unblock toilet

DIY Emergency Plumbing Hacks

DIY Emergency Plumbing Hacks

It’s a great idea to have a grasp on the basics of DIY emergency plumbing to help avoid plumbing disasters or just know how to unblock your sink. Of course we recommend calling Harley Plumbing for any plumbing emergency that needs immediate attention. But for situations that are not immediate emergencies try these following top 5 DIY plumbing hacks.

How to Unclog a Toilet

Try to unclog the toilet yourself before you call out a plumber and spend money. Often simply pouring hot water into the toilet will unclog it. This is of course after you have tried using the plunger! This can work if the reason for the blocked toilet is toilet paper and human waste.

  1. Turn off the flow of toilet water, either by the valve at the back of the toilet or removing the cover on the toilet tank and disconnect the valve chain.
  2. Fill a cup or jug with boiling hot water.
  3. Pour down the toilet.
  4. If not working add some soapy to the hot water to make it soapy.
  5. Use plunger to unclog.

If this doesn’t work then give us a call straight away to help. It may be that you need our drain hoses top clear the issue.

Unclog a Sink Drain

This is a really common plumbing problem but often easy for people fix. We recommend actually keeping baking soda and vinegar in your cleaning supply cupboard, as they are the go to products for DIY plumbing hacks!

  1. Pour baking soda down the drain (amount varies but usually a cup)
  2. Pour vinegar over the baking soda. (try half a cup).
  3. Wait 5 minutes and then pour a cup of boiling water down the drain.
  4. Use a plunger and check if sink is now clear.
  5. If less blocked but still not completely clear then repeat the process.

The chemical reaction between the two products will aid in loosening any debris and food causing the clog. If after a few attempts the drain is still blocked then it’s time for a Plumber.

Leaking Pipes Under the Sink

Before you call an emergency plumber for leaky pipes under the sink try this hack.

  1. Turn off water – either at the valve or main turn-off valve.
  2. Place a bucket or container underneath the pipe connection to catch the water.
  3. Use a monkey wrench to loosen the thread on the pipes and disconnect them.
  4. Put Plumbers tape around the threads in a clockwise direction.
  5. Reconnect the pipes.

You will find plumbers tape at any hardware store and it’s a good idea to have it in an emergency plumbing kit along with baking soda and vinegar.

Fix Low Water Pressure in the Shower

If your shower is suffering from low water pressure it’s probably caused by an accumulation of scale and not a major plumbing issue.

  1. Remove the showerhead
  2. Remove the spray plate
  3. Soak the plate in descaling solution
  4. Reassemble the showerhead

Rust Coloured Water or Smelly Water Problem

If your hot water is smelly or rust coloured it is most likely caused by a buildup of minerals in the water heater or a degraded anode rod.

  1. Turn off the power to the water heater
  2. Drain the water heater which will remove the mineral deposits
  3. Attach a garden hose to the bottom valve of the water heater
  4. Turn the valve to release the water
  5. Drain the water
  6. Find the hexagonal head of the anode rod
  7. Use an air compressor, 1-1/16 inch socket and ½-inch drive impact wrench to loosen the rod
  8. Remove the rest by hand
  9. To replace the anode rod make sure to rub teflon pipe thread sealant on the thread first to get a good seal
  10. Reassemble

Harley Plumbing is an emergency plumber in Melbourne and we are available 24/7, but if it’s not an immediate emergency try our DIY plumbing hacks to save yourself some money!