There are some plumbing projects that are better left to plumbing services companies, such as water heater repair or installation. The possibilities of flooded basements or toxic exhaust gas leaks are too risky. Events such as burst supply pipes are better handled by an emergency plumber. However, there are simple plumbing projects that require a minimal amount of skill and equipment.
Plumbing products you will need for various plumbing repairs
There are some plumbing products that you should keep on hand for various kinds of plumbing projects. These include:
- Adjustable wrench. You should buy at least one adjustable wrench for plumbing projects.
- Locking pliers. These pliers with adjustable jaws are very useful in tight spaces. Plumbing repair projects will often require tightening nuts in spaces with very limited access.
- Pipe tape. This is simply a small roll of plastic that resembles tape, but lacks adhesive qualities. It is wrapped around pipe threads before a nut is attached to prevent water leaks at the connection.
- Plumber's putty. It is a putty that is used as a backup for rubber gaskets to prevent leaks from faucet bases or sink drains. Plumber's putty is applied to faucets or drains on the top of a sink, while a rubber gasket seals beneath a sink.
- Pipe wrap. This is a material that can be stretched and wrapped to form a tight bond around non-pressurized pipes to stop minor leaks. It is generally not effective on pressurized supply pipe.
Plumbing products for specific projects
There are plumbing products that are job-specific. You will need special products for:
- Toilet repair.
Toilets that won't stop running may need a flapper, which is the small rubber ball with a flange. It attaches to the toilet flush handle with a small chain. If it is worn, the tank cannot fill, which will cause water to run continuously. Flappers are not model-specific, and are easy to replace with no tools. simply slip the old one off the side posts and chain, and install the new one.
Your flush valve may need to be replaced if your toilet won't stop running. It fills your toilet tank with water, and if it is defective, will continuously run water into your overflow tube in the center of the tank. It is simple to replace, and you only need an adjustable wrench or locking pliers and pipe tape to install it.
If your supply hose is leaking, check the diameter of the hose before heading to the plumbing supply store. You can buy a replacement hose in flexible metal or plastic. All you will need is an adjustable wrench or locking pliers and pipe tape. Be sure to turn off the supply valve and drain the toilet tank before replacing the hose.
- Sink Repair
Replacing a faucet is simple, but access to the bottom of the faucet can be difficult in some cases.If you have an older faucet, be sure that the space between the hot and cold water is the same in the new faucet, or the new one won't fit into the openings in the sink. Installing a new faucet only requires locking pliers to tighten the nuts on the hot and cold supply lines, pipe tape to seal the threads, and plumber's putty to place around the base of the faucet to keep water from leaking onto the top of the sink.
A leaking sink drain may need a new rubber gasket. Simply unhook the trap beneath the sink (it is shaped like the letter "J") by loosening the plastic nut with your adjustable wrench. Then loosen the large nut (by hand) on the bottom of the drain that holds the gasket in place. Measure the gasket before purchasing a new one, then place a small amount of plumber's putty in the depression in the sink that holds the drain before reassembling.