5 Plumbing Tips for the DIY Homeowner

You work hard. You play hard. When you’re home away from the treacherous monotony of the office, you want to revel in your humble abode. This could consist of barbecuing chicken in the frigid temperatures, or taking a long, hot shower. That’s the life, indeed!

But what happens when your plumbing breaks down? Well, it’s time to awake from this solitude.

Before you call the plumber and spend an exorbitant sum of money to remedy the situation, you can grab your toolbelt, plunger, and the do-it-yourself (DIY) mentality. In other words, you can morph into the weekend plumber and fix the clogs and leaks in your bathroom or kitchen.

Let’s face it: there is nothing more satisfying than repairing a problem in your own home. That said, you need to be equipped not just with tools but the knowledge.

Here are five weekend plumbing tips for the DIY homeowner:

1. Hot Water is Your Best Friend

A clogged toilet. A clogged kitchen sink drain. A clogged shower drain. We all know how frustrating it can be, especially if you have just completed your business in the toilet.

Rather than getting frustrated, calling the plumber, and grabbing a pair of rubber gloves, there is a rudimentary remedy: hot water.

That’s right. Hot water can easily flush everything down the drain and de-clog the plumbing.

All you need? A bucket, fill it with hot water, and gradually pour it into the drain.

2. Lemon & Vinegar for Your Garbage Disposal

A lot of stuff goes down your garbage disposal, particularly items that you shouldn’t necessarily drop into the mechanism. Like the hot water solution, there is another natural solution to take advantage of: lemon vinegar.

Akin to hot water, you mix the particles and slowly pour into the garbage disposal. It isn’t the be-all, end-all answer to your garbage disposal woes, but it can alleviate the concerns.

3. Turn Off Water, Fish for Junk

Here is what you shouldn’t do: fish for junk in your drains when the water valve is still turned on. What you should do instead is turn off the water and then proceed to pull out the hair, the fingernail clippings, and your wedding ring. This is a lot safer and far more effective.

One more thing: we do not have any recommendations should you become nauseas.

4. Frozen Pipes? Use the Plumbing Insulation

Old Man Winter has really pummeled the Great White North into submission. The bitter cold, the heavy snowfall, the horrific conditions. Unfortunately, it isn’t just our bones and the roads that are impacted: the home’s pipes become frozen.

But you don’t need to concede defeat right away. To prevent frozen pipes, you can apply some insulation to the pipes to ensure they are not affected by the frigid cold. Also, some experts say that you should allow some drips from your pipes to ensure freezing doesn’t happen.

Grab insulation tape, wrap it around the pipe, and have peace of mind.

5. See a Problem, Fix the Problem

A leak. A clogged drain. A drip somewhere in the house. In other words, if you see a problem, then fix the problem. You shouldn’t attempt to avoid a hiccup, or neglect a plumbing repair. The longer you delay it, the worse it will become for your home’s plumbing needs. If you don’t know how to fix a problem, simply call a plumber for help.

Yes, you just want to walk around your home in your pajamas, listening to the Four Tops’s “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch.” But sometimes your home’s setbacks need to be fixed.


Kelly Young is a writer born and raised in Toronto. Proud of her simple and cozy life, a perfect evening for Kelly would be to snuggle up in bed with her cat and a well-written historic memoir.