We have all had leaky taps, clogged drains, overflowing toilets or even faulty geysers and for most of us the first instinct is to Google “plumber near me” and just get the mess sorted out as soon as possible. Have you ever wondered if it was something you could’ve fixed by yourself if you had just had the right tools? Well wonder no more! We’ve compiled the ultimate ‘plumber near me’ guide for amateur at-home plumbers, in just a quick 6 minutes of reading, find out how you can easily fix a plumbing issue at home or when it is time to call one of Plumbing Ways’ experienced professionals.
Before Searching “plumber near me”
Plumbing problems often appear from what feels like out of nowhere, but really there are always a few contributing factors. Before looking into calling a plumber or even searching “plumber near me”, which might not always be able to solve the problem immediately, first take a look at where the problem is coming from and whether it is something worth paying to be repaired instead of spending a few minutes doing it yourself.
The truth is that most common plumbing problems are quite easy to fix and don’t take much time at all and often putting in the effort to fix something yourself can save you hundreds if not thousands of Rands. No more scouring “plumber near me” search results for small problems!
6 Must-Have Plumbing Tools in Your Home Toolbox
Every home should have a toolbox, it’s like an unspoken rule, and if you are an avid handyman or just an amateur DIY-er then most of the items on this list are probably already part of your kit. There are a few key tools you need to invest in only once in order to spare the effort of sifting through dozens of results under “plumber near me”, and the costs of calling out plumbers and handymen for the rest of your life. If you haven’t already got these in your toolbox, then it won’t break the bank to go out and get them:
- A Pipe Wrench: It’s not the first thing that comes to mind when you think of essential home tools but it’s definitely one of the most useful ones when it comes to fixing leaky taps and an iconic instrument when it comes to the plumbing trade. These are ideal for dealing with softer pipes or rounded fittings and it is recommended to have two on hand – one for gripping and holding in place and the other for turning.
- Water Pump/ Tongue-and-Groove Pliers: This is regarded as the most essential tool in any plumber’s toolbox as it is so versatile. With long handles and adjustable jaws that lock in place, they are able to grip nearly any shape or to tighten and loosen almost anything.
- The Drain Auger/Drain “Snake”: This is a hand-cranked drain-clearing tool with a long steel cable making it effective at clearing any obstructions in drains, toilets, sinks or showers. This is the secret weapon when it comes to drain cleaning if home remedies of baking soda and vinegar or a simple plunger just won’t work.
- A Hacksaw: It sounds scarier than it is but this is a perfect multi-purpose tool for cutting things that cannot be reached. A hacksaw can cut through wood, steel, plastic or brass and is one of the most versatile tools around.
- A Basin Wrench: This is an invaluable tool when it comes to tightening or loosening nuts that hold sink faucets in place. The long handle and unique set of jaws on this tool makes it perfect for reaching the underside of the sink where the faucet is normally sandwiched.
- A Metal File: This is handy when you need to smooth or burr the sharp and rough edges of a metal pipe after cutting it. It is best to also have two of these on hand, both with different grits and shapes.
Looking For a “plumber near me”: 5 Common Home-Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them
Some of the most common household plumbing problems are often the easiest to fix. Next time you experience one of these issues you can think twice before calling a plumber because the solution might be more straightforward than it seems, and now you have the ‘plumber near me’ guide to refer to! Here are a few of the easiest quick-fix plumbing problems everyone will encounter at least once:
- Low Water Pressure: The culprit of this frustrating problem is almost always the sink/bath faucet. The first thing to check is if the low water pressure is affecting both hot and cold water and if this is the case then the cause is most likely the aerator. This is due to a calcium build-up over time from tap water in the area. To fix this all you have to do is remove the aerator, clean out the debris or in worst-case scenarios buy a replacement at your nearest home-improvement store.
- Slow-Draining Tub: Often the problem here is as simple as the bath-drain being clogged with hair or other debris – we’ve all been there! It’s not the most enjoyable job but this problem is easily fixed with a drain auger as was listed above. Most modern-baths have drain stoppers so if this is the case then the drains topper would need to be removed before using the drain auger.
