We all want to save money. No matter how much we have we still want to make it go as far as possible. One great way of saving money is DIY – Doing jobs around the house that we might usually pay a tradesman to do. Most DIY projects are limited to basic tasks such as putting a shelf up or doing a bit of painting. However, you don’t need to stop there. If you are confident in your ability there are some more complex tasks that you can do yourself, without paying for an expensive tradesman. We have provided three common problems that you can resolve yourself, without having to pay the call out rates!
Thawing a Frozen Pipe
You’ll only be familiar with this problem if you live in a place that gets a proper winter. It’s a real problem during the coldest months and frozen pipes can burst if not dealt with in good time. Although a potentially costly problem, you don’t need to get a plumber in right away. Locating and thawing the frozen area quickly isn’t difficult, however, most choose to call a plumber out straight away. The following steps will save you the cost of a plumber:
1. Locate the frozen area – it is often clear where the pipe has frozen just by looking at it. Feeling the pipe also helps as you can locate the coldest areas – the frozen section will be significantly colder.
2. Once the frozen section(s) are located turn off the stop tap or stopcock. Having done so, turn on the cold tap that is nearest the frozen section. This is to drain all of the melting water out of the pipe.
3. You are now ready to start thawing! Before doing so remember that the pipe could burst at any point so proceed with caution. To thaw simply point your hairdryer at the frozen section and gently melt the frozen water. The melted water will drain out of the running tap and the blockage will be cleared. Turn the water back on and run it to check.
Unblocking a Drain
Blocked drains are a nightmare and they are one problem too far for most DIYers. But dealing with a drain blockage isn’t actually that hard. Before you unblock a drain make sure you have adequate protective clothing.
1. If you didn’t already know, the first thing you need to do is remove the drain cover. They can be heavy so be careful.
2.Once the cover is off its time to clear the blockage. There are a few different bits of equipment that can be used. Drain rods, jetters, and pumps are all effective and they can all be bought or hired from DIY stores and hire shops. In the case of a rod/better insert it into the drain until you reach the blockage. Clearing the blockage is a case of poking and twisting the equipment around until the obstruction shifts.
3. Once you are rid of the main blockage you need to send some water down to clear away any leftover obstructions. Replace the cover and ensure its security.
Everyone gets a leaky tap at some point. And the immediate reaction is to call the plumber. However, solving the problem isn’t actually that difficult and doing it yourself can save you a tidy sum. Just do the following:
1.Before you do anything ensure the water supply is completely off. Trying to change a tap with the water supply on isn’t a good idea.
2. Unscrew the tap. Usually, the screw is on the top. Hold the tap firmly when removing it to avoid dropping it when it comes loose.
3. Check the condition of the washer once the tap is off. It’s usually the case that a worn out washer is causing the leak. If the washer is worn and damaged replace it and reattach the tap.
4. Turn the water back on and test the tap. Changing the washer should usually stop the leak. If the leak continues then you may need to completely replace the tap.
The above highlights just three examples of basic plumbing work that you can do yourself, avoiding plumbers fees, hours and materials. We only advise that experienced DIYers carry out these tasks, having done further research.