Here’s a little secret no one ever clued you in on back before you became a homeowner: when something breaks, you’ve got to fix it or get it fixed or learn how to live with it broken. While it may be our natural inclination to learn how to live with things broken – this is the easiest and least expensive way to address any home repair issue – our loved ones tend to be surprisingly unimpressed by this approach. Just to make things worse, ignoring plumbing problems can create big problems later. We’re talking about rotted floors, stinky kitchens, and a water bill that’ll eat up all that money you were saving for the latest Madden Football. So that leaves you with a choice: fix the problem or have someone fix the problem.
You think you’re going to do it yourself? Might be a good idea to have a reality check before you start cutting pipe. Are you truly ready to take on your home’s plumbing repairs? If you are ready, you’ve got repair skills you’re confident in. We’re talking about your mechanical aptitude here. Can you handle nuts and bolts, fittings and pipe, putty and grease? You’ve got the tools you need to do the job – or no qualms about getting them. You actually have time to fix the problem. If you’re reading through this list and feel that sinking feeling in your stomach, not unlike the first time you stood at the top of the ski slope and realized that the only thing that was going to get you to the bottom of the mountain were these ridiculously thin sticks strapped to your boots, this is a sign that you’re better off calling in a plumber.
But let’s say you’re not afraid. You’re a pretty smart dude, after all. You’re confident in your skills. You’ve got a tool box that Bob Vila would envy. The whole weekend’s free and you’re going to fix up your house. The time has come say to yourself, “Can this job really be done by the typical homeowner?” The answer to that question is not always yes – even when we look at the most common plumbing complaints: dripping faucets, leaking pipes, blocked toilets and slow, stinky drains.
Let’s start with those dripping faucets. A night listening to the steady sound of falling water can be enough to drive anyone over the edge – and really, the world is stressful enough. Who needs that? Secure silence – and save mad cash on your water bill – by replacing the relevant washers, o-rings, and fittings. Leaks that originate at the end of the faucet are easier to repair than those that are at the base of the faucet. This is a great way to become acquainted with the exciting world of home plumbing repair. Most homeowners can tackle this task – don’t forget to shut the water off first!
Leaking pipes can be a homeowner’s nightmare. You might not know that your pipes are leaking. It’s often not until the tell-tale signs of water damage – stained wallboards, warped floors, or stained carpeting – appear that the problem becomes apparent. Repairing leaking pipes is often best left to your Glen Ellyn, IL plumber: while it may be possible to address leaks at the joints by tightening the pipes and applying a sealant, holes, breaks, or splits in the body of your pipes require replacing the entire pipe. This is a difficult job, often in close quarters, and can be very time consuming.
We can’t forget the original plumbing nightmare: a clogged toilet, backed up pipes filling your home with….well, let’s just say unpleasant stuff. This is the plumbing repair that no one ignores! Use your plunger to dislodge clogs and obstructions. If that fails, call in the pros. They have the heavy duty specialized tools required to clear sewer lines. It doesn’t matter if your line is clogged by grease, toilet paper, diapers, toddler’s lost toys, tree roots, or worse: a skilled professional can do the job far more quickly than any homeowner wielding an undersized snake.
Slow and stinky drains, in the kitchen or bathroom, are also a result of clogged pipes. Grease, food scraps, dish soap and more goes down the drain – but then accumulates, keeping the water from draining out. You may have heard that you can dissolve clogs by pouring hot water down the drain, but that’s an old wives’ tale. At best, you’ll move that clog further along the pipe, where it’s more difficult to resolve. Commonly available drain cleaning chemicals work sometimes – but these chemicals are harsh on the environment. The way to sidestep this problem entirely? Regular drain cleaning, which your Glen Ellyn, IL plumber can perform for you. For a small charge, you totally eliminate one of the most common plumbing complaints – and that leaves your weekends free for some serious Guitar Hero!