If you have a major fix in your home, it’s important to shop around for a plumber to do the work. At least three bids will help you determine the range of the project, so you can weigh the pros and cons of price and the reputation of the plumbers. Get references and contact them. Also, a good plumber isn’t likely to nickel and dime you. For the smaller jobs, check out these 11 plumbing tricks.
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.
^ Jump up to: a b Joseph O. Falkinham III; Elizabeth D. Hilborn; Matthew J. Arduino; Amy Pruden; Marc A. Edwards (August 2015). "Epidemiology and Ecology of Opportunistic Premises Plumbing Pathogens: Legionella pneumophila, Mycobacterium avium, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa". Environ Health Perspectives;. 123 (8). doi:10.1289/ehp.1408692. Archived from the original on May 31, 2015. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
Plumbing originated during ancient civilizations such as the Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, and Chinese cities as they developed public baths and needed to provide potable water and wastewater removal, for larger numbers of people. Standardized earthen plumbing pipes with broad flanges making use of asphalt for preventing leakages appeared in the urban settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization by 2700 BC. The Romans used lead pipe inscriptions to prevent water theft. The word "plumber" dates from the Roman Empire. The Latin for lead is plumbum. Roman roofs used lead in conduits and drain pipes and some were also covered with lead. Lead was also used for piping and for making baths.