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DIY Plumbing Tips: A Guide to Fixing Common Issues

In every household, plumbing issues are inevitable. Taking care of blocked drains and dripping faucet plumbing problems can be daunting. However, with the proper knowledge and a bit of DIY spirit, you can tackle many common plumbing issues independently. 

This guide explores examples of common plumbing problems, how to identify them, DIY troubleshooting techniques, and a comprehensive DIY guide to 15 common plumbing issues. We’ll also discuss safety precautions and when to call in the professionals. Reliable Plumbing Service in Clifton, New Jersey, has been ready to help local homeowners with plumbing issues for almost twenty years. Whether it’s repairs, emergencies, clogged drains, water heater problems, sewer line cleaning, or anything else – BJC Clifton Plumbers is here for you!

Examples of Common Plumbing Issues

A leaky faucet might seem minor, but the constant dripping can have more significant consequences than irritating sounds. Beyond being a nuisance, a leaking faucet wastes water, contributing to water scarcity and environmental concerns. Moreover, the cumulative effect of water wastage can result in higher utility bills over time. Consider checking for worn-out washers or damaged O-rings within the faucet mechanism to address this issue. Replacing these components can often end the incessant dripping and help you conserve water and money.

Clogged Drains 

Drain clogs are a typical plumbing issue. Many homeowners encounter. The accumulation of hair, soap scum, and debris over time can lead to slow drains or complete blockages. In bathrooms, hair and soap scum are frequent culprits, while kitchens often face issues due to food particles and grease. To tackle this problem, use a drain snake or plunger to remove the obstruction. Baking soda and vinegar form a more natural solution, followed by hot water to break down the buildup. Regular drain maintenance prevents these clogs and keeps your plumbing system flowing smoothly.

Running Toilets

 A running toilet disrupts the peace in your bathroom and can also squander a lot of water, which raises the cost of your water bill. The constant sound of water running indicates a malfunction in the toilet’s flushing mechanism. This can often be attributed to a faulty flapper or an improperly adjusted float. DIY troubleshooting for a running toilet involves inspecting and, if necessary, replacing these components to restore normal flushing function. Addressing this issue promptly saves water and prevents unnecessary financial strain.

Low Water Pressure

Reduced water pressure can be a frustrating plumbing issue, affecting daily tasks such as showering and washing dishes. This problem may be caused by mineral buildup in the aerator, hidden leaks in the plumbing system, or issues with the water supply line. To improve water pressure, clean the aerator by letting it soak in vinegar to remove mineral buildup. If the problem persists, checking for leaks in both visible and concealed pipes is essential. Regular maintenance and timely troubleshooting can ensure consistent water pressure throughout your home.

Burst Pipes

Burst pipes are a more severe plumbing issue that can lead to potential water damage in your home. Cold temperatures, especially during winter, can lead to the freezing and expansion of the water within the pipes, rupturing the pipe. Additionally, wear and tear over time can weaken pipes, making them susceptible to bursting. To address this issue, turning off the water supply immediately is crucial to prevent further damage. Applying epoxy can provide a temporary fix for small leaks until professional assistance is sought. However, significant pipe bursts require immediate attention. Contact a certified plumber to guarantee a complete and long-lasting fix.

By being aware of the origins and possible effects of these common plumbing issues, homeowners can proactively address them promptly and effectively, fostering a well-maintained plumbing system in their homes.

Identifying the Problem

Before diving into DIY solutions, it’s crucial to remember the specific plumbing issue. Inspect the affected area, listen for unusual sounds, and check for visible signs of leaks or blockages. Understanding the problem is the first step towards effective DIY troubleshooting.

DIY Troubleshooting

Once you’ve identified the issue, it’s time to troubleshoot. For example, a leaky faucet may require replacing a worn-out washer, while a clogged drain is frequently cleansed with a plunger or a vinegar and baking soda combination. Consult online tutorials and plumbing guides for step-by-step instructions tailored to your problem.

DIY Guide to 15 Common Plumbing Problems & Safety Precautions:


  • Turn off the water supply to the affected faucet.
  • Remove the handle and faucet assembly to access the washer.
  • Replace the worn-out washer and tighten loose connections.
  • Reassemble the faucet and turn the water supply back on.


  • To remove the obstruction and produce suction, use a plunger.
  • If the plunger doesn’t work, try half a cup of baking soda combined with vinegar.
  • Let the mixture stand for thirty minutes. And flush the drain with hot water to break down debris.


  • Locate the issue in the toilet tank.
  • Adjust the float to control water levels or replace the flapper if worn.
  • Check for a faulty fill valve and replace it if necessary to stop continuous flushing.


  • Clean the aerator at the end of the faucet by soaking it in vinegar.
  • Remove mineral deposits that may be restricting water flow.
  • Check for hidden leaks in visible pipes and connections.


  • To stop more damage, immediately turn off the water supply.
  • Patch small leaks with epoxy for a temporary seal.
  • Call a professional plumber for significant pipe bursts and comprehensive repairs.


  • Inspect the thermostat settings and adjust if necessary.
  • Clear the sediment accumulation in the water heater tank by flushing it.
  • Check for leaks in the connections and replace faulty components.


  • Thaw frozen pipes using a hairdryer or hot towels.
  • Apply heat evenly along the pipe until water flow is restored.
  • Insulate pipes in colder areas to prevent freezing.


  • Shut down the shower’s water source.
  • Please take out the showerhead and give it a deep clean. Mineral deposits.
  • Replace the showerhead washer if necessary.


  • Could you turn off the disposal and unplug it?
  • Use a hex key to turn the disposal to dislodge the jam manually.
  • Reset the disposal and run cold water to clear debris.


  • Check the power source and ensure it’s connected.
  • Clean the pump and pit of debris.
  • Fill the pit with water to test the pump.


  • After flushing the toilet, empty the tank and turn off the water supply.
  • Take out the toilet and put the wax ring back on.
  • Reattach the water supply and put the toilet back in place.


  • Drown a combination of vinegar and baking soda in the drain.
  • Follow with hot water to eliminate odors.
  • Regularly clean drains to prevent buildup.


  • Turn off the water supply and unplug the machine.
  • Inspect hoses for cracks or bulges.
  • Replace faulty hoses with high-quality, reinforced ones.


  • Test and lubricate shutoff valves annually.
  • Replace valves that are difficult to turn or leaking.
  • Know the location of main shutoff valves for emergencies.


  • Use a sewer auger or call a professional for stubborn clogs.
  • Avoid flushing non-biodegradable items.
  • Schedule regular sewer line inspections.

Safety Precautions

  1. Always turn off the water supply before starting any DIY plumbing repair.
  2. Put on safety equipment, such as gloves and goggles, to prevent injuries.
  3. Exercise caution when using tools, especially in confined spaces.
  4. If in doubt or the plumbing issue is beyond your expertise, consult plumbing guides or online tutorials or seek professional advice. 
  5. Attempting complex repairs without proper knowledge may lead to more significant problems.

When to Call a Professional

While most plumbing problems can be fixed by hand, there are some circumstances when hiring a professional is necessary. It is the wisest choice. If you encounter complex problems like significant pipe leaks, sewer line issues, or extensive water damage, it’s time to enlist the help of a licensed plumber.

Taking a proactive approach to DIY plumbing can save you time and money. You can successfully tackle many plumbing challenges by understanding common issues, identifying problems early on, and following safety precautions. However, it’s essential to recognize your limitations and know when to call a professional plumber to ensure a long-lasting and effective solution to more complex plumbing issues. With these DIY plumbing tips, you’ll be better equipped to maintain a smoothly running home plumbing system.