Most people would love to have a personal plumber or some plumbing skills to tackle whatever pipe-related problems come their way. This year, why not make it a resolution to learn some DIY? Even if you aren’t experienced with handling tools, these plumbing hacks are bound to save you both time and money.
Let’s get started.
No Plunger? No Problem!
When the toilet is clogged, most people reach for a nifty tool called the plunger. But what if you’re visiting someone’s house or are at a party? No one wants to deal with that embarrassment.
Here’s how you unclog a toilet without a plunger:
- Step 1: Stop the flow of water. This means closing the flapper by opening the water tank at the back of the toilet and make sure the plug connected to the chain is in place.
- Step 2: Find something to hold water, like a cup. Fill it with hot water—the hotter, the more effective.
- Step 3: Pour the hot water into the toilet. Heat can help break up whatever is clogging the toilet. Wait a few minutes to see if it works.
- Step 4: If the first round of hot water doesn’t work, add some more. You can also add soap or shampoo and/or baking soda to the mixture to help breakdown the clog.
Stop Dripping Faucets
Although dripping faucets often require some work to repair, you can use this temporary solution to quiet the sound. Tie a piece of string around the faucet. It should be long enough to reach the drain. The droplets will soak into the string and run down the length of it, right to the drain, preventing that annoying drip-drip-drip.
In the meantime, schedule an appointment with your local plumber to get the leaky faucet fixed.
Stopping Flushing Dollars
If you want to save some water, put a 20-ounce plastic bottle in the corner of the toilet’s water tank. This causes displacement in the tank that allows for less water to be used. You want the bottle to sink and stay in place—never let it float freely. Also, make sure the bottle isn’t in the way of any mechanisms. Another option is to switch to an efficiency flapper.
Unclogging The Sink
Sometimes, the kitchen sink swallows more than it bargained for, like food scraps, grease, and oils. You can remove the clog by taking ¼ cup of dish detergent, preferably blue Dawn, down the drain. Let the detergent sit for about 20 minutes before washing it down with boiling hot water. The detergent works to emulsify grease, and the boiling water will soften and wash it away.
You can also use a mixture of distilled vinegar and baking soda to break up clogs. Use either method over chemicals, since those can corrode your pipes and make matters worse.
What’s Lost Is Found
Have a kid that loves flushing toys down the toilet? Or maybe you dropped a precious ring by accident? Don’t use a plunger. Grab a wet/dry vacuum instead. Before switching on the vacuum, remove the filter. Then, place the hose against the drain of the toilet and turn it on. You should be able to hear the object or even feel it get sucked into the vacuum. If the object is tiny, try a crevice attachment, since that will make it easier to pick up smaller things.
Plumbing problems don’t always require a plumber, especially when you are dealing with accidents or common issues like a congested toilet. Keep these tips in mind, so the next time you are caught unaware by ominous gurgling or dripping, you’ll be prepared.