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If your standard plunger or hand snake just won't handle your drain problem, then you still have other tools to use that will clear your pipes. For the toilet, consider a long handled closet auger. A long handled closet auger is a tool much like its name. You use an extended handle with a wire to get through and break obstructions in your toilet. If you're looking for still more tools to clear your pipes, consider a power snake. A motorized version of the hand snake, a power snake is a larger drain cleaning tool which will allow you to reach farther and give you more control.
If you're joining together pipes with a threaded joint, you'll still need some plumbing supplies to make sure your pipes don't leak at the joints. Two plumbing supplies you will want to consider are pipe dope and Teflon tape. If you use pipe dope, apply it to the threads of both pipes before you screw them together. Teflon tape is an inexpensive, clean alternative sealant for threaded pipes. You simply get a tight wrap around the threaded pieces of the pipes before you join them together and you'll have a tidy method of keeping your pipes leak free.
Appliances in your home won't last forever and when they break down, you'll have to foot the bill to replace them if repair isn't an option. Want to know how long the average lifespan and replacement costs for appliances in your home are? Read on to find out.
If you're planning for a half bath, you don't have a lot of plumbing fixtures to contend with, but you do have some design and space considerations to take into account. You basically just need a sink and a toilet and you can fit both these plumbing fixtures into 20 square feet of space and still meet building codes for your half bath. In order to save space, you can select specific space saving plumbing fixtures like pedestal sinks, corner sinks, and wall-mounted basins. Choose a round toilet for your half bath over an oval one to save space as well.
To solder a pipe, you'll need several tools to get the job done right. This is our list of four tools to solder a pipe.
Pipe cleaning tool – Once you've cut a pipe, you need to clean it before you solder it to get the surface free of debris and rough surfaces. Use a pipe cleaning tool which will clean the inside and outside of the pipe.
Flux – Before you actually solder a pipe, you'll need to put flux on. Flux is a thick, gooey substance which will help your pipes fuse together.
Solder – Get a lead free solder to join your pipes together. Solder provides a seal for your pipe joints and keeps the connection drip-free.
Torch and striker – The striker will light the torch and you'll use the torch to apply high intensity heat to melt the solder and seal the joint.
Wrenches and pliers are essential and basic tools to perform all kinds of plumbing tasks. Even if you think you wouldn't know the first thing to tackle a leaky pipe, try reading our guide to familiarize yourself with wrenches and pliers:
Tongue and Groove Pliers – This tool, also commonly called the plumber's pliers, open up big enough to tackle just about every size of pipe there is and gives you more torque due to its offset head.
Crescent Wrench – The smooth design of the crescent wrench makes it less likely to damage the finish on your nicer fixtures. If you want to be especially careful, just wrap a piece of cloth around your fixture before you put a wrench on it.
Pipe wrench – The pipe wrench comes with a long handle and works well for threaded connections. This wrench works best if you keep the back of the jaw snug against the pipe while you're tightening it.
Basin wrench – It's a spring-loaded tool with a long handle and it's perfect for hard to reach areas when you need to tighten or loosen a pipe connection.
If you have a clog in your pipes and you want to try and clear it out yourself, it's helpful to know which drain tools to use. You don't want to start with the most heavy-duty piece of equipment you can find. Instead, try one of the most basic tools of all – the plunger. It's also very effective for many clogs. If that doesn't cut it, work your way up to the next level of drain tools - the hand snake. The hand snake is a length of wire or cable you insert into your plumbing. The best way to go about it is insert the hand snake a foot at a time and then reel it back. Repeat the process until you've got a hold of the clog.
If you're tackling a plumbing repair which requires you to cut a pipe, you'll need to get tubing cutters. This tool has a sharp blade and wheels and works but cutting the pipe gradually as you move it around the pipe. If you're not sure the best way to go about it, try this method.
Want to do one of the easiest bathroom remodels around? Install a water conserving plumbing fixture in your home. Install a low flow showerhead. A recent federal mandate requires all showerheads to flow at a rate of no more than 2.5 gallons per minute. So if you haven't installed a new showerhead in your home in the last five years or so, maybe it's time to get that new low flow showerhead. If you want to go even further with your water conserving plumbing fixture, go super low flow with a fixture which puts out just 2 gallons per minute. You can even get a model which has an on/off button for when you're just lathering on the soap in the tub.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|