Every night you hear the kitchen faucet drip and every morning you put in a call to maintenance to get it fixed. This can go on for weeks. Waiting for them to fit you into their schedule can quickly turn into frustration.
Luckily, there are a few plumbing issues that you can repair yourself or at least create a stop gap while you wait for your apartment complex to return your call. The last thing you want is to deal with a plumbing emergency.
Check your tool bag and make sure you have a screwdriver, pliers, utility knife, plunger and, if needed, a caulking gun to seal any gaps. These six DIY plumbing fixes can be done by plumbing novices while you wait for the pros.
1. Repair a dripping faucet
If your kitchen faucet won’t stop leaking, no matter how hard you try to tighten it, it may be time to see what’s going on inside. A leaky faucet may indicate that one or many of the parts inside need to be replaced. These are all affordable pieces and come in a “repair kit” that you can find at your local hardware store.
There are three parts that you need to review once you take apart the faucet – the ball valve, the cartridge and the ceramic disc. You can jump on YouTube for step-by-step directions as well as possible issues that you may encounter along the way.
2. Stop leaking pipe joints
If you peeked under your bathroom or kitchen sink and spotted a leaking joint upon closer inspection, you may be able to tackle that issue before all of your things get ruined.
First, try to tighten the pipe joint with a wrench. If that doesn’t work, the alternative is often simple – a faulty rubber slip joint (you know, those small rubber rings) where the pipes meet.
Visit your local hardware store for a patch kit, follow the packaging instructions and it should resolve your leak.
3. Unclog a bathroom drain
Let’s say it all together – hair.
Hair is the number one reason why your drain may be clogged in your bathroom. While gross, you need to pay attention once the water starts pooling and not draining properly during your showers.
If you’re sure that the culprit is just debris, stop by your hardware store to rent a drain snake with a cable auger or pick up a sink plunger. You can also use a wire hanger to hook any small objects stuck in the drain.
It’s a great item to add to your bathroom maintenance checklist to avoid gross situations, especially if you’re currently living with a roommate. Also, a reminder to avoid putting grease and large food particles down kitchen drains – use the garbage disposal instead.
4. Fix a running toilet
A running toilet can quickly make your water bill climb a few hundred dollars. In just a few minutes and a Youtube video or two, you can fix up your toilet. The culprit is usually a faulty stop valve.
We know that you’ve been moving the handle around and it stops the problem temporarily, but to fix it for good, you have to replace the entire valve. Easily done in just a few minutes and the setup comes in a kit at your home improvement store.
5. Replace your kitchen sink hose
Does using your sink hose sprayer feel like you’re taking a shower every time? It may have a tear or two on the hose itself. This plumbing DIY is one of the easiest ones on our list as all you need to do is to stop by your local hardware store to pick up a new sprayer kit. Each kit comes with all the necessary parts, instructions and the new sprayer and hose.
6. Install a new shower head
Whether you’re refreshing your bathroom or your shower head is showing signs of wear and tear, changing your shower head can help you save money on your water bill. With only a handful of tools, you’re able to remove your old one and add a new one.