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5 Ingenious DIY Plumbing Hacks for Moms

>> Mar 17, 2019


As Moms, we always have lists upon lists upon lists of things to do.  Not particularly glamorous things either!  Most of our lists comprise of cleaning children, cleaning the house, cleaning the children’s clothes, cleaning the dishes etc. before starting the cycle all over again.

So, we all know that water is life but for us, it is also sanity!  The moment that the water stops flowing, or starts flowing in the wrong places, everything turns upside down and we panic.
But many of the plumbing problems that inspire that panic are actually relatively simple to fix without spending a huge amount on spare parts or calling a plumber.  You just need a few basic tools (every Mom should have a Mom Tool Set!), some vinegar and baking soda and a few household items and you will be flowing freely in the right places again.

Today, we will be looking at the 5 most ingenious plumbing hacks but, before you start playing with your plumbing, make sure you know where the mains valve is just in case you need to stop a flood!  Also, make sure there is easy access to your valves at all times.  You don’t want to be moving furniture and boxes as the water is pouring from a broken pipe.

1.  Clogged Drains and Toilets

Clogged drains are one of the most common reasons for plumber call-outs.  After all, no-one wants smelly, and often contaminated, water rising up through their sinks, baths and toilets.

The first thing to think about with toilets is what you are flushing down them.  It might be a good idea to put a latch on the outside toilet door until your little ones are potty trained and old enough to understand that socks, Barbie™ doll accessories and empty candy wrappers should not be flushed!  Also, make sure there is a good quality sealed garbage bin for non-toilet paper waste such as paper towels.  Toilet paper is designed to dissolve in water; it is the total opposite for paper kitchen towels.

There are numerous toilet and drain de-blocking chemicals available on the market. These drain cleaners work efficiently and quickly but need to be handled with care and always away from children.  As they have to be left in the sink or toilet for a specific period of time, make sure children cannot access that room whilst they are working.

You can also use an old fashioned plunger and apply some muscle to remove remaining blockages.

If this doesn’t work, consider renting or buying a “Plumber’s Snake”, a tool which helps you thread a tube down your pipes and remove blockages but you will only need this if the blockage has become really solid.

2.  Clogged Showers or Taps

Whether you have hard or soft water, debris, lime-scale and rust can build up in the aerator and holes of your taps and shower heads.

To clean them effectively, simply disassemble and soak in white vinegar for 6 hours.  Use a brush and a piece of wire to remove stuck-on dirt and poke through the holes to clear them completely then reassemble.

It’s that simple!

3.  My Hot Water is Too Hot or Too Cold

Most of us ignore our water-heaters/boilers until something goes wrong.  But you can save time and money by making sure it is set at the right temperature.  There is a thermostat on the side of most heaters and you should set this at 115˚ F which is ideal showering temperature.  Hotter than that is actually dangerous and itwill also lower your electric bill. 

If there is still a problem, you might need a new thermostat and the, I’m sorry to say, you will need to call a plumber.

4.  Fixing a Leaky Tap

A leaky tap means there is a problem with the washer.  If allowed to continue, this might lead to a major flood so be sure you can change a simple washer.

Firstly, turn off the water mains.  Failure to do so is disastrous! 

The washer in a tap is called the “O-Ring”.  To access it, you need to use pliers or a wrench but use a cloth to protect any shiny surfaces.  O-Rings are in different locations depending on the tap type but you will usually find it just under the screw mechanism as your unscrew it.

(O-Rings are different sizes so you might want to leave your mains water valve disconnected and take the faulty ring to your local hardware store to match sizes.)

Then simply replace the ring and screw back the tap.

5.  Prevention is Always Best

-   A great alternative for chemicals is a combination of vinegar and baking soda.  Simply place 1 part baking soda in the sink-hole or toilet and then add 2 parts white vinegar.  Wait a couple of hours and then either flush or run hot water through. Use the baking soda and vinegar trick in your sinks and toilets on a monthly basis to prevent rather than cure blockages.  Put it in your calendar.

-   Clean your washing machine, dishwasher and ice machine pipes every six months.  Make that part of your spring and fall cleaning.

-   Check your water heater during your spring and fall cleaning.  Look for leaks and rust and check any heatproof cladding is intact.

-   As winter approaches, make sure you disconnect hoses from your outside garden pipes.  (This will prevent water in these pipes and taps freezing and then cracking the pipes in the thaw.)


Learn not be afraid of plumbing and to know your pipes and valves.  If you take care of them, you will have fewer problems and can check one thing off your lists.

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Welcome to my blog. I'm a home maker, a stay at home wife. I'm just an ordinary woman who has interest in reading, working at home and learning to write. We live in Bogor, Indonesia.
This blog contains articles in family topic.
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