Top 3 Plumbing DIYs That Every Homeowner Should Know

Today, plumbing is a part of the civilized world– it is a necessity of life wherever we go. And just like with anything in life, plumbing can break down.

Are you prepared to take care of the basics, at least until your plumber arrives? What do you do if you need to shut off your water supply (barring which you home could turn into a swimming pool)?

When you are a homeowner, knowing how to take care of repairs or perform emergency shutoffs around your home should be necessary knowledge. In fact, many major plumbing issues can be prevented if they are handled at their onset.

When it comes to plumbing repairs, there are a number of tasks that can be performed without the need of professional help. Minor issues like water leaks and dripping faucets can easily be done by a homeowner; as long as a certain degree of patience, knowledge, and time is utilized.

Interested in learning some quick plumbing fixes? Check out the following fixes to a couple of common plumbing problems:

Quick Fix #1: Shutting Off the Water

How to turn your water on and off is one of the most important things that all homeowners should know. This is the first step to take when stopping leaks as well as performing a host of other plumbing repairs.

Turning Off All the Water in Your House

If you want to turn off all the water to your house, you must turn the main shut off valve off. But to find this valve, you must first locate your water meter. Most water meters are usually located in the ground near the street and tend to have a concrete cover, but there are some that may be attached to the side of your house. In addition, some houses have a secondary main shutoff valve, usually located in the basement that can be used to turn the water off as well. If you are not able to find your water meter, then you may contact your local utility company to ask for help.

Once you have located the water meter, remove its cover, and turn the shutoff valve 90 degrees; this can be done either with a water meter cutoff key or an adjustable wrench.

Turning Off the Water at Plumbing Fixtures

If your repair doesn’t call for you to turn off all the water in the house, you can simply close the shutoff valve (usually located below the fixture) by turning it clockwise to shut the water off to just that fixture.

In addition, although it is possible for your shower and bathtub to have shutoff valves, they are generally harder to find. If you own a model that has a shutoff valve, or if you are not sure but want to find out, check the closet or wall that backs up your shower for access.

Quick Fix #2: Turing off your Water Heater

There are many reasons why you should know how to turn off your hot water heater. These include:

  • In case of a leak
  • If you are going out of town for an extended period of time
  • An overheating unit
  • Drainage purposes

When, it comes to turning off your water heater, there are two steps involved:

  1. Turning off the electricity or gas to the water heater: If your hot water heater uses gas for fuel, then you will have to turn the gas supply knob to the off position. If it is electric, then you will either have to remove the fuse that powers it or flip the circuit breaker.
  2. Turning off the water to the water heater: Turn the shutoff valve clockwise on the cold water supply that goes into the hot water heater

Quick Fix #3 Fixing a Leaky Pipe

Based on how bad the damages are and the type of pipe that is leaking, you may be able to repair the with a pipe repair clamp or epoxy putty; both are available at your local hardware store. However, if the leak is severe, you may have to replace the pipe itself.

How to Fix a Leak with Epoxy Putty:

  1. Find the location of the leak
  2. Turn off the main water supply
  3. Dry off the pipe
  4. Combine the two-part epoxy putty
  5. Put the putty around the pipe and let it set for the recommended amount of time
  6. Turn the water on and check for leaks

 

How to Fix a Leak with a Pipe Repair Clamp

  1. Find the location of the leak
  2. Turn off the water main supply
  3. Loosen the screws on the pipe repair clamp
  4. Place the repair clamp on the pipe
  5. Make sure that the rubber gasket on the clamp is against the leaks and tighten the screws
  6. Turn the water on and check for leaks
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