Category Archives: Plumbing

How to install a new toilet

If you are like most people, you probably never give your toilet a second thought as long as it works.   If it doesn’t work however, it can get aggravating really fast.

Once you find yourself with a leaky toilet or worse, a money flushing toilet (think lots of water used to do the job), then it may be time to think about a replacement. You might be surprised at the flushing power and water efficiency of today’s modern toilets.  For $100-150, you can install a new toilet that flushes quickly and with very little water….think 1.4 gallons!  Your water bill will thank you!  I know, I know, it’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.   Unless you want to pay a plumber, the good news is that it is fairly easy and quick as a do-it-yourself project.

What you’ll need: New toilet, new flanged wax ring with adjustable height bolts, plumbers tape, wrench and pliers, plastic putty knife, level, shims and caulk

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Tips for locating your home’s main water shut off valve

Your home’s main water shut off valve is often an overlooked feature, but you will wish one day in the event of a leak,  that you know where it is at in a moment’s notice.  Fortunately, you don’t need to be a detective when it comes to locating your home’s main water shut off valve.  There are a few usual suspects that can be hiding its location.

First you should know that your water meter located outside is a last resort option for turning off your water to your home and usually requires a special valve tool to turn it off and on; that, or a tricky use of pliers in what is typically a wet, muddy hole.  Most modern homes are equipped with a secondary water shut off valve that are more accessible and quicker to turn off on the inside.

Interior valves are usually either one of two styles:

A Gate Valve which resembles your garden hose attachment

or a Ball  valve that has a lever on it

Here’s some places to look inside your home:

1)  Look in closets on the front of your home for little cabinets; these little cabinets on interior walls may have your shut off valve.  Most shut off valves for water will be painted blue but don’t be surprised if they are over-sprayed with paint.

2) Look in your laundry room

3) Look in your garage walls

4)  Look under your bathroom or kitchen sinks (all faucets and toilets usually have their own secondary shut off valves so a main shut off valve would be in addition to these)

Rules of thumb for colors used on valves:  Water is blue, hot water is red, gas is yellow

Take a few minutes to locate your own shut off valves.  You never know when you might need it!

A Home Remodel Series (Part 3-How to replace a kitchen sink and faucet)

Day 3 has everyone hopping at my friend’s house!  With white cabinets and dark granite, she decided to switch from a stainless sink and faucet to a nice white Kohler sink with a Delta oil rubbed bronze faucet.  I love the contrast the new sink provides.  I think she’ll be very happy with the finished project.

Continuing with our series on quick and easy home improvement projects, lets move into the kitchen:

http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/

Advice:  This type of project requires a little more advanced plumbing know how since it may involve some modification of the underside drain plumbing if a new sink’s drains don’t match up exactly to the old ones.  However, this is not a complex job that takes many hours, so if you do decide to hire a plumber, allow 3-4 hours at the most in their estimate; the parts should also be relatively inexpensive since they are standard PVC pieces that they are reassembling.  A little time and money can be saved though if you do the removal yourself following the steps below!

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A Home Remodel Series- Part 2 (replacing bathroom faucets)

Continuing the progress at my friend’s home remodel  http://agirlcandoit.com/2010/04/27/a-home-remodel-series-part-1-before-demo/ , they had 5 bathroom faucets to replace.  With new faucets running as inexpensive as $40 and up, this is an affordable update to make to your space style-wise.

First and most importantly,  make sure that your new faucet needs the same number of holes as your old faucet.  In other words, some sink faucets only need one hole in your counter tops whereas some others need 3 or 4.  Sometimes it might just be easier to take the old faucet with you to your local store to ensure a match.

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