How Do I Fix My Plumbing? (PRO Guide)

Every homeowner has to deal with plumbing problems, but many don’t know how to fix them. This guide will teach you the basics of identifying and fixing common plumbing issues so your home is in tip-top shape for years to come.

10 ULTIMATE DIY Plumbing Mistakes Guide & How to Fix Them
Plumbing problems can be difficult to diagnose, but it’s important to address them as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
If you’re unsure about a plumbing project, it’s best to call a professional plumber to avoid making matters worse.
Learning how to run plumbing pipes, fix a dripping faucet or a clogged drain can be helpful and save you money in the long run.
Take preventative measures to avoid common plumbing issues such as frozen pipes, clogged drains, and leaky faucets.
Keep costs low when purchasing plumbing supplies, but don’t sacrifice quality for a lower price.

Fix A Running Toilet

A running toilet can be fixed by:

Checking for leaks. If the leak is coming from the flapper, then you will need to replace it. There are two types of flappers that you can choose from; one that is made of rubber and another that is made of plastic. Make sure to check what kind of flush valve your toilet has before buying a new one.

Replacing the flappers chain with one that has a longer chain so it doesn’t break as often because you’re pulling down on it too hard when you flush your toilet (this happened in my house).

Replacing the fill valve if necessary (this was done in our case). This will cost more than replacing just the flapper but since we couldn’t get any parts anywhere else, we had no choice but to buy them online at amazon or ebay which had much cheaper prices compared to hardware stores nearby where we live!

When running plumbing pipes, it’s important to plan ahead and properly measure the distance between each fixture to ensure a proper flow rate and prevent leaks. Check out our pro tips on running plumbing pipes for more expert advice.

Unclog A Kitchen Sink

If your kitchen sink is clogged, you have a few options. You can use a plunger, also known as an auger or snake (an expanding metal wire) to clear debris from the drain and push it through. 

If that doesn’t work, try using a chemical drain cleaner; these are available at home improvement stores in liquid or powder form.

The most effective way to unclog your kitchen sink is with an electric plumber’s snake—it’s called an “electric” because the motor turns the blades that move through the pipe to break up blockages and pull them out of their hiding places. 

Electric snakes are available at hardware stores for about $50-$100 depending on their length and power level; they’re usually sold with attachments for specific types of drains (like garbage disposals or dishwashers).

Options to Unclog a Kitchen Sink

PlungerAlso known as an auger or snake, a plunger is a tool that can clear debris from the drain and push it through to remove the blockage. To use it, cover the sink overflow hole, place the plunger over the drain, and pump it up and down vigorously.
Boiling water and vinegarBoiling water and vinegar can help dissolve grease and other buildups in your pipes, making it easier to unclog your sink. First, pour boiling water down your drain. Then, pour one cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or rag and let it sit for 30 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with hot water.
Baking soda and vinegarBaking soda and vinegar can be used to create an effective and natural drain cleaner. First, pour boiling water down your drain. Then, add one-half cup of baking soda and one cup of vinegar. Cover the drain with a plug or rag and let it sit for 30 minutes. Finally, flush the drain with hot water.
Plumber’s snakeA plumber’s snake is a tool used by professionals to clear drain clogs. It can be effective for removing large or stubborn blockages. To use it, insert the snake into the drain until you feel resistance. Then, turn the snake’s handle clockwise to break up the blockage or pull it out of the drain.
Call a professional plumberIf none of the above methods work or if you’re uncomfortable attempting to unclog your sink, it’s best to call a professional plumber. They’ll have the proper tools and expertise to diagnose and fix the issue.

Note: The above table outlines different methods that can help you unclog your kitchen sink, along with a description of how to use each method.

Fix An Overflowing Toilet

If your toilet is overflowing, there are a few things to check before you call a plumber.

  • Check for clogs with a plunger or by pouring liquid cleaner down the drain. If neither of these methods works, it’s time to get more involved.
  • Clean the float valve if it’s dirty or malfunctioning. Sometimes this can cause an overflowing toilet if it doesn’t let enough water into the bowl when you flush.
  • Flush your toilet to see if that helps clear the blockage: if not, move on!
  • Look at your flapper valve and make sure it isn’t stuck open (if so, lift up on it with a screwdriver). If this doesn’t work either, replace your flapper valve immediately because they’re cheap but vital parts of most modern toilets!

It’s important to keep costs low when purchasing plumbing supplies, but don’t sacrifice quality for a lower price. Learn where to find cheap plumbing supplies without compromising on quality from our guide on where to buy cheap plumbing supplies explained.

Deal With A Bathroom Sink That Won’t Drain

You can usually fix a bathroom sink that won’t drain by checking the stopper, the drain pipe, the P-trap and the drain hose.

Check your stopper. If it’s not in place or has broken through use some plunger action to clear any debris that may be blocking it.

