into a plastic bag.
2. Secure the bag onto the wall pipe with tape.
3. Soak the shower head into the bag.
4. Leave overnight.
5. Brush off the mineral residue from the shower head.
Next time your shower drain is clogged or there is any other plumbing hiccup, put your newly acquired plumbing skills to good use!