By gaining some basic knowledge of the plumbing problems that you can tend to on your own, you can rely on a professional plumber less. However, it is very important to understand that you never want to do a repair you aren't 100 percent competent doing or you can cause worse issues than you started with. Two things you may be able to do on your own are fix a cracked pipe and free up a clog. This article will give you instructions on doing both of these things:
Fixing a cracked pipe
If you have a PVC pipe that is cracked and easily reachable, such as under the sink, then you can fix it on your own. The first thing to do is shut off the water to that area. Then, you are going to remove the broken pipe by either twisting the connectors free or cutting it a couple inches from the connectors with a hacksaw, leaving enough room for more connectors. You would cut the pipe instead if the connectors were permanently glued in place.
You will then measure and cut the new pipe to fit. If you were able to take the connectors off, then you want to wrap the plumber's tape around the ends of the new pipe, fit it in the connectors, and hand tighten them. If you had to cut the pipe, you will still put plumber's tape on both ends, hand tighten the connectors on both ends, put plumber's tape on the pipes you cut, and then hand tighten the new connectors and pipe onto them. Turn on the water, and you will be ready to go. If there is a leak, you need to shut the water off again and add more plumber's tape where needed, and then try again and it should work fine.
Unclogging a clog in the sink
If you have a clogged sink, it's always easiest to go for the sink plunger. This is just like a toilet plunger, only smaller. The main difference is that most homes have a plunger for the toilet, where very few have one for the sink. You don't want to make this mistake, as they are very helpful.
Make sure there is enough water to go to the top of the rubber on the plunger and then stick it in the drain and slowly pump it until the clog is gone. If the clog is in the pipes under the sink, it will probably be in the "p" shaped pipe. Use the advice above for removing this pipe and remove the clog, then put the pipe back in place, also using the instructions above.
If you have any issues that you don't feel comfortable fixing on your own, call a licensed plumber in the area to ensure the job is fixed properly.