5 Plumbing Tricks Every Homeowner Should Know

Let’s face it: the current generation of homeowners and apartment dwellers are having a difficult time performing the simplest of household tasks, whether it is changing a light bulb or boiling a pot of water. Why should plumbing be any different?

Although professional plumbers are always a phone call away, some of the most elementary of plumbing troubles can be remedied with some elbow grease and common sense.

Rather than sitting around and waiting for that white van to arrive on your driveway – or, if you live in a building, waiting for your superintendent to get to your apartment and give you lip – you can come up with a short-term, or even permanent, solution on the spot.

Here are five plumbing tricks every homeowner should know on weekends:

1. You Don’t Need Chemicals to Remove Clogs

It is commonly believed that you need a bunch of chemicals to remove a clog in the kitchen sink, in the toilet, or in the bathtub drain. Phooey! Products that specialize in eliminating clogs are designed for the hardest of clogs.

You shouldn’t fall for this idea ever.

So, what should you have and employ when you have a clog on a Saturday morning or Sunday evening? It’s simple: a plunger and a bucket of hot water.

For instance, if your toilet isn’t flushing and it is filled with a lot of leftovers, then you should grab a bucket of hot water and slowly pour it down the drain. After a few moments, grab a plunger and plunge up and down for a minute. Problem solved!

2. A Plumber to Replace Parts? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Is it a daunting and messy task to replace parts in your toilet tank or on your bathroom sink? Nope.

Oftentimes, a worn-down flapper or a broken chain in the toilet tank can be the cause of your washroom woes. These can easily be replaced with inexpensive parts at the department store.

Many bathroom sinks experience leaks from old faucets or a tab may be broken. These can be replaced with a couple of screws and a screwdriver. That’s all you need.

You don’t need to hire a plumber to fix something that you can do in a few minutes and for a few bucks!

3. Thread Tape is a Temporary Remedy

When you want a temporary remedy until the plumber makes his triumphant arrival in a couple of days, then all you need to utilize is some thread tape.

If you ever watch the home improvement television shows, they will usually suggest taking advantage of thread sealing compound. Thread tape is better because it won’t drip or smear.

Thread tape is multi purpose so you can use it for a wide array of projects. Just be sure that you purchase tape that is thick.

4. Drain a Quarter of Water from Tank               


Not experiencing enough heat in your shower? Is the kitchen sink water too cold to properly sterilize your dishes? You may need to take a trip to the basement to check on your water tank.

If you’re not someone who routinely inspects the water tank, then here is what you do: drain about a quarter of water from your water tank. By doing this, you get rid of sediment that limits the heat transfer and reduces the efficiency.

Moving forward, you should incorporate this into your schedule every three months or so.

5. Poor Showerheads Just Need TLC

There are typically two problems that most people experience with their showerheads: a leak or a clog. And you don’t need a plumber to fix either.

Here is how you tackle these issues:

  • Clog: take off the showerhead and place it in a bowl with warm water and vinegar for at least 30 minutes. Use a brush to get rid of mineral deposits and place it under water.
  • Leak: grab that thread tape and wrap it around the leaky areas of the showerhead.

Of course, this should only be a short-term solution; perhaps it’s time for a new showerhead.