There are some plumbing issues that require you to call a plumber, because they are beyond the scope of DIY repair, but there are also some plumbing repairs that you can do yourself that won’t cost you much money at all. Here are some of the common household plumbing repairs that you may face, and tips on how to take care of them on your own.

Garbage Disposal

You should never toss anything metallic or made of glass into the garbage disposal, as this can cause the grinder blades to become dull or to break. It’s also beneficial for you to use cold water to help food items flow through the disposal, because cold water hardens waste as opposed to hot water, which liquefies waste and makes it more likely for it to clog your disposal.

If your garbage disposal stops working, there are two things you can try to get it working again. The first thing is to unplug the cord, clear any obstruction in the disposal itself, plug the cord in again and check to see if the disposal works. If it doesn’t work, unplug the cord again, reach under the sink and find a small reset button at the bottom part of the disposal. Press the reset button for a few seconds and let go. Plug the cord back in and in many cases you will find that the disposal will work again.

These two DIY fixes are often sufficient to get your disposal running again, but if not, you will have to contact your plumber.

Fixtures

One of the most common repairs a plumber makes is on your fixtures, and those repairs can add up. To preserve your fixtures, you should think about investing in a water softener, because the main cause of fixtures that need replacing is sediment left by hard water that flows through your pipes. A water softener reduces the amount of sediment and build-up in your pipes, and it can help extend the life of your fixtures without costing you a lot of money.

Dishwasher

Sometimes when your dishwasher is in operation, water backs up into the sink and causes a mess. This is the result of food that’s still swirling in the garbage disposal or your pipes that weren’t properly processed by the grinding action of the disposal, and because the dishwasher water flows through the same pipes, you will see the backed up waste in your sink. You can prevent this issue by running cold water and turning on the garbage disposal for about 30 seconds to a minute prior to using the dishwasher. This clears any lingering food waste and flushes it through the pipes.