Toilet Circa 1775
Plumbing Tips
Tips on How to Fix Things Around the Home

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My Grandpa was a professional plumber, and this is the job I hate most. Of course you can call a plumber and pay him a hundred bucks to unstop that toilet if you wish.

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.

If 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 tips.

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 this.

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.

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