Money-saving plumbing hacks for frugal homeowners


Plumbing issues crop up at the most inopportune times, leaving homeowners scrambling to fix leaks, clogs, and broken fixtures. The costs of hiring a professional plumber quickly add up, putting stress on an already stretched budget. Thankfully, there are several effective DIY plumbing hacks homeowners use to solve common plumbing problems and avoid unnecessary expenses.

Drains with a plunger

Even with preventative measures, clogs still happen. Before calling in professional help, try to clear the clog yourself with a tried and true DIY tool – the humble plunger. Plunging applies enough suction to dislodge the obstruction, letting water flow freely again. Alternating pushing and pulling with short bursts of force is most effective. Keep a plunger on hand under the sink or in the bathroom closet, and avoid unnecessary drain cleaning service fees.

Baking soda and vinegar to clean pipes

The minor clogs and general pipe maintenance, combine baking soda and vinegar instead of harsh chemical drain cleaners. Simply pour 1⁄2 cup baking soda down the drain, followed by 1 cup vinegar. The resulting chemical reaction produces pressurized fizzing and bubbles that help disintegrate gunk, oils, and buildup inside pipes. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes before rinsing with hot water. Repeat treatment monthly to keep drains clear. The inexpensive ingredients picked up at any grocery store, saving money compared to liquid pipe cleaners.

Insulate pipes to prevent freezing

They are cold climates, frozen pipes that burst and leak are a winter homeowner’s plumber Eastern Suburbs nightmare. The repair bills add up quickly. Luckily, insulating exposed water pipes before temperatures drop helps prevent freezing in the first place. Basic foam pipe insulation is simple to install and available at low cost. Seal any cracks or gaps letting cold air reach pipes. Insulating provides a protective barrier. For added protection, allow faucets to drip during sub-zero weather. Avoiding frozen pipes altogether saves the cost and headache of emergency plumbing repairs.

Learn to sweat copper pipe

Being able to sweat (solder) copper pipes comes in handy for DIY projects and repairs. While it takes practice, the basic technique is straightforward once you know the steps. Always follow safety precautions and work in a well-ventilated area since soldering produces toxic fumes. Use an emery cloth to thoroughly clean pipe ends so the solder adheres. Apply flux paste or liquid to the joint, then heat with a propane torch while holding a stick of wire at the seam until the solder melts and bonds the copper. With some instruction and patience, homeowners learn this useful skill and take on more plumbing repairs themselves.

Replace faucet washers and O-rings

If faucets are leaky, replace old rubber O-rings and washers to stop the drips without replacing the entire faucet. Turn off the water supply and disassemble the faucet to access washers and O-rings. Bring the old O-ring to the hardware store to match the size for replacement. Lubricate the new O-ring with some plumber’s grease before inserting it into the faucet. Follow with the flat washer and brass nuts. Complete disassembly instructions for specific faucet models found online. With just a few cents worth of new O-rings and washers, homeowners easily do this repair themselves.

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