Hiring a plumber to fix and repair your sinks and pipes can get expensive if you are not careful. Not only will you need to pay the plumber for the parts and labor, but you will also need to cover your plumber’s travel expenses, which will add up faster than you think. The good news is that you can take several steps to keep your plumbing in good shape and save money on related repairs.
Fix Leaky Faucets
Leaky faucets are one of the most common plumbing issues that you will face, and asking a plumber to fix the problem will cost more than it’s worth. You will pay more for the service call than for the time it takes the plumber to make the needed repairs.
When you want to fix a leaky faucet to save money, start by shutting the water off for the sink or shower. If you don’t take steps to prevent it, you could drop your parts into the drain, but you can place a towel over the opening for a layer of protection. Once you remove the fixture and replace the seat washer, the problem should be resolved.
Fix Clogged Toilets
Clogged toilets are another issue that you might face when you least expect it, but fixing a clogged toilet does not need to be difficult. If you don’t have a plunger on hand, you can pick one up from the store for a few dollars, but you will also want a pair of rubber gloves because unclogging a toilet is a messy job.
Since water can splash onto the floor, try placing a few towels around the toilet before you begin. Putting the plunger into the toilet bowl and covering the hole will create a strong seal. You will then need to push the plunger down and back several times, and the pressure should remove the clog within a few seconds.
The dirty toilet water will contaminate the plunger and allow bacteria to grow if you don’t do something about it. You can pour one-fourth of a cup of bleach into the toilet bowl, letting it sit for a few minutes. Flushing the toilet several times after the bleach has done its job will clean the plunger, and you can remove it from the water and dry it with a towel.
Fix Clogged Drains
Clogged drains are a problem that not everyone knows how to fix without turning to an expert for support, but you can use a simple trick to get the job done on your own. You will need vinegar, baking soda, and hot water. You must use rubber gloves and be careful when you handle the hot water, so you don’t burn yourself by accident. Pour the hot water into the clogged drain before you do anything else, which will loosen some of the grime.
The next step is to pour half of a cup of baking soda down the drain and to let it sit for about five minutes. Once the baking soda has settled, you will mix a 50-50 solution of hot water and vinegar to pour down the drain, and the chemical reaction will remove the source of the clog. As a final touch, pour some more water down the drain to ensure that it is working correctly.
Check Your Plumbing Regularly
In addition to repairing simple problems by yourself, regularly checking your plumbing for issues is another great way to save money on your repair bills. Leaky toilets cost homeowners a lot of money, and many of them don’t even know about the issue.
Putting six drops of food coloring in the tank of your toilet will provide you with a clear picture. If your toilet water changes colors within 30 minutes, you have a leak that you will need to address. The pipes under your sink should be dry, and being wet means that they are leaking.
Avoid Putting Harmful Items in Your Drains
Many plumbing issues can be prevented if you know the things to avoid putting in your drain. Cooking oil, grease, butter, and coffee grounds are just a few of the things that can cause complications when you pour them into the drains in your home.
Keeping unwanted items out of your drain is not always an easy or simple task, and you can make mistakes no matter how careful you are. Investing in strainers for each drain in your home will work wonders when it comes to saving money on repair bills. Strainers will prevent coffee grounds, pasta, hair and other harmful items from entering your drains and causing problems.
Know the Warning Signs of Trouble
Because fixing plumbing problems while they are in the early stages can prevent future issues from occurring, learning about the red flags for which to look is a smart move. If your pipes rattle or make other strange noises, you will need to take action. Low water pressure, slow drainage, and an increased water bill are additional signs that indicate trouble.
Insulate Your Pipes
Since water expands when it freezes, people who live in cold climates are prone to burst pipes that can cause flooding, water damage, and a range of other problems. Foam pipe insulation that you can buy from the store will take you far when your goal is to stop your pipes from freezing during the winter months.
Measure the length of the pipes in your basement and crawl space if you want to buy the right amount of insulation. Each piece of insulation will have an opening on the side so that you can slip it over your pipes, creating a snug fit that will prevent heat from escaping.
Pour Water into Drains You Don’t Use Often
If your home has more than one bathroom, you might have sinks and drains that you don’t use all of the time. Water can build up in unused drains and become stagnant, and it can release a nasty smell into your home. Pouring a gallon of water into your unused drains will flush the old water out and help you avoid unpleasant odors.
Doing so will also alert you to plumbing issues that you would have otherwise missed. You must repeat this process once per week if you want to enjoy the best possible results.
Enlisting the Help of an Expert Versus DIY Repairs
If you fix a leaky faucet or clogged drain by yourself, you can save between $175 and $250, but you need to know when to turn to an expert and when do-it-yourself methods will do the trick.
As long as you follow the instructions and are careful, you can make the repairs listed in this guide without much trouble. But when it comes to large repairs, enlisting the support of a trained plumber is the only smart option.
For example, some people try to save money by replacing their toilet or dishwasher, and some of them are successful. Although you have a chance of success, trying to make major repairs on your own is a gamble. You could forget to shut your water off or make other mistakes that can cause your pipes to burst and flood your home. In addition to the repair bills, you will also face water damage. Spending the money to hire a professional can save you a lot more over the long run.