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When to Use a Professional: Plumbing

Female plumber preparing a pipe for a kitchen sink

DIYers should be able to do small projects, like replacing a toilet flapper, addressing drips, upgrading shower and sink fixtures, and other small things that don’t require a lot of tools.

If the toilet flapper is your problem, keep calm, you can solve this on your own. This part is made of rubber and it can get hard and break down over time. Once the plastic is worn out it will not form strong, tight seal to stop the flow of water as it should. Fortunately the flapper is an inexpensive part that can be easily replaced. Furthermore, according to the Wall Street Journal, a leaky toilet is the most common reason for a spike in home water bills, so keep an eye on those. Usually it’s not hard to tell if your toilet is leaking – you will hear it. It’s hard to miss the sound of running water or a faint hissing or trickling. But many times water will flow through the tank silently, which is why these leaks are often overlooked.

To check for a toilet leak: remove the toilet tank lid then drop one dye tablet or 10 drops of food coloring into the tank. Put the lid back on and do not flush, just wait at least 10-15 minutes, and then look in the bowl. If you see colored water, you have a leak.  If your project requires moving or installing any plumbing or pipes, call a pro for help. Welding pipes together requires a torch, and if you don’t have that experience, it’s best to rely on the experts for this type of work.

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