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9 Plumbing Hacks Every Homeowner Should Know

Plumbing issues in the home can be daunting. Often, they seem to come out of nowhere, disrupting daily routines and adding unexpected expenses. Thankfully, there are many plumbing hacks and tricks that homeowners can use to address minor problems before they become major headaches. Here are just a few that every homeowner in Phoenix, AZ could try before scheduling professional plumbing services.

1. Replace the O-ring to address leaks.

One of the most common causes of leaks in faucets is a worn-out O-ring. This is a small rubber ring located in the stem of the tap. If you notice a leak around the handle, simply replacing the O-ring may fix the issue.

2. Use a hair strainer to prevent clogs.

Clogged drains, especially in the bathroom, are often caused by a buildup of hair. Placing a hair strainer over your drain can catch hair before it goes down, saving you from future blockages.

3. Get a wet/dry vacuum for toilet clogs.

For stubborn toilet clogs, a wet/dry shop vacuum can be a lifesaver. Make sure to empty the water first, then create a tight seal over the drain and power on the vacuum. It’s effective in pulling the blockage out rather than pushing it deeper.

4. Use duct tape for loose pipe fittings.

While this is a temporary solution, if you notice any loose pipe fittings, wrapping them securely with duct tape can prevent leaks until you can get them properly fixed.

5. Do a food coloring test for toilet leaks.

To check if your toilet tank is leaking into the bowl, add a few drops of food coloring to the tank. If, after 30 minutes without flushing, the color appears in the bowl, you have a leak.

6. Try vinegar-filled bags for clogged shower heads.

Mineral deposits can reduce water flow in showerheads. Fill a small plastic bag with vinegar, tie it around the showerhead, ensuring it’s submerged, and leave overnight. The vinegar will dissolve the mineral buildup, restoring proper water flow.

7. Lubricate sticky valves with vinegar.

Vinegar is excellent for loosening mineral deposits on sticky valves. A little vinegar can go a long way in ensuring they turn smoothly.

8. Use a hairdryer to thaw frozen pipes.

In colder climates, pipes can freeze, causing blockages. A hairdryer can help gradually thaw the pipes and restore flow.

9. Try vinegar to remove mineral deposits.

Faucets and fixtures often accumulate mineral deposits. A cloth soaked in vinegar, wrapped around the affected area for an hour or so, can help dissolve these deposits, making them easier to scrub away.