Fixing my leaking shower

Student Plumbing Hacks

by Andy Butler

As a student, you may not necessarily have the knowledge and experience to undertake the many household maintenance challenges that will crop up. However, having an understanding of how to fix a few basic problems will allow you to save a bit of money and crack on with your studies without having to recruit the parents or contact the landlord. If you have a leaky tap or blocked drains, there are some basic techniques you can use to help fix them on a temporary basis, giving you time to sort the rest of your life out before hiring the services of a professional plumber. 

Slow Draining Sink and Shower

Living in a student shared house means that lots of food debris and hair can get stuck in the sinks and shower piping, which can lead to slow draining water and clogged pipes. With multiple people using the water works in the house, this can become a major issue, especially if you don't have any heavy-duty sink unblocking gel (which can damage plastic piping) or you want to stay away from harsh chemicals.

In this instance, the best approach to take is to pour hot water down the sink or shower grill a couple of times first. The hotter the better because it will have a better chance of killing bacteria which results in bad odours and can help to melt off grime that has built up on the pipe walls.

If that doesn't work, pour some baking soda down the drain followed by white vinegar and lemon juice. Half a cup of soda should do it followed by a cup of both water and vinegar and a good squeeze of lemon. The lemon will help to make the sink smell fresh while the vinegar and baking soda will produce carbon dioxide bubbles that can dislodge mild blockages. 

Dripping Tap

Dripping taps are a nightmare if you value your sleep. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to fix and usually just require you to change the washer which can become warn and damaged allowing water to leak through. If you don't feel comfortable turning off the water and playing around with the tap, you can take some string and tie it around the head of the tap. That way the drip will be guided down the string and into the bowl without making any noise. It's only a temporary solution but fixes the problem until your landlord can arrange for a plumber to fix the issue.