Though plumbing is intimidating for many homeowners, many common issues with your home's pipes can be fixed fairly easily. At the same time, a serious plumbing flaw can quickly escalate into a costly mess, so it's worth knowing when you should attempt a fix yourself or call a plumber. Even if you aren't experiencing any issues at the moment, it's worth doing routine maintenance on your system to ensure you pass any future home inspection and avoid floods down the line.
A clogged drain
Clogged drains are probably the most common plumbing issue people face, and luckily, they're easy to solve. If you find that a tub or sink isn't draining like it used to, reach for the same type of plunger you use on toilet issues. While the plunger is closely identified with the bathroom, it's useful for any plumbing clog and can quickly force any blockage out of your pipes. If your efforts with the plunger don't clear things up, investigate one of the many liquid clog removers available at most stores. These are effective, but you'll want to be careful while handling them. The powerful chemicals that eat away most clogs can be corrosive.
Dripping or leaking faucet
If a faucet consistently drips when it appears to be turned off or if water seeps out from around the handles, you don't need to get a new fixture right away. The leak is probably related to the rubber parts inside the faucet itself, and these elements are easy to replace. Ideally, you can look up the faucet on the manufacturer's website to find a view of the interior. This diagram should give you dimensions for what type of rubber washers or O-rings to get, and from there you're one trip to the hardware store away from stopping the leak.
When to call the plumber
Anything having to do with burst pipes or leaks coming through walls is probably an issue that a plumber should handle. To prevent things from getting worse before professional help arrives, turn your home's water off entirely. This will stop water from flowing through the pipes, and relieve any pressure that is forcing water out of broken spots in the system. While it's easy to deal with minor plumbing issues, it's also easy to do more harm than good if you get in over your head. Whenever you're in doubt, call a professional.