4 Common Household Leaks You Can Fix Without a Plumber

By Amanda Meadows on 18 November 2015 0 comments

Whether you live in a house or an apartment, leaks are so common that you definitely don't want to hire a plumber every single time it happens. Pick up a few supplies, take an afternoon and try these easy and cheap ways to fix household leaks.

1. Shower Leak

If your shower is leaking, it is likely due to one really simple-to-fix issue. The showerhead slowly gets loosened from the pipe stem over time. Usually you just need to tighten the hold by reattaching the showerhead and using pipe tape to seal the pipe around the showerhead. The tape is available at nearly any hardware store or on Amazon for about $10. You'll also want to check the washer (also called an "o ring") on the inside of the showerhead.

2. Faucet Leak

Drip. Drip. Drip. Not only is that really annoying, but it's wasting gallons of water per day. The most common reason for faucet leaks is just a worn out gasket. So it's usually very easy to fix this one.

First, remember to turn off your water line under the sink before opening up your faucet, and place drain stoppers in all drain openings to prevent losing parts. Then, cover the faucet exterior (handles, etc.) with tape so your wrench doesn't scuff them up. Next, you take apart each piece and screw them back in, after replacing the worn-out gasket or washer. Try watching one of many online video tutorials on the subject to get the visuals down.

3. Water Heater Leak

The water heater looks like a pretty intimidating appliance, which is why most people are afraid to tinker with it. However, did you know that the water you find pooling at the bottom of your water heater may not actually be a leak? It could easily be the condensation from the outside of the heater dripping down to the floor. If you've ruled that out because water is spraying from the hose, immediately shut off the water valve (should be a red handle located near the pipe). If the temperature release valve is leaking, it might be because the temperature setting is too high, which can fixed with the manual's instructions with a wrench you have a home.

If you detect corrosion or other more dangerous defects, don't take the risk — call a plumber.

4. Toilet Leak

This might be among the scariest of all leaks, because who wants anything to seep out of their commode? If the leak is coming from the bottom of the toilet, you likely need to tighten the bolts securing it to the floor. (For more instructions, check This Old House.) However, one of the leading causes of toilet leaks is one simple item: an over-worn toilet flapper. That's the rubber gasket that makes the flushing mechanism work. They tend to just wear out or build up mineral deposits and decay. It's such an easy replacement, you don't need a tutorial or a plumber. (See also: 10 Easy Plumbing Repairs that Don't Need a Plumber)

Have you repaired your own leaks? Share with us in the comments!

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