When disaster strikes at home, we fret and then call somebody in to fix a problem. From blocked drains and faulty toilets to the boiler that is on the fritz, our first thought is that we need somebody else to come in — there’s no way we could fix this.
The thing is, before you fork out the money for somebody to come round, there are easy tricks you can do to fix problems around the house. We just don’t know what we are capable of fixing with common household items.
This handy guide breaks down a few neat things you can do to fix common issues. And if they don’t work, that’s the time to call a pro!
1) Unblock A Drain With Salt And Baking Soda
Almost everyone will have a blocked drain at some point and have salt and baking soda in their house. A blocked sink can be a minor nightmare, particularly for parents with young children. How do you fix the blocked sink before children make a mess?
Before you worry about how quickly a plumber can come out to help you, know that you already have the tools at your disposal. A combination of salt and baking soda should free up any blockage.
Written here is an in-depth description of how it works to break up blockages. To do this, you need one cup of baking soda and half a cup of salt. If it is a really large blockage, consider doubling or tripling each portion.
If the blockage persists, you have something serious on your hands, and you’ll likely need a plumber to come out.
2) Unblocking A Toilet
A blocked toilet can instill far more panic in a parent than a blocked drain, but there are endless DIY solutions.
One great option is to use an old wire coat hanger. Unwind it out of its shape so that you can pass it down the toilet. The wire is narrow and strong enough to pass through easily and loosen whatever is clogging your toilet. Once you have successfully freed the blockage, the water will drain away.
Some people find that washing up liquid and warm water helps, too. The warmth and the chemicals in the liquid help to break it down, while the weight of the soap weighs heavily on the blockage. This alone may not solve the issue, but works well with other solutions.
Caution, don’t use boiling water — it can crack your toilet!
3) A Toilet That Won’t Flush
Over time, rust and wear and tear can build up such that the lever that flushes your toilet becomes detached or breaks. The wire links may rub through the plastic connector, or break apart themselves because of rust.
A short-term fix before you can get out to buy parts is to attach some string to the lever, balance it on top of the cistern, and pull that when you need to flush. This will work well until you can fix it properly.
A longer-term, DIY fix would be to attach paper clips or hair clips to the lever, bending them to link them together until they form a chain. You can then attach that to the part that pulls the handle from the inside of the cistern.
Don’t Wait to Fix a Plumbing Issue
The only thing worse than waiting for the plumber is waiting to fix the issue at all. When you put off dealing with plumbing issues as non-essential tasks on your to-do list, you allow plenty of time for the problem to get worse!