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Bathroom Problems You Can Fix Yourself

Every home has its problems and the bathroom, like any other room, is one where there are problems that you can fix yourself - without too much effort.



Being a homeowner has its problems, but even living in a rental home can have its issues if you have a landlord that couldn't care less. Small problems in a bathroom can pop up at any time, usually when you least expect it. But there are some minor problems that you can fix yourself without too much hassle and for very little cost. In this article, we look at a few minor bathroom issues that can be fixed without expensive tools and without too much of your valuable time.



1. Fix a Clogged-Up Showerhead

Hard water and minerals in the water supply can easily lead to clogged filters and a blocked showerhead. Even though your water pressure is usually fine, as soon as the small holes in the showerhead start building up with scale and mineral deposits, the slower the water coming out. There is a very easy way to solve this problem and you only need a few items you may already have in the home.








White spirit vinegar

Plastic bag

Rubber band

Scouring pad




● Fill the plastic bag to about halfway with white spirit vinegar. The acid in vinegar breaks down the mineral deposits.

● Place the bag of vinegar over the showerhead, making sure to completely cover the holes in the showerhead.

● Use a rubber band to hold the bag in place and leave overnight.

● In the morning, remove the bag of vinegar and scrub with a scouring pad, cleaning out the holes with a toothpick.








2. Stop Dripping or Leaking Taps

Taps that leak or drip waste a lot of water, especially if left unattended to for a long time. Fixing a dripping or leaking tap immediately will not only prevent added expenses on your monthly water bill it is also good for preserving this natural resource. Fixing a leaky or dripping tap shouldn't take more than a few minutes - even if you've never done this before and you won't have to worry about wasting water anymore. Furthermore, a packet of tap washers will only cost you around R20 and you will have spares left over for the next time you need to fix a tap. Click here for step-by-step instructions on replacing a tap washer.



Plumber's wrench


Tap washer



● Turn off the water supply, either in the bathroom itself or at the main stopcock.

● Remove the decorative top of the tap. For older taps, you might have to use a plumber's wrench to remove the top section.

● Use the wrench to loosen the main spindle inside the tap.

● Remove the worn washer and replace with a new one.

● Repeat the process in reverse to put the tap back together again.

If your taps are very old and replacing the tap washer does not solve the problem, it might be time to think about replacing your taps entirely.








3. Tighten a Loose or Wobbly Toilet Seat

A toilet seat that slips around while you're sitting down is not a good thing. Sooner or later the fittings will break and then you will need to replace the toilet seat with a brand new one. Tightening up a loose or wobbly toilet seat is not a big job, in fact, it shouldn't take more than 15 minutes tops to fix. If you notice that any of the parts mentioned below are worn or broken, you can buy replacement parts at your local Builders or plumber's supply store.






● Use a screwdriver to pop off any plastic covers that hide the screws or nuts and bolts that hold the toilet seat in place.

● Turn off the water supply, either in the bathroom itself or at the main stopcock.

● Locate the plastic or steel bolts and wing nuts underneath the toilet at the back.

● Hold the wing nut tightly while you use a screwdriver to tighten the screw from the top.







this old house


4. Removing Hair from Drains

Bathtubs, sinks and showers occasionally block up due to a build-up of hair in the drain, particularly long hair. This is another easy fix that anyone can do and you only need a few items to clean out the blocked drain. Keep in mind that most drain cleaners won't remove hair blockages, so don't waste your money on these products. I also managed to find a very informative video that shows the exact method that I have previously used to unblock my bathtub drain. For a shower drain, you would use exactly the same method.



Screwdriver, if unblocking shower drain

Wire coathanger or length of easily bendable wire

Thin-nose pliers



● Bend the coathanger into a shape that is fairly straight and has a small hook at the bottom.

● In a shower, pop the top off the drain with your screwdriver. In a bathtub, remove any fitted steel drain cap.

● Push the wire down the drain and turn it in one direction to catch the hair blockage. Repeat until the blockage is gone.

If you are using this method to unblock a bathtub drain, make sure the hook at the end of the wire is small enough to fit through the drain holes in the fitted drain plug.





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