At Kwiatkowski Plumbing, we like to help our customers out for all their plumbing needs. We know that sometimes doing it yourself is possible, and can save you time and money. While you should always consult a professional for plumbing needs that could be challenging, there are a few that the home DIYer can attempt.
We’ve written a few blogs on DIY plumbing, including our: Kitchen Sink Unclogging and Methods to Unclog Your Shower Drain. These are excellent posts to check out, especially if you find you’re in a situation where your kitchen sink or tub isn’t draining as well as it used to. In this article, we are going to go over the basics for doing DIY plumbing projects to ensure you have a favorable outcome. Remember, if you feel like after researching a repair or installation, it might be above your skill level, contact your local plumber for help.
What Plumbing Can I Do Myself?
Before starting a project, you should understand the home plumbing basics. Your home has three different plumbing systems; these include the potable water system, the sanitary drainage system, and the rainwater drainage system. A homeowner can work on all three of these up to a certain point. A good rule of thumb, to ensure you don’t get in over your head, is sticking with problems or tasks that you can easily access and see.
Your home plumbing system is crucial to the comfort of your home. If you attempt a repair you aren’t confident with; it could lead to more significant problems, like substantial leaks, sewer drainage issues, and more. The best DIY projects, most with some level of being mechanically inclined, can complete can include the following:
1) Changing Out Faucets
Replacing your kitchen or bathroom faucet is an intermediate plumbing installation that many can do. For those that haven’t done one before, you can expect this to take about an hour or less to complete.
2) Replacing The Showerhead
Are you dreaming of a rainwater shower experience? It doesn’t have to remain a dream any longer. Changing out a showerhead is perhaps the easiest plumbing endeavor a DIYer can tackle. Most of these require unscrewing, applying plumbers tape, and screwing the new one on. However, if you plan on changing the location of the showerhead, this task will require plumbers assistance.
3) Installing A New Sink
While installing a new sink can sound tricky, it isn’t as bad as it seems. If you have some background in construction or plumbing, getting a new sink or vanity with sink installed can be a breeze. Most of these fit over the existing pipes, meaning you won’t have to move any of the plumbing. Just remember to shut off the water at the sink to avoid a mess. Remove the old vanity or tub, replace it with new, and reconnect. Before attempting this project, do plenty of research.
4) Unclogging Toilets
While it might not seem like a considerable repair, countless homeowners will call a plumber if the toilet is clogged, without trying any method for repair. Before calling a plumber, always try to plunger the drain. Many times, this is enough to get the drain flowing again.
5) Replacing A Sink Trap
The sink trap is the pipe just under the sink. This can become clogged, damaged, or you may just want to replace it with new PVC piping for easier access. Often this job requires unscrewing, replacing the pipe, sealing, and putting back on. You’ll want to make sure you have the replacement pipe ready to place before getting started. Measure the length of the tube needed before starting the project.
Basic Plumbing Tools You’ll Need
When armed with common plumbing tools, many of the projects you’ll want to tackle become infinitely easier. As professional plumbers, we have tons of tools to help us out on jobs. From a variety of wrenches, channel locks, hammers, and so on, we can tackle any issue a plumbing system might go through at us.
For the home DIYer, it can get expensive trying to replicate a plumbers toolbox, but there are some things you’ll want to have around the house before starting. Always remember that quality is vital when purchasing any tool. Cheap tools tend to break when under pressure, making them pointless for many applications. Make sure you have these valuable tools or access to any plumbing task.
- Set of screwdrivers (Phillips and flatheads)
- Channel Locks ( 2 pair)
- Plumbers Tape (a must for creating good seals)
- Basin Wrench
- Pipe Wrench
- Seat Wrench (Highly affordable, under $10)
- Crescent Wrench
- Pliers (needle nose)
- Tape Measure
While you might run into needing more advanced or project-specific tools, like a saw or specific hammer, the above list is the basics every homeowner, that wants to try their hand at DIY plumbing should have.
There are many things you can do around the home to lower your out of pocket cost for repairs, upgrades or installations. Before starting any project, always do proper research to know what you’re getting into. Keep in mind that unexpected issues can come up, and if they do, be prepared.