ABCs of DIY Plumbing

Because of the cost of hiring an expert plumber and because of the great feeling you get when you’ve the done your job yourself, more and more people are learning all they can about the plumbing in their homes and what to do when things go wrong.

As they say knowledge is power and people should start by understanding that the plumbing system in their homes has three distinct parts,

  • The supply carries water to your home’s fixtures
  • The drain waste system carries used water away
  • The vent system carries away sewer gases and maintains proper pressure inside the pipes.

There are several problems that the average homeowner can encounter and they can work on themselves once they understand the plumbing in their homes and what they can tackle without too much difficulty.

Clearing Blocked Drains And Toilets

One of the more common problems encountered by the average homeowner are clogged and blocked drains and toilets. Although the experts suggest here that chemical drain cleaners can be used to prevent clogs they should never be used to clear them.

Here it’s recommended that the plunger and the auger are the tools that will get the best results. To get the best results when you’re plunging, there are several things that you need to look at. You should choose a plunger that has a suction cup large enough to cover a drain opening completely.

The clogged fixture should have enough water in it to create a seal. Cover all the other outlets before you start and make sure that you cover the plunger seal with some sort of petroleum jelly to increase the suction.

Using The Auger

One of the other options that you have is to use an auger to break the clog. Here you need to feed the line into the drain or trap until it stops. There should be some sort of handle at the other end that you can rotate clockwise to break the clog. It’s important that you should never rotate the handle counterclockwise as you can damage the cable.
As the cable works its way into the pipe you can loosen the nut on the handle near the cable and then force more of the cable down. Remember to tighten the nut back up after you’ve moved it down.

When you feel the clog break free, you can pull the auger out slowly but you should have a pail at the ready to catch anything that’s been caught on the cable on the way back up. It’s important that you flush the drain with hot water after you’re done and lubricate the auger before you put it away.

Learning how to do some essential elements of your home plumbing is often as easy as finding the right tools and learning how to use them. When you understand how the plumbing in your house works, you’ll be better equipped to deal with any of the little emergencies that crop up.