Tips & Tricks
Try these tips to locate a leak.
If the leak is major, turn off the water immediately, either at the fixture shutoff valve or the main shutoff valve. You’ll probably have to replace the leaky section of pipe. If your experience working with pipes is limited, you’ll probably want to call in a plumber to do the job. If the leak is small, the ultimate solution is to replace the pipe, but there are temporary solutions until you have time for the replacement job. These methods work for small leaks only.
Before trying any drain-clearing methods on a plugged drain, check that the tub’s pop-up stopper is opening fully and is free of hair and debris. If the stopper isn’t the problem, then the drainpipe is probably clogged. First, try a plunger or chemical drain cleaner.
If these fail to do the job, you’ll have to clear the trap with a snake.
If you have to jiggle the hose as you pull out your kitchen sink sprayer, chances are the hose is catching on the shutoff valves. For smooth operation, slip 1/2-in. foam pipe insulation over the pipes and shutoff handles.
You don’t have to run to the neighbor’s bathroom during a plumbing project. Before you turn off the water supply, fill 2- gallon buckets with water. Flush the toilet by dumping the water in the bowl. You’ll get one flush per bucket. Works just as well as the usual method, although it won’t refill the bowl.
Fill the space between two stainless steel sink basins with expanding foam. The foam deadens vibrations and lessens the gong effect. It’s possible to do this with the sink in place but much neater and easier before installation. Either way, let the foam harden and then trim away the excess with a knife.
Shut off the water at the main shutoff valve and open the faucet nearest to the frozen pipe so it can drain as it thaws. Waterproof the area with containers and plastic drop clothes in case leaks occur.
Use one of the following methods to gradually warm the frozen pipe. Be sure to work from the faucet toward the iced-up area;
1) Propane torch with a flame-spreading-nozzle, the torch will quickly thaw a frozen pipe.
2) Hair dryer used like the torch, a dryer will gently defrost the pipe.
3) Hot water if no other method is available, wrap the pipe (except plastic) in rags and pour boiling water on it.
1) If your shower head leaks where it meets the arm, you probably need to replace the washer. To reach it, loosen the collar, using tape-wrapped rib-joint pliers. Unscrew the head from the adjusting ring.
2) Erratic or weak pressure usually indicates mineral buildup. To restore proper flow, clean outlet holes with a pin or unscrew a perforated face plate and soak it overnight in vinegar, then scrub it clean.
3) If the shower head pivots stiffly, check he washer for wear and coat the swivel ball with petroleum jelly before reassembling.