Drain pipe. If you have a long length of PVC pipe leading from your sink to outside of your home, this is probably where your blockage is occurring. 

Check for any cracks or holes that could be allowing water to build up in there before giving yourself an eyesore if left untreated! You can always replace this cheap and easy enough—we recommend using 3/4″ PVC pipe though anything larger than 1′ may need an adapter fitting installed before attaching onto existing piping (available at most hardware stores).

P-trap/drain hose joint: The last thing we want happening is waste water leaking into our homes (and sinking us deeper into debt), so make sure all connections are tight at every point along its course so nothing gets through!

Diagnose And Fix Water Heater Problems

The pilot light is the ignition source for your water heater, so if it’s out, the gas cannot flow to the burner and heat the water. If your pilot light is out or you see signs of a draft blowing from under the door or around a window near your water heater, check to make sure that no debris has blocked its path to ignite.

If you have an electric hot water heater, check that all of its parts are connected properly (thermostat/thermocouple/thermopile) and not overheated by another appliance nearby like an oven or range hood vent fan.

The pressure relief valve releases excess pressure in case of emergency conditions preventing normal operation of your unit. It should be checked regularly for leaks and corrosion but generally doesn’t require maintenance unless it fails after several years—in which case it may need replacing immediately before causing damage!

A plumbing vent stack helps regulate air pressure in your home’s plumbing system, ensuring wastewater flows properly and gases are safely vented outside. If you’re not sure how to find your plumbing vent stack, our comprehensive guide on how to find your plumbing vent stack can help.

Clean Out Your Sewer Trap

Cleaning a sewer trap is easy to do, but it’s important to know when you should be doing it. The reason for this is simple: if you don’t clean your sewer trap on a regular basis and there’s an emergency in your home, then the toilet may not flush properly because of clogged drains. 

When that happens, the water might start backing up into other parts of your house or apartment and if that happens regularly enough over time, mold can form as well! 

So cleaning out your sewer trap after every use (or at least once every month) will keep everything running smoothly and prevent any problems from occurring down the line.

What does cleaning my sewage trap involve?

The first step is finding where your plumbing system ends up; there are usually two places where pipes lead outside: one right after they come through the wall near kitchen sinks/bathtubs/showers; another one somewhere outside near rain gutters (this one might be harder to find). 

Find both of these locations with some effort: look under cabinets first before taking things apart further than necessary (you’ll thank us later!). 

Once you’ve found each exit point, simply make sure no debris has gotten stuck inside either place if so then take action immediately! It shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes total including cleanup efforts afterward which means we’re done now…

How to Clean Out Your Sewer Trap

1. Locate the sewer trapThe sewer trap is usually located in your yard, near the main sewer line. It’s a small covered hole that contains your home’s main sewer line.
2. Remove the coverUse a pry bar or screwdriver to remove the cover from the sewer trap. Set it aside in a safe place.
3. Remove debrisUse a small shovel or trowel to remove any debris, such as leaves or grease, from the sewer trap.
4. Spray with a hoseUsing a garden hose, spray water into the sewer trap to remove any remaining debris or buildup. This will also help you identify any blockages in the main sewer line.
5. Replace the coverOnce you’ve cleaned the sewer trap, replace the cover and secure it in place with screws or a latch.
6. Consider professional helpIf you notice any blockages or are unable to clean the sewer trap yourself, consider contacting a professional plumber who can help you diagnose and fix the issue.

Note: The above table outlines the steps needed to clean out your sewer trap and prevent blockages in your home’s main sewer line.

Remove A Tub Drain

To remove the drain, you’ll need to:

Remove the tub drain cover by unscrewing it with your hands or a wrench.

Use a pipe wrench to loosen the drain at its base (where it meets your house’s plumbing).

Pull out any old washers and replace them with new ones that fit properly. If you don’t have a new washer on hand, you can use cotton swabs or small pieces of cloth instead (but make sure they don’t get stuck in your pipes).

Tighten down all screws on the underside of the tub drain head once everything has been put back together.

Before you start a plumbing project, it’s helpful to have access to your home’s plumbing blueprints. Our guide on how to find plumbing blueprints explains the steps needed to access them from your local government or utility company.

Unjam A Garbage Disposal

You can unjam your garbage disposal in two ways. The first is to turn off the power to the unit, then use a wrench to remove the drain plug from the sink and allow water to run through it. 

If this doesn’t work, try removing any debris with a plumber’s wrench or plumber’s snake (available at most hardware stores). Once you’ve done that, replace all of your parts and restore power to your garbage disposal.

Repair A Burst Pipe In 7 Steps

Clean up the area around the pipe and remove any debris that may have been damaged by the burst pipe or its contents (e.g., sand, dirt).

Expose both ends of a damaged pipe: one end where it burst, and another end where it connects to another piece of piping (this may require removing part of a wall or other obstruction). 

