Like many other parts of your home, your plumbing system isn’t designed to last forever.
However, you can extend its lifespan by performing proper and regular maintenance on it.
Luckily, for many of the following problems, quick research on the Internet and confidence can result in easy plumbing repairs and help you get the job done.
#1 Clogged Drains
In the past, many homeowners weren’t prepared to deal with drainage issues because most of
them opt for chemical detergents. However, recently, the negative consequences of this
approach have become widely known mainly because of the Internet. Even so, there are still
many people that continue to use it.
In reality, avoiding chemical drain cleaners is the better option for your pipes to avoid severing
the clogs further and corrosion on the pipe walls. More often than not, kitchen pantry
ingredients, such as vinegar and baking soda, are actually a lot more effective in dealing with a
drain clog, especially a shallow one.
To prepare a homemade clog cleaner, first, pour 1 pot of boiling water down the drain.
Afterwards, mix equal parts baking soda, water, and vinegar and pour the solution into the drain
as well. For optimal results, let it sit overnight. The drawback of this method is that it often can’t
dissolve buildups of greasy grime and other materials. If this is the case, use extra force to
clean the clog with a plunger before calling a plumbing expert.
When dealing with drain clogs, it’s always best to be proactive before an issue occurs. To
prevent damage to your plumbing and drainage system, avoid pouring grease, fats, or food
waste down the kitchen sink or toilet drain. It’s advisable to prevent tossing “flushable” wet pipes
in your toilet, as they’re often falsely advertised as dissolvable.
#2 Winterising Pipes
Many people assume that winterising pipes is a complicated task. However, in reality, even a
beginner DIYer can deal with plumbing preparation for freezing temperatures. Besides that, it
can also save you some money on plumbing costs.
Winterising pipes, spigots, and sprinkler systems aren’t rigid as long as you know what
approach to use and when to perform the task. Missing the right moment to winterise your
exposed plumbing fixtures may cost a lot. Ice blockage can prevent proper drainage; even one
night is enough for water left over to turn into an ice block.
Before the temperatures drop below zero, it’s recommended to take some time to inspect your
exposed pipes for pinholes, hoses, and spigots. When it comes to protecting your plumbing
system, the best course of action is to ensure that your hose taps, faucets, and sprinkler system
are closed and that all the water is drained from them. To prevent bursts and broken pipes,
make sure to insulate your exposed plumbing, sprinkle system, and pipes connecting to the
central heating system, running near exterior walls or unheated rooms and crawling space. The
foam insulation used around pipes is designed for domestic use and is easy to DIY, as it
typically comes with thorough instructions provided by the manufacturer.
#3 Releasing Air From Water Pipes
If you experience a weak water flow, it may be because of air bubbles clogging your hot and
cold water pipes. This may be due to poor installation, lack of plumbing servicing, or aged pipes.
Even though a few bubbles won’t stop the water pipes from working correctly, it’s advisable to
bleed the air out of them if you notice such an issue. Performing this task yourself is simple and
can save you money on plumbing costs.
The fastest solution is to turn off the main water supply, open all faucets simultaneously for 5
minutes, flush the toilet, and turn the water supply back on. You’ll know if you’ve successfully
drained the plumbing system if you don’t hear gurgling sounds from the water pipes anymore.
If this method doesn’t work, consult a professional plumber because you may be dealing with a
more severe problem.
#4 Repairing Faucets
If water keeps dripping after you’ve turned off your faucet or tap, it may be because the faucet
needs fixing. If that’s the case, you can handle the task on your own.
The reason for a leaky faucet is likely outdated joints. These faucet parts often break, crack,
harden, or split as they age. Unsurprisingly, their erosion deteriorates the watertight seal
between the faucet connections, and this is what causes a leak to form around the threads.
To get your faucet running properly, equip yourself with a faucet washer kit and new seals
matching the already existing ones. Prepare to disassemble the faucet mechanism until you
reach the washer, also known as an “O-ring”. Start by shutting off the main water supply,
disassembling the faucet, and replacing the defective parts following the same configuration.
#5 Bleeding the Radiators
Radiator bleeding is one of the most critical but often neglected maintenance tasks by most
homeowners that must be performed regularly. Even though air build-ups into the system aren’t
dangerous, you lose efficiency by not taking care of them, and sooner or later, it’ll affect your
finances. Unbled radiators will make your heating appliances gurgle or hiss as if they’re choking.
If one or more of your radiators feel cooler at the top than the bottom, get the air out to improve
Before you start, gather the necessary tools. You’ll need adjustable grips, an adjustable spanner
or wrench, and a radiator key. Start by shutting off the valves located at the end of each radiator.
If you’ve never bled radiators before, ensure the central heating is off. Otherwise, a fountain of
boiling water will spurt out of the pipes.
Next, turn the nipple at the side of the radiator with an anti-clockwise rotation. To avoid creating
a mess, place a bucket below the radiator vent valve. You’ll know the air traps are no longer
present when the water starts flowing seamlessly. Finally, adjust the radiator key again to close
the bleeding cycle. Do this only when you’re sure that you’ve removed all of the air in the
#6. Cleaning the Thermostat
To maintain your thermostat working accurately and assure your heating system is efficient
during the cold season, clean its mechanical connections at least once a month. It sounds like a
tedious task, but, in reality, it takes no more than five minutes and will help your heating system
operate at its maximum capacity.
The cleaning process is simple. Remove the thermostat cover and dust off the mechanical parts
with a soft, dry, and lint-free cloth.
When performing this task, don’t forget to check for signs of corrosion. If this is the case,
purchase an electrical contact cleaner. It can usually be found in most department stores or
Even though some plumbing tasks you can perform by yourself will save you money, this won’t
always be the case. If you’re experiencing more complex problems with your plumbing or
heating systems, attempting repairs on your own can worsen the situation or even put you in
danger. For such cases, plumbing professionals are a more reliable choice as they have the
necessary training, knowledge and equipment to fix the problem safely and efficiently.