Some types of plumbing jobs require a professional every time, but other types of plumbing maintenance can be accessible to handy homeowners as well. The amount of home maintenance you do may depend on how much experience you have with home improvements and plumbing work.
Here are some of the types of home plumbing maintenance you can perform on your bathroom plumbing.
Cleaning Hair Clogs From Shower
In some cases, a shower drain clog may consist of a wad of hair in the drain’s P-trap. In this case, you may be able to remove the clog with a simple plastic plumbing snake. If a gentle plastic snake doesn’t do the trick, you’ll want to call a professional; don’t try to use more advanced tools such as metal augers without the proper training, as they can damage your drain.
To use a plastic drain snake, you simply insert the end into the drain and turn the handle to twist it around until it snags any hair it finds inside the drain. If the drain clogs frequently, consider using a mesh drain screen to prevent future clogs. You can also have your drains professionally cleaned on a regular basis to prevent the buildup of grime inside the drains.
Changing Faucet Washers
Faucet washers tend to wear out after a few years, which can cause the valve not to close completely and result in a leaking or dripping faucet. If you’re confident in your ability to take a faucet apart and then put it back together correctly, you may be able to switch these washers out yourself every few years to avoid any drips.
In fact, with a compression faucet, the replacement process is relatively simple. However, if you’re unsure what type of faucet you have or have less experience taking faucets apart and putting them back together, you can simply have your plumbing contractor perform the replacement at your next plumbing maintenance visit.
Replacing Toilet Flapper
Changing the toilet flapper is one of the simple toilet maintenance tasks. Since the flapper is made of a rubbery material that doesn’t perform as well once it hardens with age, you may need a new flapper every so often. One sign you may need a new flapper is if your toilet runs constantly because water keeps leaking past the flapper into the toilet bowl.
If you look inside your toilet’s tank, you’ll typically see that the flush handle on the tank is connected (typically by a chain and lever) to a flapper at the bottom of the bowl. If you find an identical flapper at the hardware store, you can simply remove the old flapper and snap or slide the new one in.
Checking for Leaks
You should periodically inspect your bathroom plumbing for leaks, so you’ll know if you need to call a plumber for repairs. Some of the places you should inspect include:
- Around the base of sink and tub faucets and showerheads while they’re in operation
- Underneath the sink, especially the water supply lines and drains
- Around the perimeter of the bathtub; seal failures here can cause leaks and water damage
- Behind the toilet where it connects to the water supply line
You can use a facial tissue to wipe down the outsides of pipes when checking for moisture since these tissues are very moisture-sensitive. However, if you find moisture on a pipe that has cold water in it, make sure you know the difference between condensation and an actual leak before you call a plumber.
These are some of the relatively straightforward maintenance tasks you can perform at home to care for your bathroom plumbing. These and similar plumbing tasks can either work well as part of your DIY maintenance schedule or can become professional jobs when your plumber arrives for regularly scheduled maintenance visits.
For more information about plumbing maintenance and repairs, get in touch with your local plumbing expert Moon Valley Plumbing and Rooter today. We’ll be happy to help with anything from installation to replacements to maintenance and repairs of your plumbing system.