Plumbing is complicated work but also something that every person should understand to some extent. After all, you don’t need to call a plumber every single time your toilet is clogged. Some things are best left to the professionals, but other, smaller plumbing jobs should be something you can totally handle yourself. Here are 3 common plumbing problems everyone should know how to fix.

But before we get to the list, there are some questions you should ask yourself before you go ahead and take a wrench to your sink. Answer these questions honestly for every job and you’ll save yourself a lot of time, money, and hassle.

1. Am I qualified?
There’s a difference between a clogged sink and installing a new one altogether. If it seems complicated and you don’t quite understand, call a professional.

2. How much time do I have? Many people don’t think about their own time when assessing a job. If you were to pay yourself for the job, how much money would you be willing to spend at your hourly rate. If it seems too much, call a professional. They will get it done faster and there’s little chance of them messing the whole thing up halfway through and not realizing for three hours.

3. Do I have the tools? Tools, especially plumbing tools, are expensive. If you have them, great, if not, get on the phone to someone who does.

Okay, now for the common plumbing problems:

Clogged toilets

More likely than not, your toilet is clogged because of the reasons we all know. Get the plunger and work your magic. You should know how a toilet works on the inside, so take off the lid and familiarize yourself with its mechanisms. That being said, never seriously interfere with your toilet. If the plunger and fiddling a little bit in the back isn’t working, call a professional Toronto plumber before taking out the toolbox.

How to shut off the water

This is essential. If something does go wrong with your plumbing, you need to be able to turn the water off entirely, and fast. Find your water shutoff valve (or valves) and, every once in a while, make sure they’re working just fine. Water shutoff valves are usually located near your water meter, but the more localized ones will be located nearer to their appliances. Some things, like bathtubs and showers, may not have them, another factor to keep in mind.

Clogged garbage disposal

This is a common problem that most people don’t know how to fix outside of running it longer. Most garbage disposal units come with a key to open the unit and clean it out, some need an Allen wrench. Either way, make sure the thing won’t be turning on while you’re cleaning it out and see what the problem is. But I will emphasize this again: ensure the garbage disposal unit is either turned off completely or won’t be turning on while you are working.

There you have it. With these three common plumbing problems, you can do some plumbing work yourself. Of course, there are plenty of plumbing problems that you should leave to the pros. But if you ask yourself these questions and have a little know-how about plumbing, you can save yourself time and money.

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