About Me

Talking About Preventative Plumbing Services

Hey there, my name is Russell Tyson. I am going to use this site to educate my readers about services offered by plumbing professionals. When I first started my company, I was unaware of all the necessary plumbing procedures needed to keep the toilets from backing up. My clients often failed to notify me when a toilet started to fail, likely due to embarrassment or a lack of time. Luckily, I was clued into the value of hiring plumbers to perform regular maintenance and repairs on the toilets to keep them in fine shape. I hope to detail those services on this site to inspire others to embrace preventative plumbing procedures.


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Talking About Preventative Plumbing Services

Which Plumbing Repairs Can You DIY — And Which Require Professional Help?

by Charlie Clarke

Whether you're dealing with a leaky faucet, a cracked toilet tank, or a septic leak bubbling raw sewage into your yard, you may be wondering whether you should attempt a DIY repair by watching a few instructional videos online or call a plumber instead. While DIY plumbing work can be intimidating, many homeowners should be able to perform a number of minor to moderate repairs without paying a plumber's call-out fee and associated labor costs. However, there are still many situations in which quickly enlisting a plumber's help is the best (and least expensive) way to restore your home's plumbing to its normal state. Read on to learn more about some simple and advanced repairs you may be able to do yourself, as well as the jobs that are best left to a professional plumbing contractor. 

Simple DIY Repairs

Some repairs that can be performed by those without much DIY experience and only some basic tools include: 

Fixing a Leaky Faucet

In most cases, a faucet that leaks or drips even after being shut off is suffering from a leaking seal, which is a fairly easy fix. To begin, you'll first want to shut off the water supply under your sink. In most cases, there should be a knob attached to one of the pipes — if this knob doesn't appear below your sink, check your crawl space or basement for the main water supply and shut it off instead. 

Next, cover the drain hole so you don't inadvertently lose any screws or tools and use a screwdriver to remove any screws holding the faucet in place. In some cases, you may notice significant mineral corrosion or other issues as soon as you remove your faucet; soaking it in vinegar for a few minutes and scrubbing it with a hard-bristled toothbrush should go a long way toward removing these deposits and increasing your water pressure in the process. 

Next, you'll want to carefully take your faucet apart (paying attention to which pieces connect or taking photos with your cell phone before removing each part). Depending upon whether you have a compression, ball-type, or ceramic disk faucet, you may need to replace only one seal or multiple seals to stop any leaking; in most cases, you'll quickly be able to identify the problem (or problem) seals as soon as you take the faucet apart. 

If you've disassembled your faucet and replaced some seals and the drip hasn't resolved itself, you may want to simply purchase and install a new faucet instead. Fortunately, once you've removed and disassembled a faucet, replacing it with another one is a much simpler project! 

Advanced DIY Repairs

Those who have some minor plumbing experience may be able to tackle bigger projects, including: 

Replacing a Toilet

This can seem like an overwhelming project, but it really isn't much different than replacing a faucet -- just a bit heavier. 

First, you'll need to shut off the water supply to your toilet and drain the tank and bowl to prevent spillage (flushing it a few times and removing the refill tube from the overflow pipe should usually suffice). You'll also want to disconnect the water supply line to prevent water from spilling onto your floor when the toilet is removed. 

Next, you'll use a screwdriver or other flat surface to carefully remove the wax ring holding the base of the toilet in place on the floor. Once this wax ring is removed and any bolts holding the toilet to the floor are loosened, your toilet can be lifted away and disposed of. 

Installing your new toilet will simply involve reversing the steps you took to remove your old toilet. Make sure the wax ring holding your new toilet in place is secure before you begin to use it in earnest.  

Professional-Only Repairs

Some repairs — even those with DIY instructional manuals available on the internet — are best handled by professional plumbers with experience in handling more complex plumbing and drainage issues. These include: 

Repairing a Sewer Line

If a sewer line has been breached, you'll quickly know — the unmistakable smell of raw sewage (or worse, the appearance of suspicious puddles) in your yard can only mean one thing. However, even if you're able to quickly access the breached line, attempting to repair it yourself usually isn't a good idea. Not only do you not know whether the breach you've observed is the only breach, but you may also be dealing with underlying septic issues (like a too-full tank) that can only be handled by a plumbing or septic service, making your own attempts to resolve this problem futile.

By contacting an emergency plumbing service or a local plumbing contractor at a company like First Class Plumbing LLC, you should be able to rest assured that your septic problems will be quickly resolved.