The projects we've laid out here are particularly simple, but plumbing can be tricky, so if you're ever unsure, don't be afraid to ask for help. These projects are all pretty straightforward, but you never know what will come up, especially with older homes. We've selected some pretty good videos, but do some research and find some other videos if something about your setup looks a little different. The Internet is a wonderful thing.
Plumbers on the Handy platform have experience in fixing all the common (and uncommon) plumbing problems that plague homes. Whether you’ve got a water heater leaking, a clogged toilet, or a blocked drain, chances are that your plumber will have seen and dealt with a similar job before. When you use the Handy app or website, you’ll be connected to experienced plumbers who’ll know exactly what to do, no matter how big or small the job might be.
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.
Plumbing fixtures are exchangeable devices using water that can be connected to a building's plumbing system. They are considered to be "fixtures", in that they are semi-permanent parts of buildings, not usually owned or maintained separately. Plumbing fixtures are seen by and designed for the end-users. Some examples of fixtures include water closets (also known as toilets), urinals, bidets, showers, bathtubs, utility and kitchen sinks, drinking fountains, ice makers, humidifiers, air washers, fountains, and eye wash stations.
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.