The Dos and Don’ts to DIY Plumbing Repairs

A major concern for plumbing issues is water damage. It accounts for as much as 50% of home insurance claims in Canadian households. Trying to fix certain plumbing problems yourself without the proper tools or training can make it worse. 

 

If you want to avoid catastrophic and costly mistakes, read which DIY plumbing solutions are not recommended and should be left to professionals.

 

Do: Simple Sink Clogs

Bathroom sinks may become clogged by any number of substances: hair, soap scum, dirt, flakes of skin, or all of the above. Fixing a clogged sink drain is typically an easy project to take on by yourself. To start, clear the area around and below the sink and shut off the water.

 

Hot water mixed with a little baking soda is likely enough to fix a plugged sink. A plunger can help dislodge stubborn obstructions, or, if you’re careful, you can use a manual drain snake or bent wire hanger to lift out the clog gently. Chemical drain cleaners are short-term solutions that may cause damage to your septic system in the long run. 

 

For any major clogs, call a professional to avoid causing damage to other parts of the drain.

 

Don’t: A Clogged Sewer Line 

A clogged sewer line is much different than a clogged drain; you cannot fix this on your own. You can, however, learn the signs of an obstruction in your home’s main sewer line and what to do. Here are some early warning signs: 

  • Most or all of the drains in your home are sluggish
  • Drains in the lower levels are backed up 
  • Your toilet does not sound like it is flushing correctly 
  • Wastewater empties into the tub when you flush the toilet 
  • You hear odd gurgling noises near pipes or throughout the house

A plug in the main sewer line may be caused by a sinkage, tree root growth, build-up of non-flushable materials, rupture, or more. Main sewage line damage is serious. 

 

You need emergency plumbing services for a proper fix. For effective drain line cleaning and plumbing services in Calgary, contact The Drain Doctor. 

 

Do: Minor Toilet Repair Projects

Toilets are more complicated than they look. However, there are a few do-it-yourself repairs that most homeowners handle independently. The first step is troubleshooting. Issues flushing is a frequent but solvable problem.

 

First, check the flush mechanism. The flush handle connects to a rod and chain that controls the flapper (a part in the base of the toilet tank that allows the toilet to drain when the handle is depressed). When it works correctly, the handle lifts the flapper to begin the flushing process and settles back down on the valve.

 

A toilet that will not flush may have issues with the chain that lifts the flapper. If the chain is broken or too loose, it cannot move the flapper to trigger the mechanism. You can replace or adjust the toilet chain as needed. 

 

A flapper with a bad seal or one that doesn’t fit the valve may cause the toilet to flush constantly, wasting a lot of water. You can replace a flapper with the right tools. 

 

Don’t: Detailed or Complicated Replacements and Repairs

Problems with the flapper could cause a leaking toilet, but more often than not, leaky toilet problems need to be addressed by a professional plumber in Calgary. Of the many components in and around your bathroom are rings and connectors that carry water and stabilize the fixture. Improper fixes or ignoring the damage may cause larger problems in the future. 

 

Don’t Make These DIY Plumbing Mistakes 

DIY plumbing fixes may save you a little money upfront, but you could cause more damage or overlook other costly issues. If you’re looking for the best plumber in Calgary, contact our trained technicians at The Drain Doctor. Ask about our free personalized preventative maintenance plans to avoid pricey future repairs.