DIY Plumbing Fixes: Easy Solutions For Common Household Issues

A plumber is the best way to get a guaranteed, safe fix for leaks, clogs, and other plumbing issues in the home. However, plumbers can come with a hefty price tag and scheduling conflicts, so it’s essential to know if a plumbing issue is a quick, simple fix. There are many times when a plumbing issue doesn’t require a plumber. They’re happy to fix anything for you, but if you want to save time and money, it’s wise to learn some quick fixes you can do all yourself.

Simple Clogs

It’s normal for a drain to get clogged with debris like hair or food. Many clogs are superficial and can quickly be cleared by a resident. If you have a clogged sink or bathtub drain, a tool called a drain snake can be inserted into the drain and will remove debris, especially hair. Drain hair catchers can prevent this issue altogether, as well. A plunger can unclog most toilet clogs; place the plunger over the drain tightly to create a seal and pump repeatedly to dislodge clogs. Avoid harsh chemical drain cleaners, as they can damage your pipes. If a clog won’t dislodge after using these tools, you can contact a plumber for help.

Showerhead Replacement

You don’t need a plumber to replace a showerhead, even when changing to a different type, such as a handheld. After turning off the faucet, simply unscrew the existing showerhead counter clockwise to remove it, clean off the shower arm threads, and screw the replacement showerhead onto the threads clockwise until it is tight. Run the water gently to check for leaks. If there are leaks, you may need thread seal tape to tighten it further. For handheld shower heads, you must install the mount on which it rests.

Running Toilet

A running toilet can be annoying and add dollar signs to your water bill, but it is typically an easy fix. Remove the toilet tank lid to inspect the issue. Running toilets are usually due to the flapper not sealing (the component that keeps the water in the tank from draining). Another common cause is a malfunctioning floater valve (the balloon-like object floating in the tank). If the flapper isn’t properly sealed, that is likely the issue. Alternatively, if the toilet stops running if you manipulate the floater valve, that could be the culprit. Local hardware stores sell repair kits with instructions that anyone can follow with a few simple tools. Turn off the toilet’s water supply before making repairs.

Sink Faucet Head Replacement

You can replace or change the type of sink faucet head in your kitchen by unscrewing, cleaning, and replacing it, similar to how a shower head is replaced. If you find one that matches your current faucet’s threads, you can change the type to a sprayer or combination pull-out sprayer. If you want a more thorough replacement, contacting a plumber is best.

Dripping Faucets

Like a running toilet, a dripping faucet can drive anyone up the wall with its sound, water waste, and added utility costs. Thankfully, most dripping faucets are caused by a worn-out or broken washer, also known as an O-ring. Washers come in many sizes, so bring your old washer to purchase the right size for your faucet. Once it is replaced, you won’t hear a single drip anymore.

Broken Toilet Handle

A broken toilet handle occurs when the arm the handle is attached to breaks off from the rest of the flushing mechanism. It’s frustrating, but it’s an easy fix. Hardware stores carry every toilet component, including the entire flushing mechanism. Remember to turn off the toilet’s water supply before making repairs. Most repair kits come with simple instructions to follow—no plumber necessary.

When to Contact a Professional

If you’re experiencing a significant water leak, flood, or other plumbing emergency, it’s best to contact a professional. A plumber can assist if you can’t find the right parts for your toilet, shower, or sink. If you can’t unclog or repair a problem yourself, plumbers are here to help. While DIY solutions can save time and money, if you’re hesitant about safety or efficiency, it’s safe to hire a professional. A licensed plumber in your area will have taken many professional training courses to pass an in-depth licensing exam, so it’s crucial to verify licensing to ensure a plumber is qualified. Licensing requirements and titles vary by location; for example, a plumber in California will require training for a C36 license.


Many plumbing issues may seem scary and dire initially, but they require simple solutions that anyone can do at home. Drain clogs, toilet issues, and faucet head replacements are more straightforward than most people realize. Following DIY instructions and securing the suitable materials can fix many plumbing issues at home. Be sure to hire a licensed plumber for any significant problems, including ones you can’t seem to solve yourself.


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