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Plumbing Projects

How To Fix A Pop-Up Drain
Raise the trip lever to the open position. Pull the stopper and rocker arm assembly from the drain. Clean off soap and hair with a dishwashing brush in a basin of hot water.


A plunger-type tub drain has a simple grate over the drain opening and a behind-the-scenes plunger stopper. Remove the screws on the over flow coverplate with a slotted or Phillips head screwdriver. Pull the coverplate, linkage, and plunger from the overflow opening.


How to fix a leaky two- or three-handle faucet
Both three-handle and two-handle faucets have a hot-water valve and a cold-water valve behind their hot and cold faucet handles...


How To Fix A Leaky One-Handle Faucet
Single-handle rub and shower faucets have one valve controlling both hot and cold water. This valve sits directly behind the one large knob or lever. If your tub spout drips all the time, you need to fix this valve. The first step involves information and materials gathering.


A closet auger is a semirigid cable housed in a tube. The tube has a bend at the end so it can be snaked through a toilet trap (without scratching it) to snag blockages.


How to inspect your plumbing

There are two basic kinds of pipes in a plumbing system: supply pipes and drain pipes. Supply pipes are always full of water under pressure and drain pipes (which include vent pipes that only move air) are empty when not in use. Supply pipes usually are 1/2” or 3/4” in diameter and drain pipes are any- where from 1½” to 4” or more. The largest drain pipes are the main drain stack (multi-level houses) and horizontal house drains fed by branch lines.


Removing and replacing sink trap components

Before removing a sink trap, place a bucket under the trap to catch water that spills out. Loosen the slip nut at one end of the trap (a P-trap is seen here). Use channel-type pliers if the nut won’t unscrew by hand.


How to frost-proof your plumbing

OUTDOOR FAUCETS. Remove hoses from all outside faucets when freezing weather approaches. Shut off the water to the faucet at the shutoff valve inside. Drain the pipe from the shut off to the spout by opening a waste nut on the shutoff and the outside faucet itself.


How to fix a compression faucet

Most compression valves have a threaded metal spindle with a disc-shaped stem washer on the end. When the spindle is screwed all the way in, the stem washer covers a hole, and water flow to the spout is stopped. Drips from the spout happen when the seal between the stem washer and the rim of the hole (called the “valve seat”) is imperfect. Usually, replacing the stem washer is enough to stop the drip.


How to fix a cartridge faucet

Turn off the water at the stop valves. To avoid losing small parts, put a rag in the drain if it has no stopper. Some cartridge faucets have an index cap covering a handle screw. Other handles, especially on one-handle faucets, are secured with a recessed set screw that can be loosened with a 3/32” or 7/64” hex wrench. A lever type handle with no set screw may be removed with channel-type pliers.


How to fix a ball faucet

The ball-type faucet is used by Delta, Peerless, and a few others. The ball fits into the faucet body and is constructed with three holes (not visible here)--a hot inlet, a cold inlet, and the outlet, which fills the valve body with water that then flows to the spout or sprayer. Depending on the position of the ball, each inlet hole is open, closed, or somewhere in-between. The inlet holes are sealed to the ball with valve seats, which are pressed tight against the ball with springs. If water drips from the spout, replace the seats and springs. Or go ahead and purchase an entire replacement kit and replace all or most of the working parts.


How to fix a disc faucet

The disc-type faucet used by American Standard, among others, has a wide disc cartridge hidden beneath the handle and the cap. Mounting screws hold the cartridge in the valve body. Two tight - fitting ceramic discs with holes in them are concealed inside the cartridge. The handle slides the top disc back and forth and from side to side over the stationary bottom disc. This brings the holes in the disks into and out of alignment, adjusting the flow and mix of hot and cold water.


How to clean a showerhead

Water may flow through two or three shutoff valves between the city water line or the well and your shower or sink. Make sure all the shutoff valves are functioning properly and are opened fully. If the valves are all open, the problem could be in the internal working of your outlet valves. Check the filters and aerators first, as we show you in this project. If the water flow is still subpar, refer to the project that show you how to repair and replace faucets.


How to clean a faucet aerator

Dry and wrap the aerator with masking tape to protect the finish. Adjust channel-type pliers to fit comfortably over the aerator and twist the aerator counterclockwise to loosen.


Washing machine fills slowly

Turn off hot and cold water to the machine and unscrew supply hoses where they join the machine or at the first accessible coupling.


How to reset the tank water level

Perhaps the most common cause of running toilets is a minor misadjustment that fails to tell the water to shut off when the toilet tank is full. The culprit is usually a float ball or cup that is adjusted to set a water level in the tank that’s higher than the top of the overflow pipe, which serves as a drain for excess tank water.


What if the flush stops too soon

Sometimes there is plenty of water in the tank, but not enough of it makes it to the bowl before the flush valve shuts off the water from the tank. Modern toilets are designed to leave some water in the tank, since the first water that leaves the tank does so with the most force. (It’s pressed out by the weight of the water on top). To increase the duration of the flush, shorten the length of the chain between the flapper and the float.


How to replace a fill valve

Toilet fill valves degrade eventually and need to be replaced. Before removing the old fill valve, shut off the water supply at the fixture stop valve located on the tube that supplies water to the tank. Flush the toilet and sponge out the remaining water. Then, remove the old fill valve assembly by loosening and removing the mounting nut on the outside of the tank wall that secures the fill valve.


How to replace a flush valve

If the fixes your toilet from running, the next step it to try replacing the flush valve. Before removing the old flush valve, shut off the water supply at the fixture stop valve located on the cube that supplies water to the tank. Flush the toilet and sponge out the remaining water. To make this repair you’ll need to remove the tank from the bowl. Start by unscrewing the water supply coupling nut from the bottom of the tank.


How to plunge a clogged toilet

Plunging is the easiest way to remove “natural” blockages. Take time to lay towels around the base of the toilet and remove other objects to a safe, dry location, since plunging may result in splashing. Sometimes, allowing a very full toilet to sit for twenty or thirty minutes will permit some of the water to drain to a less precarious level, or you can bail it out.






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