Home Plumbing 5 Plumbing Tricks of the Trade for Weekend Plumbers

5 Plumbing Tricks of the Trade for Weekend Plumbers

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More than any other type of home improvement job, plumbing can drive a DIYer crazy. Problems arise, projects grow, frustrations multiply. Even pros are not immune. But one way to manage the frustrations and achieve a successful plumbing project is to allow plenty of time-at least twice as much time as you think the project should take. Another smart step is to learn some tricks of the trade. Here are a few of our favorites.
Reheat Solder When You Can't Cut a Pipe

Reheat Solder When You Can’t Cut a Pipe

The best way to disconnect a soldered pipe is to cut it. But sometimes you can’t—either because you can’t get a cutting tool into the space or because cutting would leave the pipe too short to make a new connection. The solution is to heat the joint and pull off the fitting as the solder melts. find out more information on a dependable plumbing company her: https://bluelineplumbersgillingham.co.uk

Have a wet rag handy and immediately wipe away the molten solder before it hardens. (Wear gloves to prevent burning your fingers!) Sometimes a quick wipe will leave the pipe ready for a new fitting. More likely, you’ll have to scour off some excess solder with sandpaper or emery cloth before you can slip on a new fitting.

Replace Metal Drain Lines with Plastic

Replace Metal Drain Lines with Plastic

Metal drain lines under sinks look a lot more reliable than plastic. But plastic is better in almost every way. It’s cheaper, easier to install, and easier to adjust or tighten if a leak develops. And unlike metal, plastic won’t corrode. So when a metal drain leaks, often the smartest move is to replace the entire assembly with plastic.

Loosen Stuck Pipes with Heat

Loosen Stuck Pipes with Heat

When a threaded connection won’t budge, heat sometimes does the trick, especially on ancient connections that were sealed with pipe dope that hardened over time. Be patient. Getting the metal hot enough can take a couple of minutes. Protect nearby surfaces with a flame-resistant cloth. This method is for water and waste pipes only, never for gas or fuel lines. Find out how to open up a stuck cleanout plug, too.

Piggyback Stubborn Shutoffs

Piggyback Stubborn Shutoffs

Shutoff valves under sinks and toilets have a rotten reliability record. Sometimes they won’t close completely; sometimes they won’t close at all. In either case, there’s an alternative to replacing the shutoff. Most home centers carry “piggyback” shutoff valves that connect to existing shutoffs. Just disconnect the supply line and install the new valve (a new supply line is a good idea, too). If the old shutoff closes most of the way, you won’t even have to turn off the main water valve; just set a container under the valve to catch the trickle while you work.

Fix a Clog in Seconds

Fix a Clog in Seconds

Before you run a drain snake into a clogged pipe or disassemble the trap, there are a few other tricks worth trying: Often, you can yank out a clog with a flexible-shaft pick-up tool (shown above) or a Zip-It (below). Likewise, a wet/dry vacuum just might suck out the clog.

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