3 Plumbing Repairs Anyone Can Do

According to a study I've been conducting for the past 20 years, almost every home in North America needs at least one of these plumbing repairs. And that's a shame, because each of these plumbing repairs is quick and easy. You can do each one in 15 minutes or less, even if you have no plumbing experience.

1. Clean a clogged faucet aeratorClean a clogged faucet aerator

If the flow from your faucet is weak, unscrew the aerator and clean the little plastic parts inside. Scrub off gunk with a toothbrush or scrape with a knife. Here’s the key to success: As you disassemble the aerator, lay out the parts in order so you know exactly how to reassemble them.

2.Fix a leaking shutoff valveFix a leaking shutoff valve

If a valve under your sink is dripping, you probably don’t need to replace it. Instead, just tighten the packing a little. (If you tighten it too much, the valve stem won’t turn.) To prevent loosening the whole valve as you tighten the nut, hold on to the valve body with a second wrench.

3. Fix a drippy sink drainFix a drippy sink drain

If the drainpipes under your sink leak, take a look at their alignment. If the pipes join up straight, simply tighten the slip nuts. If they’re crooked, loosen the nuts, straighten out the assembly and retighten. If your pipes are plastic rather than metal, hand-tighten first. Then check for leaks and use pliers if necessary.

— Gary Wentz, Senior Editor

More easy plumbing repairs

Fix a running toilet

Replace a leaky sink sprayer

Unclog a toilet

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