Plumbing 101: The Basic DIY Skills

Let us save you some money, time, and headaches down the road, we have collected and presented some of our beloved plumbing tricks for solving common problems that homeowners may face. 

If you need professional help please contact us at Bonfe with any questions you may have.

How can you stop a sink sprayer hang up?

The easiest way to prevent sprayer snarls from the plumbing, insulate it. It often happens that the kitchen sink sprayers get caught on the shutoff valves. The simple solution is to slip in foam pipe insulations over both the pipes and the shutoff valves (1/2 in. do pretty well). Now tape it to make it stay put!

How can you Silence those creaking pipes? 

Are those copper pipes making your home feel like it’s a building “under construction”? It is a common occurrence that copper pipes expand and grind against pipe hangers and joists. You can easily wipe that sound off those copper pipes with some adhesive-backed felts. All you have to do is pick up some adhesive-backed felt from the hardware store, cut it into strips, remove each hanger, wrap the pipe with the felt, and refasten the hanger. Now say hello to those mute pipes! 

How can you dumb down loud sinks?

Steel basins and sinks mostly vibrate because of additional spaces. You can deaden the sounds by spraying them with expanding foam. Simply fill the space between two stainless steel sink basins with expanding foam. As soon as it hardens, it will immediately lessen the gong effect. 

How do you unplug toilet and drains blocked with hard objects?

A plunger, as you might have experienced, is never your best ally in pulling out hard objects like a toothbrush, comb or toy when it plugs a toilet or drain. On the contrary, it pushes the objects down.  A better way is to use a shop vacuum to suck out the water and the obstruction.

How do you find hidden pipes? 

When trying to locate a pipe under the floor, a strong magnet, a fishing tape, and a compass is your ultimate team of detectives, and your best bet at finding hidden pipes. Simply attach a rare earth (neodymium) magnet to an electrical fish tape and slowly feed it into drain lines using the cleanout plug. Now you can easily locate the magnet (and hence the pipe it’s in) under the floor using an ordinary compass. It’ll go crazy at its achievement — of finding the magnet underneath it!

How Should You Bucket flush the toilet?

In case of an emergency during a plumbing project simply turn off the water supply, fill 2- gallon buckets with water, and flush the toilet manually by dumping the water in the bowl. A rule of thumb is to get one flush per bucket. Works just as well as the usual method, except that it won’t refill the bowl.

Your Best Bet At Knowing All the Plumbing

The next time you take on a major plumbing project, don’t forget to take near-X-ray scans of your walls. Take pictures of what’s inside the walls, floors, and ceilings during remodeling. You’ll know where the framing and the electrical and plumbing lines are when the next remodeling comes your way.

Let us know if you need us to make a house call.  All the best!

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