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Simple DIY Plumbing Fixes

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Calling a plumber can be a costly decision, especially when the problem is somewhat minor, such as a leaking pipe under your sink or a showerhead with low water pressure. You can save yourself money and become handier around your downtown San Diego condo by tackling the following simple plumbing repairs yourself.

Running Toilet

A running toilet isn’t just annoying. It can waste up to 200 gallons of water every day, adding up to $70 per month to your water bill. You may see a trickle of water running from the rim to the water in your toilet bowl, or you may hear the sound of running water. This problem is typically easy to fix. Remove your tank lid and check your fill tube. It may have fallen off the water stream, or you may be missing your overflow tube. Reattach and press firmly into the fill valve, making sure it sits one inch above the rim of the overflow tube. Next, adjust your tank’s fill height by checking your float. If the float is too high, you’ll have a weak flush, but a low float will cause the toilet to run. Check the fill level mark on the back of the tank and the mark on your overflow tube, then adjust the tank float as needed. Finally, you may need to adjust your flapper chain or replace the flapper, which can wear out over time. Look for a universal flapper if you can’t find one exactly like what you have.

Clogged Drain

Unless the clog is very deep, you can probably handle it on your own without a plumber. Avoid using drain cleaners, which can damage your plumbing system over time. Instead, try pouring vinegar and baking soda down the drain. You should also invest in a basic drain snake. A flexible drain snake is effective for removing hair clogs from deep within your drain using small hooks that cling to the hair. A toilet auger is designed to safely clear your toilet drain without scratching your porcelain. Augers usually cost as little as $10, but even a professional-quality auger costs less than a plumber.

Showerheads with Low Water Pressure

Upgrading to a low-flow showerhead can save up to 30 percent on your water bill, and it’s easy to do. Use a wrench to loosen the current showerhead without too much force. Remove any rubber gaskets or plumber’s tape from the pipe and clean away any residue. Wrap the threads with Teflon tape before installing your new showerhead. If your showerhead has low water pressure or you notice water isn’t coming out of all the openings, you may not need a new showerhead: the problem may be hard water buildup. Fill a plastic bag with white vinegar and tie it around the showerhead. Allow it to sit overnight to dissolve the deposits, then remove.

Toilet that Needs Replacing

Replacing a toilet may seem like a big job, but it isn’t as difficult as it seems. Start by draining the water from your existing toilet by turning off the water supply valve at the toilet and flushing. Next, disconnect the water supply tube with an adjustable wrench, then remove the floor bolts holding the toilet in place. You can remove the bolts by cutting them with a hacksaw blade or using an adjustable wrench. Next, lift the toilet bowl and tank assembly off the floor. Test the fit of your new toilet over the flange and make sure the bolts align with the holes. Set the toilet on its back or side and apply a new wax ring to seal out flushed water, waste, and sewer gases. Place it on the discharge outlet, remove the packaging, and press firmly until the seal is well seated on the outlet. Set the new toilet in place, rocking slightly to firmly seat the toilet against the floor. Install the new plastic cover base, place the washers, nuts, and covers over the flange bolts, and then tighten the bolts slowly. Reattach the water supply, reversing the process you used to remove your old toilet.

Knowing how to do simple plumbing repairs and other similar DIY jobs around the home can save you money and headaches, especially if you own older real estate in downtown San Diego. Whether you’re looking for a fixer-upper condo or a brand-new loft or penthouse in downtown San Diego, rely on the professionals at 92101 Urban Living to help you find the perfect property for your needs. Give one of our friendly agents a call today at 619-649-0368.