Toilet Tips: If you have rental
property, always have a plunger with you. Always keep a
plunger beside each toilet.
Many plumbing problems are
very simple to do, and will save you many repair dollars. If
your toilet runs when you are not using it, and then stops, it
means that water is leaking out. Usually that is the stopper
or flapper. They cost about two dollars. Lowes sells repair
kits with good instructions. Be sure and turn off the water
supply before you begin.
It is a good thing to know
where the emergency water supply turn off is located in your
home. Most newer homes have it at the bottom of a coat closet.
Some condos and apartments are in the utility room. Also
become familiar with the water meter usually in front of your
home in case you need to close off the water coming in to the
home because of a broken pipe.
To turn this off, you
will need an adjustable wrench which can be placed over the
valve on the meter, and turning with a screw driver through
the hole in the adjustable wrench. There is usually an arrow
on the meter valve that shows which way the water flows. I
recommend each homeowner or renter become familiar with this
in case of emergency.
May toilets become stopped up
due to children placing large toys and other items down the
toilet. Flushing little brother down the toilet usually does
some major damage.
It is good to have a sense of humor
while doing plumbing, because it is not a fun job.
your drain cannot be plunged out, sometimes I have used a leaf
blower stuck down in the toilet. Stand clear though, because
back lash is a horrible way to die.
If the toilet has
to be removed, take off the two closet bolts first. These are
usually rusted, and sometime you have to use a hacksaw to
remove them. If you have a "reciprical" saw (Sawzall), it is
an easy job.
When removing the toilet, have a mop
handy. I usually set it in the bathtub, so I can tip it back
and see where the clog is. When replacing, always get new
closet bolts, and a new wax seal. Be sure and tighten water
fittings properly so leaks will not occur.
If you have
to replace the "guts of a toilet", it is a good time to do it
while you have it removed. While you have it out it only costs
a few bucks more to replace the gaskets and seals.
Sinks: When removing a sink, it is a
good job to have a home repair book available to give you some
Be sure and turn off the water supply first.
Removing faucets under a kitchen sink requires a
special wrench that you can purchase. Trying to do it with an
adjustable wrench will drive you nuts. Be sure and have good
lighting under there and do not have your face or eyes
directly under the faucet. It is good to use plumbing tape on
new installation. That tends to eliminate the drips.
Make sure you install a clean out curved pipe under
each sink to recover your wife's diamond ring when she drops
it in the sink.
PVC piping at Lowe's is available for
If you are putting in a new sink, be sure an use
plumber's putty around the edge and then caulk to keep water
from dripping down in the cabinet.
If you are
replacing a garbage disposal, be sure and punch out the hole
in the disposal if you have a dishwasher. It is a good idea to
replace all the connections between hoses when you replace the
disposal. When you finish the plumbing job, place a newspaper
under the new plumbing, and check it several times for those
drips that sometimes happen.
Do not overtighten the
fittings, or you might have to start all over again.