Practical-minded people often desire to have the ability and know-how to deal with household maintenance and repair projects themselves, without always having to rely on the wait-times and costs of hiring professionals. While for serious repair issues it is best to contact a professional, there are many household plumbing projects that homeowners can take on themselves with a little bit of research. Here are a few tips for new “do-it-yourself-minded” household plumbers to get them started on the right track.
#1. Repairing Pipes in Your Home
One of the trickiest things about repairing plumbing pipes in your home is getting access to them. Often repairing plumbing pipes will require cutting through walls which will later need to be patched. However, if you are an ambitious do-it-yourself plumber, here are some tips for repairing pipes once you access them. The majority of water supply lines are made of copper. First, shut off the water. Next, cut the pipe on both sides of the damaged area. Cut a replacement piece and put in place by brushing with flux and twisting couplings over the edges. Use a torch to heat the area and apply solder. Finally, wipe it with a rag.
#2. Choosing Hose Clamps Sizes
Available in a variety of materials and used to attach and seal hoses to fittings or multiple objects together, hose clamps sizes range from small hose clamps used for jobs with small diameter tubing to extra large hose clamps for heavy duty applications such as irrigation projects. To determine the hose clamps sizes you need for a project, first measure the outside diameter of the object you are fitting. Choose a hose clamp that has a range of diameters that includes your measured outside diameter on the label.
#3. Installing New Plumbing Fixtures
If you are installing new plumbing fixtures such as a bathroom sink and vanity, here are some tips for doing it yourself. First locate where the stop valve and drain stick out of the wall. You will need to measure and cut holes into the vanity so these fixtures can poke through the rear of the cabinet for access. Secure the cabinet after placing it against the wall by screwing the cabinet into wall studs. Make sure it is level before doing this and add any shims if necessary. Apply an adhesive material such as caulk to the edge of the top of the vanity before centering on the vanity cabinet. Finally, connect supply tubes to stop valves and connect the trap.
#4. Fixing a Leak
The first step for fixing a leak is identifying where the leak is originating. Sometimes fixing a leak can be easier than you might expect. If water is leaking below your sink, a leaky stop valve or supply tube may be the culprit. First look at the supply tube and try tightening the nut. Run the water to see if the leak is repaired. If tightening the nut did not work, your next step is replacing the supply tube.