Having the right tools can mean the difference between a quick project and a complete mess. Fortunately, you won't need too much to handle the projects here and what you will need is pretty inexpensive (certainly less expensive than hiring a plumber). You can get everything on this list for about $100, and you won't need it all unless you're doing all the projects. Where I live, that's about the cost of hiring a plumber for an hour.
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Before you get involved with most plumbing projects, you'll need to shut off the water flowing to whatever you're working on. Most of the time, there are easy-to-access gate valves or compression valves that you can turn with your hand. Turn them clockwise all the way to turn off the water and counter-clockwise to turn it back on when you're done. For sinks, look under the sink and you'll usually see two valves—one for hot water and one for cold. On kitchen sinks, you might also see valves for the ice maker on your fridge or your dishwasher. Just turn them all off. For toilets, the valves are on the wall or right on the pipe behind the toilet.
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We've talked before about home electrical projects you can handle on your own and now it's time to tackle plumbing. The projects we're covering here mostly deal with repairing things like running toilets and leaky faucets, and replacing fixtures like faucets and shower heads. These are beginner-level projects that are fairly easy to do and can save you a lot of money if you tackle them yourself.
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Accurate Leak and Line is the leader in the trenchless pipe rehabilitation and underground plumbing diagnosis & repair industry in Texas. Combined with traditional excavation and repair/replacement solutions, we offer non-destructive Nu Flow CIPP trenchless pipe repair as a cost-efficient alternative to complete water or sewer system replacement to residential and commercial clients throughout Texas. Our team of Texas Master Plumbers are specialized in sub slab leak testing and diagnosis, using a combination of hydrostatic pressure testing, video camera inspection, and leak isolation testing to accurately identify underground plumbing problems such as aged or deteriorated cast-iron, or failing copper or galvanized water pipes. Click here for an in-depth article in Cleaner Magazine that explains our process and watch the animated video below!
To unclog a bathtub drain the right way, you'll need to take the drain plate off. That's the little round plate that has the lever on it for opening and closing the pop-up drain stopper. It takes a little effort, but it's not too hard to remove and behind that plate, you have access to a straight drain pipe you can send the drain snake down. Check out the video above from This Old House for instructions.