How to fix common plumbing issues at home

Today is World Plumbing Day, and functional plumbing is an integral part of your home. Plumbing leaks, if not dealt with properly, can add up to thousands of dollars in lost money towards water wastage, repairs and even mould remediation. If you want to save some money on small plumbing repairs, many of the common plumbing issues are do-it-yourself friendly.

Here’s a list of common plumbing issues and how to fix them:

  • Leaky faucet: that annoying drip from your faucet can add up to a big problem if you don’t deal with it. Luckily it’s an easy fix with a couple tools and a few easy steps. You’ll need an adjustable wrench, Phillips screwdriver, oil and possibly replacement parts. Here’s the five easy steps to fixing that faucet (always turn off the water first).
  • Broken tub spout: through normal wear and tear, or other issues, sometimes a bathtub spout can stop working properly. A replacement spout usually runs about $20, and replacing it takes only two simple steps. Unscrew the old nipple with a pipe wrench, and install the new one with a couple household tools. Full instructions on replacement are here.
  • Noisy faucet: whether inside or outside, sometimes faucets can make an annoying hammering sound. This noise or vibrating sounds in plumbing are often caused by worn or damaged rubber washers. A simple replacement of a washer or valve should silence the issue. 
  • Loose faucet handles: though it may not seem like a big deal, a loose handle will gradually grind away at whatever fixture it’s attached to, so you should tighten it when you notice the issue. In most cases, one quick step and a screwdriver will get the job done, here’s how
  • Clogged drain: a lot of stuff goes down our drains besides water, over time, buildups can happen and that’s when you’ll notice water is either not draining at all, or doing so very slowly. This means you have a clog. A clogged drain can be fixed with some supplies at the hardware store, like a liquid plumber or drain snake. However, with some ingredients you probably have in your kitchen, you can create your own DIY solution with this recipe.
  • Plugged toilet: this is probably one of the most common plumbing problems there is, and that’s exactly why you should always have a plunger on hand (preferably one in every bathroom). Unlike a clogged drain, you can’t pour anything down your toilet to unclog it, since that ends up in the sewage system. Plugged toilets in almost every case can be fixed with a plunger, or a snake if it’s really bad. Here’s how to fix a plugged toilet.

Some plumbing jobs are bigger than others, and that’s when it may be worthwhile to hire yourself a professional. If a family member or friend doesn’t have a recommendation for a trusted plumber, you can always check the Better Business Bureau for a list of reputable plumbers in Calgary or Airdrie.