Over the past two weeks, we talked about DIY plumbing jobs. Last week, we covered toilet repair in detail. To continue this series, let’s consider DIY projects for sink and shower repair. Plumbing issues with sinks and showers are common and can be expensive when adding the cost of a plumber to the bill. To cut costs and increase your DIY plumbing confidence, learn to make the repairs yourself. Time to tackle those sinks and showers!
Plumbing Issues with Sinks and Showers
Sinks are found in multiple areas of your home. Because of this, sink repair is a common plumbing project. The following things can go wrong with your sink:
- Water leaks
- P-Trap clogs
Showers can also have multiple issues and are often one of the first places in your home to show age. Signs of shower problems include:
- Water leaks
- Poor or uneven water pressure
- Lime build-up on shower head
To prevent water damage and make your sinks and showers function at optimal levels, keep reading for DIY instructions on dealing with common plumbing issues with sinks and showers.
Water leakage is probably the most common plumbing issue for sinks, and is usually caused by a clogged P-trap or loose pipe connections. With a clogged P-trap, water can back-up to the drain and create leaks. Loose pipes can create pesky leaks. According to Nicolas Iarocci, “The Home Source Guy”, there are multiple ways to stop leaks in your sinks. Watch his YouTube video for diagnosis of leak location and ways to stop the leak. He suggests that when trying to decide what is causing the leak you need to check supply lines, the nut at the faucet, sprayers (in kitchen sinks), all under sink pipe connections, and the P-trap. Once you know what part of the plumbing is causing your leak, follow his instructions for repair solutions. Because you are a confident do-it-yourselfer, you can save money by fixing your leaky sink.
P-trap clogging is also a common problem in sinks. The P-trap is very important, as it keeps sewer gases from entering your home, and catches sediment from items disposed of in the sink. This sediment can build up over time and create clogs in the P-trap. Networx offers simple instructions for addressing a clogged P-trap. They also recommend calling a plumber if the issue is not in the P-trap. The clog is possibly further down the line and may need to be addressed by a professional. If you have a home warranty, the larger issues may be covered.
You know how to repair water leaks and P-traps in your sinks, and your sinks are draining freely. Let’s move on to see what you can do yourself when your shower isn’t working properly.
Water leakage is as prevalent in showers as it is in sinks. The causes that can be handled without a plumber are tightening of bolts, replacement of bad valves in the shower head or the diverter valve in a tub/shower combination, and caulk problems. Issues in the pressure balancing valves cause leaks and uneven or low water pressure and can require replacement. Home Advisor not only gives step by step instructions for replacement of multiple types of valves and tub spout diverters for various brands of faucets, they also tell you when it’s time to give up the DIY job and call a professional.
Shower head lime build-up is another problem you can fix yourself. You can remove the shower head and soak it in warm water and vinegar or according to Cleanipedia, for faster results, there are commercial cleaning products for this shower problem. If your shower head is beyond cleaning, replacement may be your best bet.
As we’ve discussed over the past three weeks, there are DIY yourself plumbing jobs and plumbing jobs requiring the expertise of a plumber. Plumbing issues with sinks and showers fall into both categories, as do the toilet repairs we reviewed last week. We hope you are now confident in your ability to do some plumbing jobs yourself and aware that some plumbing repairs require a plumber.