Plumbing Repair

Professional plumbers do the dirty work

Whether it's a sluggish sink, a stopped-up toilet or a leaky faucet, sooner or later, every homeowner faces a plumbing repair problem. While some issues are best left to a plumbing repair service professional, many minor problems can be fixed with the proper tools and know-how.

DIY Plumbing Tools

If you are serious about trying your hand at DIY plumbing repairs, you will need the proper plumbing tools. Here are the most commonly used plumbing supplies and tools:

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  • Sink auger, also called a canister auger or drum auger, used for clearing clogged sinks and tubs.
  • Toilet auger, also known as a water closet auger, used for clearing toilet clogs.
  • Flange plunger, which uses vacuum force to clear clogged toilets.
  • Cup plunger, similar to the flange plunger, but with a cup-like shape to fit sinks, tubs and showers to clear clogs.
  • Adjustable pipe wrench to provide leverage and grip when working on plumbing pipes.
  • Faucet valve seat wrench, used when working on faucets.
  • Faucet valve reseating tool, which is another tool for fixing faucets.
  • Teflon tape, an essential tool for the prevention of leaks at threaded plumbing joints.
  • Faucet packing and washers, used by plumbers in many types of repairs.

Basic Plumbing Repairs

When attempting any plumbing repair, be sure to first turn off the water supply. If you have performed the repair before, then you are most likely ready to go. Otherwise, you may need some instruction first. Consult a home repair book or find how-to instruction on the Internet, and read carefully before you begin. Some fairly easy plumbing repairs include:

  • Unclogging a sink drain
  • Unclogging a toilet
  • Unclogging a shower or bathtub drain
  • Fixing a leaky faucet
  • Installing a new faucet
  • Fixing a garbage disposal
  • Installing a new garbage disposal
  • Fixing a toilet that keeps running

Hiring a Plumber

For more complex repairs, such as replacing a water heater or installing new plumbing pipes for a bathroom renovation, be sure you know how to proceed, or call a local plumber for his advice and possibly a free estimate. Unless you are quite competent at plumbing repairs, some jobs are best left to professionals. The top plumbers are certified by state licensing boards and are known as master plumbers; if you hire one, expect excellent results and to most likely pay a premium for their work.

To save money when hiring a plumbing professional, try to schedule their visit for normal business hours during a weekday. Most plumbing services charge extra for work performed during evenings or weekends.