31 Secrets Your Plumber Won’t Tell You
If you’ve ever had problems with your pipes you’ll want to read these plumbing tips. Plumbers give us the scoop on clogged pipes, do-it-yourself plumbing repair, and more!
We might, if you ask
Yes, it’s against the rules to remove flow inhibitors from your showerheads, but some of us will do it if you ask.
The toilet handle is an easy fix
Always jiggling the toilet handle? You need to replace the flap valve. The part costs $4, and it’s an easy fix. I charge $100 just to walk in the door.
Sometimes you don’t even need me
There’s often an Allen wrench that comes with the garbage disposal. I keep it under the sink. When the thing jams, follow the directions in the manual, and I won’t need to come out. Another plumbing tip, don’t believe the myth about putting lemon peels in the disposal to make it smell better. That will just make it jam faster. Along with lemon peels, these are the things you should never pour down the drain.
Read your meter
Looking for an easy way to figure out why your water bill is mysteriously high? Shut off all fixtures, including the valve on your hot water tank. If the numbers on your meter keep moving, call a plumber—you might have sprung a hidden leak inside a wall or under flooring.
Don’t hang things from your pipes
Don’t hang clothes on those exposed pipes in your basement. I’ve seen them break and flood a basement. If they burst, I might find these shocking discoveries plumbers have found in pipes.
Old toilet seats are harder to remove than you think
I see this all the time: Women want a new toilet seat and ask their husbands to make the switch. If the seat is old and has metal bolts, you probably need to cut it off with a hacksaw, not unscrew it. A wrench may slip, damaging the bowl and bloodying your knuckles. Make sure you don’t fall for these common toilet mistakes, either.
Don’t get wrapped up in how much I’m charging for the materials
“Sure, my material cost is different than the guy who runs his business out of his garage,” says Bill Stevens, owner of Berkey’s Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning in Texas. “But it’s not the copper you’re paying for, it’s the experience. At the end of the day, my material cost is between 25-30 percent of the cost of the job.”
Don’t underestimate expertise
Mondays and Tuesdays are when plumbers get the most phone calls from DIYers who realize they’re out of their depth, Wroblewski says. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone attempt these home improvement projects you should never DIY.