Common Plumbing Repairs

Plumber angies awardWhat is one of the most critical and costly types of repairs for homeowners today?  If you answered plumbing, then you are correct.   We are going to look at a simple plumbing repair that can be done by any person regardless of whether their greatest plumbing skill is just flushing the toilet or they hold Masters-level training in plumbing.

Sometimes, a plumbing repair job may require picking up a new sink or toilet, a charge that can add up, so it is only natural for the plumber to pass that cost onto the client.  The last reason is a nefarious one.  Most plumbers assume that the homeowners in question are completely ignorant about plumbing repair.  However, homeowners do not have to remain that way about plumbing.  Knowledge is power, and in this case knowledge can be a budget saver.

Do you have a leaky faucet?  While this can become a costly inconvenience it does not have to if the problem is nipped in the bud early on.  First, gather the tools that you are going to need.  In this case a Phillips head screwdriver, a pair of pliers, and a combination wrench.  Another item to have is a small cup or bowl with you as you work.  The cup or bowl can be used to hold nuts, screws, and washers so they do not disappear during the job.  After verifying, that the water has been shut off it is time to take the faucet apart.

  • First, remove the handles from the faucet using the Phillips head screwdriver.    This next part may require the pliers.  You are going to have to either lift or pry the handle off.
  • Then unscrew the packing nut beneath the handle.  This will expose the rest of the stem. Remove the stem by turning it counterclockwise (remember lefty-loosey, righty-tighty).  If it is difficult to turn, you may want to use the pliers.
  • When the stem has been removed, examine the threads.  If the threads are dirty, simply clean them and reinstall the stem.  If the threads are worn then the stem will have to be replaced (while you are at the store pick up a set of washers too.  It never hurts to replace everything, and the problem could have been with the washers and not the stem).  After you have cleaned or replaced the stem, it is time to put the sink back together.
  • Put the washers on the stem and screw the stem back into place turning it clockwise.
  • Screw the packing nut back on then place the handle on and use the pliers to tighten the handle clockwise.

Voila!  You have just completed your first plumbing repair without having to hire a plumber.  Many plumbing repairs are that easy.  All it takes is knowledge and the right tools.