DIY Bathroom Plumbing Repairs
Performing do-it-yourself bathroom plumbing repairs requires an excellent understanding of the different bathroom fixtures as well as pipes and water fixtures that are present in the bathroom.
For many homeowners, fixing plumbing issues in the bathroom is often left to the professionals for a variety of reasons – mainly because of not having appropriate tools for the job as well as managing any unexpected issues.
Nevertheless, here are some plumbing issues in the bathroom that you can fix yourself.
Leaky Bathroom Faucets
Like any other leak from a water fixture in the house, the most likely cause of a leaking bathroom faucet is a worn-out washer / O-ring or a defective cartridge, depending on the type of faucet. Replacing this should not be very difficult. You will only need some basic tools to disassemble the faucet to reach the worn-out O-ring / washer or damaged cartridge. Simply remove the worn-out or damaged parts and replace them with new ones. It is also possible to remove the faucet head and bring it to your hardware store so they can check which part is leaking.
Caution: turn off the water supply lines under the sink before you disassemble the bathroom faucet. If you don’t have a shutoff valve for the sink, turn off the main water supply (usually out by the street).
There are a lot of similarities with kitchen faucets, read this article on kitchen faucets for further information.
Clogged Bathroom Sinks
A clogged sink can be a real headache. Fortunately, there are very simple solutions to unclogging your bathroom sink. All you need is a pot of boiling water, half a cup of baking soda, and a cup of vinegar mixed in a cup of boiling hot water and you can have your bathroom sink working again. You only need to pour the boiling water down the drain of your bathroom sink then immediately dump in the baking soda.
Let it work its magic for about 5 minutes before pouring the boiling hot water + vinegar solution. Cover this with your drain plug and let it sit for at least 10 minutes.
Afterwards, you simply just have to flush it again with boiling water. This works like a charm because the hot water effectively melts and loosens grimy sludge in your drain before the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) chemically disrupts the bonds of the grimy sludge. The vinegar-hot water solution shocks the whole system and flushes it down the drain.
If this does not work, you may need to replace the PVC pipes under your bathroom sink. You will need the appropriate-sized wrench for this although some can actually be loosened by giving it a quick and forceful nudge. Make sure to place a bucket or a basin under the P-trap before loosening the couplings.
Carefully lower the assembly and dump the waste water into the basin or bucket. Make sure to clean the pipe threads, the sink drain, and the main drain pipe before installing your new PVC pipes. Reassemble and fasten all couplings.
If done correctly you can save up to several hundreds of dollars on bathroom plumbing repairs. On average, a DIY unclogging of the bathroom sink can range anywhere from $10 to $75. If you seek a plumber, this can range anywhere from $50 to $500 for a simple bathroom sink clog. If the clog is on a main drain line, it can cost you anywhere from $100 to $900.
Dealing with a Shower Leak
Your shower can be a great source of water damage to the rest of your house. This is because there are so many potential problems that can result from a shower leak. While it is often easy to spot a shower leak – a musty smell, darker tiles, damp patches on surfaces, or even signs of leak in the ceiling directly underneath your 2nd story bathroom – some may go unnoticed for a while and manifest in unexpected areas of the house.
Shower leaks are often caused by problems in the flooring of your bathroom or shower, leaks in the water supply lines, leaks in the shower drain, and/or leaks in the faucet or even the shower head. Pinholes or cracks in the tile grout might also be a source of leaks.
The absence of puddle flange, fluid aprons, and waterproofing membranes can also lead to shower leaks.
If the cause of the shower leak is superficial, for example a leak in the faucet or even a missing tile or a severely eroded grout, you can quickly fix these problems. However, if the problem requires fixing by accessing the different pipes and plumbing fixtures within the walls of your home or even check on the existence of a waterproofing membrane underneath the floor in your shower, then there is only one thing that you can do – call the professionals at Staggs Plumbing. These are the types of shower leaks that no DIYers are fully capable of performing without creating more serious (and expensive) problems.
Depending on the nature of your shower leak, the cost of fixing it can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. For example, installing a new waterproofing membrane can easily set you back for around $1,000 to $2,000 or even more. Replacing your shower tiles can cost you around $3 to $10 per square foot.
Bathtub Plumbing Issues
There are a number of ways to unclog a bathtub drain. This can include the following:
- Flush the drain with boiling water and immediately pour a mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Let it sit overnight then flush it with boiling water the following morning.
- Mix equal parts of baking soda and table salt and pour the mixture down the drain. Let it sit for half an hour before flushing it with boiling water.
- Pour a quarter of a cup of dishwashing liquid in the drain. Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes before pouring in boiling water. Use a plunger to dislodge the grime.
- Pour down the drain a mixture of equal parts baking soda and vinegar. Place the stopper and let it sit for an hour. Fill the bathtub with hot water. Remove the stopper.
- Use a drain snake or a bent wire hanger to remove debris from the drain.
- Pour caustic soda but be sure to wear goggles and rubber gloves.
- Use wet and dry vacuum.
There are plumbing problems in the bathroom that you can do yourself. However, for the real serious ones, only a professional bathroom plumbing expert like Staggs Plumbing can guarantee an excellent job.