Got a leaky pipe, a clogged toilet or a stopped drain? Knowing some basic plumbing skills can definitely save you lots of money in the long run and prevent some serious damage during an emergency.
Take note of these five plumbing hacks, because you won’t regret them:
1. How to fix a burst pipe
Are you surprised to know that most homeowners in Metro Manila have no clue how to deal with a burst pipe? The first thing you should do in this scenario, is turn the water off. This should always be the very first step every time you have a water leak, or before you start fixing the problem.
The quicker you get the water turned off, the less damage you will have. Take note where the water shut-off valve is located in your house and practice turning it off.
2. How to fix a leaky faucet
Most leaky faucets can be easily fixed by replacing the washer which is the circular rubber disc you find inside your faucet.
Try to tighten the base of the faucet first and see if the leak stops. If it doesn’t, replace the washer inside the faucet. Sometimes these fixes do not work and it could be a problem with the faucet itself. In this case, installing a new faucet is the next best thing. Get a faucet which comes with an installation kit to help you.
3. How to stop an overflowing toilet
The cause of an overflowing toilet is usually due to the flapper inside the tank failing to close properly.
As usual, start by shutting off the water to the toilet. There should be a shut-off valve on the pipe behind the toilet bowl (or somewhere near it). Check to see if the connecting chain is broken. It could have slipped out of its holding slot or just needs to be readjusted to the right length. If all’s well with the chain, check the arm that is holding it up – you might need to replace the flapper and the arm.
These parts are fairly easy to dismantle and reassemble, so a trip to the hardware store should suffice.
4. Unclogging a toilet
If you don’t have a plunger at home, get one. A plunger with a narrower flange at the end is ideal as it can fit right into the snake pipe.
Flushing a clogged toilet will only cause it to overflow. Instead, do a drainage test: remove the tank lid and lift the flapper valve slightly to let a cup or two of water into the bowl to see if the water goes down. If it doesn’t drain, don’t flush it.
A clogged toilet just means that the bowl might overflow. Give the water level some 10-15 minutes to go down before going in with the plunger. (To be on the safe side, keep some old towels on hand in case of an overflow)
Now, confidently go in with the plunger.
- Plunge gently the first time. Initially, the bell will be full of air and you want to release the air pocket slowly. If you thrust hard, it will force the air back around the seal and blow water all over the bathroom.
- Once the air is released, start plunging vigorously in and out, maintaining the seal. This movement will cause water to move in both directions of the drain which will effectively loosen the clog. Keep repeating for 15-20 times if needed.
- Keep enough water in the bowl so your plunger stays covered.
5. Clearing a slow or stopped drain
Drain-clearing chemicals such as acid drain cleaners are commonly used in households. They do a good job clearing clogged drains.
If it’s a small clog and there is no standing water in your tub or sink, try using natural cleaning ingredients instead – pour some baking soda down the drain, followed by vinegar. Lastly, pour in some boiling water.
It’s a good idea to use some thongs to pull out hair or food that’s stuck in the drain before you get started.
There you have it. Easy right? These handy tips should help keep plumbing emergencies at bay until the professionals show up for more dire situations. If the problem doesn’t go away and you need help, we have many plumbing services available locally on Gawin.ph. Let us know your location and requirements, and we’ll find you a good match!