- Leaky Tap/Faucet: Leaky taps can cost you a lot of money in water-bills if left for too long, not to mention that it is bad for the environment! Often the problem is the result of a ‘washer’ (a rubber water-tight seal inside the faucet) which has become to worn down, be it stiff, torn or dislodged which enables a tiny trickle of water to escape. This is quite simply a matter of replacing the washer is the problem is as straightforward as it appears.
- Running Toilet: The cause of a runny toilet is more often than not a faulty or worn out flapper valve, an imbalanced float or a loose fill-tube which can all be fixed or replaced quite easily. Toilet repair kits are quite common at home-improvement or hardware stores and they all come with easy-to-follow directions.
- Leaky Pipes: Causing damage to furniture and floors, or dampness which attracts cockroaches and other bugs, this is a problem you do not want to ignore. Leaks almost always occur at pipe-joints so using the right tools (like those we listed in out at-home plumbing-kit list above), the problem should not be that hard to fix. Often it is just a pipe that needs replacing or a fitting, both of which can be purchased at hardware stores, however if the problem is more serious or seems too messy, then some leak-tape or a compression clamp and a rubber sheet will do the trick until you can get you go-to “plumber near me” to check it out.
No Need For a “plumber near me”: Easily Avoidable Home-Plumbing Problems
Sometimes plumbing problems are unavoidable and unexpected, but most of the time there are precautionary measures you can take to keep the plumbing of your home in good-shape – be your own “plumber near me”! The following tips and tricks to maintaining a clean and reliable plumbing system are easier than you think and take little to no effort at all:
- Avoiding Clogged Drains and Toilets: Prevent toilet clogs by flushing strictly only dissolvable waste products, and if you have kids at home, keep the bathroom a ‘no-toy zone’ so as to avoid finding a rubber ducky as the culprit of your overflowing toilet bowl. Hair-catchers are also a cheap and easy precaution to avoid clogging your bath or shower drains.
- Avoiding Water-Heater/Geyser Problems: Checking the pressure valve regularly and flushing out the tank periodically in order to remove sediment are two simple ways to maintain a well-functioning geyser. Looking around the rank regularly to spot leaks or drips can also be useful in detecting a potentially serious problem early on.
- Avoiding Low Water Pressure: Install a filtration system – it’s as simple as that. Filtering your tap water is not only a good idea for health reasons but is also keeps minerals out of your water in order to avoid further build-up.
When to Call a Plumber: Plumbing Ways is Your Go-To “plumber near me”
We never realise how dependent we are on our plumbing until an issue arises, that is why striving to maintain a well-functioning plumbing system in your home is so important. Now that you know how to fix some of the basic and most common household-plumbing issues, you probably need to know when it’s time to seek professional help and to search for “plumber near me”. Believe it or not, there are some plumbing issues which can be potentially dangerous and so tampering with it or trying a DIY job could be risky or make the problem even worse.
Do not risk inflicting possible damage to your property or plumbing system if you are not equipped or prepared to deal with the problem, here are situations in which you should always call a trusty “plumber near me” – Plumbing Ways professional:
- If you don’t have the right tools at hand for the job.
- If your problem is a blockage, whether it is a sink, tub or toilet, and a drain auger isn’t doing the job, or the suspected blockage is not easily removable.
- For leaky pipes, if the problem seems like it will be too messy, or you don’t feel equipped to repair it effectively.
- Water-heater or geyser troubles are some of the most dangerous, if it’s not a case of maintenance or flushing out the tank then leave it to the professionals.
- If a toilet does not stop running after the targeted components have been replaced, then it may allude to a larger problem that only plumbers are equipped to solve.
- The installation of any new plumbing systems such as tubs, sinks, drains or septic tanks will require an experienced professional if you want a well-done job. Anything which requires construction or building permits should be dealt with by professionals.
- Sewage line breaks or leaks are a messy business and often harmful to your health, when the problem is detected you should call a “plumber near me” immediately.
In the greater Cape Town area, the best plumber near me service you will find is Plumbing Ways. Whether your plumbing issue is big or small, plumbers will always be there to help and at Plumbing Ways this service is extended to 24-hours non-stop emergency response. Plumbing-related issues can happen unexpectedly and at any time, if you need an experienced, hard-working and professional “plumber near me” then Plumbing Ways should be your go-to.