By Carol Trehearn

While there are a number of home repair jobs that people can tackle on their own, some are most definitely best left to the experts. Knowing what you should try to fix, and which issues you should call for help, will end up saving you time, money and can possibly be a safety issue. So, what about plumbing problems?

According to statistics, the plumbing industry is one that generates revenue of $102 billion per year in the US. Clearly, this means a lot of people are calling on the professionals to make repairs, but is it absolutely necessary? Are there some plumbing issues you can fix on your own? Let’s take a closer look.

What Are the Most Common Problems?

There are a number of plumbing issues that can pop up, but there are a few that seem to happen a lot more often.

One of the most common complaints homeowners have is low water pressure. This can make it very frustrating to shower, wash dishes, do laundry, etc. To diagnose the problem yourself, it’s important to determine if it is affecting both hot and cold water or just one of them. If both are being affected, there’s a good chance you have calcium deposits in the faucet aerator.

Another common problem is a running toilet. This will cause you to use a lot more water than normal, which obviously will mean a much higher water bill. This is an issue you want to fix as soon as possible. Again, this is typically a problem you can fix on your own. Usually, it requires repairing or replacing the flush valve, pressure transmitter, the toilet flapper, or the fill valve. You can find any of these parts at your local hardware store.

Slow draining tubs and sinks can also happen from time to time. Often, it means that there is a build-up of debris in the drain. This just happens over time and it requires cleaning out the drain so that the water can flow freely again.

What About More Complex Problems?

Each of the problems listed above is a relatively simple fix, and in most cases, you won’t need the help of a professional plumber, but what about more complex problems? One part that can act up is the ejector pump. This pump is used for those times a laundry room or bathroom fixture is found below the grade of the septic line or main sewer line. These pumps force liquids and solids to flow, even though gravity is working against them.

As described on, there are a few things that can go wrong with this pump which can result in it not cycling at all, or it cycles but it isn’t removing any of the water from the pit. Or, you can hear it cycling but it’s just not working properly. Most of these issues you can resolve yourself with just a bit of know-how, but from time to time it may be necessary to replace the pump itself.

Know When You’re Over Your Head

When it comes to plumbing issues the best advice is to know when you’re in over your head, and when to ask for help.


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