Plumb­ing: When to leave it to the ex­perts

Lesotho Times - - Property -

DEAL­ING with plumb­ing prob­lems like a clogged drain or run­ning toi­let can be frus­trat­ing. But be­fore you reach for the span­ner and don your apron, take a minute to think about whether the job at hand is suit­able for DIY.

While some plumb­ing jobs are easy to do your­self and can be fin­ished off in just a cou­ple of hours, some jobs can go wrong if at­tempted by some­one with­out the proper skills. thomas Reece, from Plum­bers Jo­han­nes­burg, says for those jobs you’re bet­ter off call­ing an ex­pert plum­ber.

He says an ex­pert will come armed with all the tools to di­ag­nose and fix your prob­lems. So which plumb­ing jobs are a go for ama­teur DIY en­thu­si­asts, and which are best left to the ex­perts?

Thomas shares some key tips…

Do un­clog the drains Un­clog­ging the drains is an easy DIY task that you can do at home in just a few min­utes. Don’t start by reach­ing for the drain cleaner though.

Store bought drain clean­ers con­tain harsh chem­i­cals and can dam­age the pipes, so only turn to those as a last re­sort. Start off with a sim­ple plunger — this will of­ten solve the prob­lem. If that fails, pour bi­car­bon­ate of soda down the drain, let it sit for a few min­utes, then rinse it away. If your drain is still clogged, you can try re­mov­ing the sink trap and pass­ing an auger line through the drain to shift the block­age.

Don’t re­place old pip­ing Re­plac­ing old pipes might seem like a quick and easy job, but this is one for the ex­perts. Re­plac­ing old pipes is sur­pris­ingly dif­fi­cult and putting the new pipes in is even more com­pli­cated.

Un­less you are ab­so­lutely cer­tain of which sec­tions to re­move and how to plumb each one back in to the ex­act right po­si­tion, re­plac­ing pip­ing can quickly be­come a messy job that will cost a lot to fix. Save your­self the money and has­sle by let­ting the pro­fes­sion­als deal with it from the out­set.

Do fit A new SHOWERHEAD Show­er­heads are sur­pris­ingly easy to re­place. Sim­ply take a good look at your showerhead and note down what kind it is, and head to your lo­cal DIY store. There you’ll find a re­place­ment for your showerhead, and the store staff can help you with any queries you may have.

The process of fit­ting a new showerhead takes a few min­utes and is typ­i­cally as sim­ple as un­screw­ing the old one and fit­ting the new. Mi­nor leaks can eas­ily be fixed with Te­flon tape. Even if your showerhead is work­ing well, switch­ing it out for a low flow one will save you money on your wa­ter bills, and is bet­ter for the en­vi­ron­ment too.

Don’t try to fix your Geyser If your geyser is slug­gish or not work­ing at all, it’s time to call in a pro­fes­sional. Is­sues with gey­sers can re­sult from sev­eral is­sues in­clud­ing faulty lines, cracks, bro­ken com­po­nents or sed­i­ment build up.

Once the cause is iso­lated, re­pair­ing the geyser could be­come a del­i­cate task. Among other things, re­pair­ing or re­plac­ing the geyser may in­volve work­ing with gas lines, which is not a DIY job. One lit­tle mis­take could leave you with­out a work­ing geyser or cause costly dam­age. It’s def­i­nitely best to call in an ex­pert.

Do fix A run­ning toi­let A toi­let that runs con­stantly is ir­ri­tat­ing. Fix­ing it might seem daunt­ing, but in fact, this type of toi­let re­pair is quick and easy.

In most cases, a run­ning toi­let is caused by ei­ther the flap­per or the ball in the cis­tern not work­ing right.

Start by repo­si­tion­ing the ball or flap­per so that it cov­ers the wa­ter in­let snugly. This will of­ten fix the prob­lem. If it doesn’t, head on down to your lo­cal DIY store, buy re­place­ment parts, then all you need to do is take the old ones out and re­place them. — Prop­erty24

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