If you can’t find either end of your burst pipe, use an auger to bore through floors, walls and even ceilings until you find it; then follow Steps 4–6 below to repair it as described in this section’s instructions for making repairs without locating either end first—or simply call us at (555) 555-5555 if we could help locate those hidden pipes!

Remove all loose pieces from around each exposed end (you’ll likely need some sort of tool such as pliers). 

Then remove chunks from both ends using a hacksaw so that both sides are cleanly cut off with no loose material hanging out anywhere near either surface for fear that any particles could damage new work during installation later on down this page in Step 7 below when putting everything back together again after finishing repairs on one side just yet before moving onto start working on next side too so make sure not forget anything

Whether you’re remodeling a bathroom or installing a new sink, it’s important to have a solid understanding of how to run plumbing in your home. Check out our expert advice on how to run plumbing for helpful tips and tricks from plumbing professionals.

Unclog A Bathtub Drain

Use a plunger. Plungers are the easiest and most common solution to unclogging drains, but they can only be used on sinks and tubs, not toilets. They’re also not very effective for clogs that are further down in the pipes. 

To use one, put it over the drain opening with its rubber cup facing down into the pipe (this prevents water from splashing out). Then plunge up-and-down until you hear bubbles coming from inside or see signs of progress such as debris coming out of your pipe.

Use a chemical drain cleaner. A more advanced form of this method is using a chemical drain cleaner called “Snakebite,” which works by chemically dissolving whatever is blocking your pipe so that it can pass through it easily when you flush again after applying Snakebite’s chemicals directly into said blocked area via your bathroom sink faucet spout (you’ll need another person to hold this end steady while applying pressure to loosen up any clogs). 

If your clog is severe enough that no amount of plunging or Snakebite alone will clear up after several tries, consider calling an expert plumber instead! They may have better tools than these methods alone can offer

Replace The Washer In An Old-Style Compression Faucet

If the problem is with a compression faucet, you’ll need to replace the washer. First, remove the handle by turning it counterclockwise until it pops off. 

Then pull out the stem and remove it from your sink. Next, remove your faucet seat by prying it up with a flat-head screwdriver or other thin tool. 

If there’s one already installed in place of your old one (it should be right behind where you removed the handle), skip this step altogether; otherwise:

  • Thread on your new washer over onto your open end of that stem
  • Carefully reinstall your faucet seat/sink trap assembly over top of it before tightening down any screws holding them together

Replace A Faucet Seat

To replace a faucet seat, you’ll need to:

Remove the old seat. For this you’ll need to turn off your water supply and remove any drains in the sink. Then unscrew and remove the old seat from the top of the sink.

Install new sealant around the base of your faucet (if it needs it). This will keep water from leaking out into your cabinet.

Install a new seat on top of your new sealant. Tighten down with an Allen wrench until snug; don’t over-tighten! 

Test for leaks by turning on both hot and cold water handles at once for about two minutes; if there are no leaks, turn off both handles and allow them to sit overnight before reinstalling everything else back into place or using/installing your faucet as normal again tomorrow!


When it comes to plumbing, your first thought might be to call a professional. But, you may be able to fix some minor problems yourself by following the tips in this article. 

If the problem persists and you can’t fix it yourself, then there are plenty of qualified professionals who can help!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you with your plumbing projects:

Forbes: Learn from a contractor how you can tackle some plumbing projects yourself and save money.

Anchor Pumps: Read this guide for tips from plumbing professionals on how to fix low water pressure in your home.

BL Plumbing Service Inc.: Check out this step-by-step guide from a plumbing expert on how to fix a leaking pipe under your sink.


How do I fix a clogged drain?

There are several ways to unclog a drain, including using a plunger, drain snake, or a chemical drain cleaner. Check out our pro tips for unclogging a drain for more information.

How do I fix a dripping faucet?

A dripping faucet is usually caused by a worn-out washer or valve seat. To fix it, you’ll need to disassemble the faucet and replace the damaged part. Check out our expert advice on how to fix a dripping faucet for more information.

How do I prevent frozen pipes in the winter?

To prevent frozen pipes, make sure to insulate pipes in unheated areas and keep a trickle of water flowing from faucets during extremely cold weather. For more tips on how to winterize your home’s plumbing, check out our guide on winterizing your plumbing.

How can I tell if I have a plumbing leak?

Some common signs of a plumbing leak include water stains on ceilings or walls, musty odors, or the sound of running water when no fixtures are in use. To learn more about detecting and fixing plumbing leaks, check out our expert advice on plumbing problems.

Can I replace a toilet myself?

Replacing a toilet may seem like a daunting task, but it’s something most homeowners can do themselves with the right tools and instructions. Check out our guide to replacing a toilet for detailed steps and expert advice.