Every time that you turn on your kitchen sink, use the bathroom or take a shower, you probably don’t give your plumbing a second thought. That is until one of the drains is backed up or your toilet has a clog or leak; then that’s all that you can think about.

And while you could certainly call a professional plumber to come out and fix the problem for you, the reality is that sometimes plumbing companies can be a bit on the pricey side. The good news is that if you want to keep a few dollars in your pocket, there are actually some things that you can do yourself.

If you’d like to know some of the essential tips that every DIY plumber should keep in mind, please read on.

Check for pipe and toilet leaks. One thing that you definitely want to avoid is a leaky pipe or toilet. Not only could it lead to serious plumbing problems, but the water could also cause a mold or mildew infestation as well. The best way to insure that your plumbing is working well is to conduct an energy audit. You can learn more about how to do one yourself by going to Energy.gov and putting “DIY energy audit” in the search field.

Try homemade products to unclog drains. It’s pretty common to have clogged drains on occasion. When this happens, you could go to a local drug or grocery store to pick up a commercial brand de-clogging solution. The problem with those is that they tend to have a lot of harsh chemicals in them that could damage your plumbing if they are used too often. Thankfully, there are some homemade solutions that you can try. Dish detergent, boiling water and a combination of baking soda and vinegar are just some of the things that will help your drains to run clearly again. For more homemade remedies, visit Wise Bread and put “easy ways to unclog drains” in the search field.

Rely on your wet-dry vacuum. Wet-dry vacuums can be used for a variety of things. When it comes to your plumbing, these vacuums are great when it comes to getting hair out of the drain in your bathtub. They are also an awesome way to get a large object out of the toilet that your child may have dropped into it. Just make sure that you use the attachment that comes along with your wet-dry vacuum. That will make the hair or the object much easier to reach.

Use a bucket of water for your toilet. Say that you’re working on a major plumbing project. If it’s going to affect your toilet, you don’t have to rely on a neighbor’s bathroom. All you need to do is fill a bucket up with water. A bucket full is equal to one good flush.

Insulate pipes in the wintertime. Say that you called a professional plumbing company like Westlake Plumbing for tips on how to get your plumbing ready for the winter. One thing that they will probably tell you is to insulate your pipes. That is what will keep them from freezing up. All you need is some foam or fiberglass that you can get at your local home improvement store to protect your pipes well. For tips on how to insulate your pipes, visit This Old House and put “insulate pipes” in the search field.