When dealing with plumbing issues, it is important to know when a job is something you can handle yourself and when you need to call in the professionals.

Since we use our home’s plumbing system every day it is helpful to have some tricks up our sleeves that we can do on our own. Here are 5 tips and tricks you can use at home – even if you’re not a superstar do-it-yourselfer!

#1 Another Way to Flush

When the toilet backs up, you may or may not be able to fix it yourself. But if you have to wait a few hours or even a day for the plumber to arrive, chances are you probably want to get rid of the “stuff” in the bowl.

If the flush handle doesn’t do the trick, an alternative way to flush is by using a large 2 gallon bucket of water. Quickly dump the water in the toilet bowl to flush the toilet.

#2 Use String to Cut a Pipe

Did you know that a string is almost as good as a saw for cutting PVC or ABS pipe? And as a bonus, string can reach places that you can’t get to with a saw. To perform this trick, make a notch in the pipe with a hacksaw blade or file, insert the string and then saw back and forth until it cuts through the pipe.

#3 Flushable Wipes are Not So Flushable

Even though these wipes are marketed as flushable, avoid the temptation! Unlike toilet paper, these wipes do not break down easily. If you use these wipes on a regular basis, they can eventually clog up your pipes.

Instead, if you must use so-called flushable wipes, throw them in the waste bin and preserve your pipes. This also applies to larger paper hand towels. As a general rule, if you doubt whether or not something can be flushed, don’t flush it.

#4 Keep An Eye On Those Washing Machine Hoses

A burst hose from a washing machine can wreak havoc on your laundry room and any possessions unfortunate enough to be in the path of the deluge. In fact, when it comes to water damage, busted washing machine hoses are one of the top culprits in home insurance claims.

Be sure to regularly check these hoses. Better yet – replace your old rubber hoses with ones made from stainless steel.

#5 Check Your Sump Pump

Especially if you live in an area that has been experiencing a lot of rain recently, it can pay off to check to see that your sump pump is in good working order. It is much easier to repair or replace a faulty sump pump than clean up after one that failed to work!  You’ll also want to keep an eye on your sump pump in the winter to ensure it isn’t freezing up.

Bonus Tip: Know When To Call A Plumber

Remember that while anyone can perform these simple tips at home, there are some jobs that are best left to the professionals. Any plumbing job with which you are uncomfortable or do not have the necessary skills or experience warrants calling in a professional plumber.

If you’re near the Hamilton, Niagara, or Burlington area, contact Wentworth Plumbing to get your home plumbing job done right.