Easy DIY plumbing repairs you can do



Perhaps we should name this article "How to save yourself R330 in five minutes!"


Some basic tools and supplies are all that you need to tackle basic home plumbing repairs, and there are quite a few home plumbing repairs that you can fix yourself rather than have to call out the plumber. Follow these easy DIY tips and make sure you stay on top of minor repairs before they become major disasters.

Calling out a plumber for routine home plumbing repairs can cost anywhere from R350 upwards. If you think that changing a tap washer costs around R20 and takes 5 minutes at the most, you have already saved yourself R330 simply by doing it yourself. Small plumbing repairs in and around the home don’t always involve getting your hands dirty and are reasonably simple to do.


The most important thing to remember when working on any fittings that is connected to the water supply is to switch off the water supply at the main stopcock, or the stopcock for that particular fittings if there is one close by.


Replace a tap washer

We recently featured an article on replacing a tap washer in an outdoor tap, and an indoor tap follows pretty much the same procedure. The only difference is that a standard indoor tap has a decorative top that needs to be removed.


ABOVE: This is the tap we use at our DIY Divas Plumbing Workshops to show how easy it is to replace a tap washer.


All you need to do is pop off the cap and loosen the screw that holds the cap in place. Once you have done this you will see the cartridge that holds the washer. Now all that is required is to remove and replace the washer and put the tap back together again.



Replacing a tap

Replacing an old tap with a new fitting is another easy DIY project that you can tackle in no time at all. Since any tap is simply screwed in place, it is a matter of undoing the fittings and connecting your new tap. Take a look under your kitchen or bathroom sink and you will notice two connections: one each for hot and cold water.


If your taps aren’t installed with the new water supply connectors you may need to call in a plumber to make the necessary modifications for you.


Unscrew the fittings and connect these to your new tap and screw the tap in place.


Most manufacturers make it easy for you by providing everything you need to install the tap in the box! If not, all the fittings required can be bought at your local Builders Warehouse.

Leaks in a toilet

We have already featured an article on fixing minor toilet problems, and this is another area of home plumbing that can save you bucks. All the little bits and pieces in a cistern (toilet tank) can be purchased separately to make it easy for you to do-it-yourself.

Clean indoor drain blockages

Cleaning blocked drains is a quick and easy DIY project that saves you lots, and it’s also a simple repair to DIY. All you need is a pair of locking pliers and a bucket.


If you have tried chemical and natural alternatives, have used a plunger and the drain is still blocked, removing the P-trap is the next step before you call out a plumber. If you take a look under the sink you will notice that all the pipes are joined using connectors. Whether rubber, PVC or steel, these can be unscrewed using locking pliers. Place a bucket underneath where you are working to catch excess water before you remove the fittings.

If the P-trap is blocked, clear this out before re-connecting all the fittings. If you don’t find any blockage in the P-trap, the next step is to call out a plumber.


Just these few repairs can save you money and won’t take that much of your time. It is a good idea to invest in the few basic tools that you will need for these projects because you never know when you might need them!


Janice Anderssen


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