As a Sydney homeowner, there will come a time when you’re hit with plumbing issues. No matter who you are or where you live, sometimes, they are simply unavoidable.
Hopefully, you won’t encounter too many major plumbing issues over the years—but, if you do, calling on the services of a local plumbing expert is your best bet.
For all other problems, with a little know-how and a few simple tricks, you can save money by fixing them yourself, keeping your pipes flowing as clean as a whistle.
To help you on your quest to DIY plumbing excellence (and to spare you a few bucks), here are our top money-saving plumbing tips for Sydney homeowners.
USE STRAINERS TO PREVENT BLOCKED DRAINS
Invest in a few simple sink strainers to prevent hair, food, and other pipe-clogging debris from entering your plumbing system. Keep these installed in your main plug holes, emptying and cleaning them out on a regular basis for the best results. A simply yet cost-effective preventative measure.
CLEAN YOUR PIPES WITH SODA & VINEGAR
If your sink, bath, and shower drains do become blocked (one of the most common plumbing issues for Sydney homeowners), the magic combination of vinegar and baking soda usually works wonders.
Just pour baking soda and vinegar in equal measures down your drains and wait for a few short minutes for the chemical reaction to run its course. Once the fizzing eruption has simmered down, flush plenty boiling water down the plug to flush away the loose debris and clean out your pipes. If you do this to all of your major drains once a month you will avoid any major clogs that require expert assistance.
UNBLOCK YOUR TOILET WITH WARM WATER
Toilet blockages are another common household plumbing issue. If this particular problem presents itself and a plunger isn’t quite doing the trick, try pouring warm water down the toilet bowl from around waist height. If at first, the clog doesn’t ease, repeat it again a few times until the water level changes. While this method isn’t completely foolproof, it’s certainly worth a try before asking for help.
TACKLE FROZEN PIPES
The temperatures in Sydney are usually mild, but sometimes the weather can get cold. And, in the event that we do experience frost, it always pays to know how to tackle frozen pipes.
If the cold weather is setting in, assess your home and wrap any exposed pipes in foam or electrical insulation tape to provide a layer of protection. If the frost does come, leaving your taps dripping ever so slightly will help to keep your pipes moving and reduce the risk of them freezing or breaking.
INSULATE YOUR WATER HEATER
Expanding on our previous point, insulating your water heater will also help you prevent plumbing issues in colder weather while making your home more energy-efficient. Invest in a modest water-heating blanket and you will save money over time—it’s that simple.
DIAGNOSE YOUR TAP ISSUES
Talking about dripping taps, if you have a small leak being able to diagnose the issue will save you time and money. Here are two tips that will help:
- If your tap is dripping from the spout, you will most likely need to change the washer (the soft rubbery material which is screwed onto the valve seat).
- If your tap is dripping from the collar (the bottom), it’s likely that you will need to change the ‘O’ ring (the washer found at the top of the spindle).
- If your tap won’t turn on or off, you will have to change the entire internal tap mechanism.
LOOK AT YOUR FLAPPER
An odd phrase maybe—but, if you have a leaky toilet the first thing you should do is check your toilet flapper.
You will find your flapper inside the cistern or tank, directly below the overflow tube, attached to the end of the internal flusher chain. By adding a little food colouring to your toilet tank and letting it rest idle for half an hour or so, you will get to the root of the problem.
Take a look at your toilet bowl and if the water is the same tone as the food colouring, you will know you have a faulty flapper that needs changing. Pinpointing the problem will save you money, so we’ll say it again: if in doubt, check your flapper!
We hope our money-saving plumbing tips for Sydney homeowners help and for more tip-top advice, check out these five common reasons why your drains might be blocked.