Fix Those Leaky Faucets By Following These Simple Steps

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Kitchen, Plumbing    by: ITC

Have you ever had that annoying leaky faucet that seems to drip even louder while you are trying to sleep? This can not only disrupt your sleep but also cause you to worry excessively because you are wondering if you are going to wake up to a flooded room the next morning. Well there is hope to solving your leaky faucet woes. All you need to do is follow a series of simple steps and you will have a great faucet in no time and as a result you will be able to sleep in peace.

You can even do this without the added problem of hiring those overpriced plumbers. All you will have to basically do is inspect the O-Ring of your faucet as well as the rubber washing as well. When these two pieces are worn out they are the number one cause of your leaky faucet.

After you have inspected and determined that your washer and ring are worn out you will need to then determine the type of faucet that you have. The two types that are available are the compression type faucet which has both hot and cold handles or the non compression faucet which will only have a lever or knob. The non compression faucets are the more common types and are the easiest to repair just by following these simple steps.

1.First of all you are going to want to shut off the water through the shut off valve. This valve is normally located under your sink. You will also need to make sure that you determine if either the hot or cold is leaking so that you will be able to determine which pipe is actually damaged.

2.Now you are going to want to remove the drain. Once you have done this you will want to remove the screw that holds the handle to the faucet. There are some faucets available that you will be able to remove by either a screwdriver or just by basically applying some force.

3.Now that you have the handle removed you are going to want to remove both the nut and the stem. You will be able to do this easier by using a either an adjustable wrench or a pair of pliers to unlock the nut. After you have finished this you will want to carefully remove the stem from the faucet itself. The packing nut as well as the valve stem itself is easily removed by turning them counter clockwise.

4.You will now want to remove the washer by slowly removing the washer in place. Once you have done this your local hardware store will be able to assist you in finding the right parts that you are going to need to fix the problem.

5.Once you have done all the above steps and your replacement parts are purchased the final step is actually easy. All you need to do now is put everything back together. Once you have done this your done and you didn’t even have to pay for those expensive plumbers.

Blocked baths and basins

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Plumbing    by: ITC

Basin and bath wastes are less likely to be totally blocked than sink wastes but, when blockages do occur, they can usually be cleared in the same way. They are, however, very subject to partial blockage. The waste water is often found to run from the bath or basin ever more slowly.

This may be due to a build-up of scum, scale and hair on the inside of the waste pipe, and the use of a proprietary drain-clearing chemical will usually clear it. These frequently have a caustic soda base, so they should be kept away from children and handled with care, strictly in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Before spooning them into the bath or basin waste outlet it is wise to smear petroleum jelly over the rim of the outlet to protect the chromium finish, especially with plastic baths or fittings.

Partial blockage of a wash basin waste may often be caused by hair suspended from the grid of the outlet. This may be all but invisible from above, but probing with a piece of wire (the old standby of a straightened-out wire coathanger is useful) can often produce festoons.

If you can’t clear the hair by this means, unscrew the nut that connects the threaded waste outlet to the trap and pull the trap to one side. Now use a pair of pliers to pull the hair away from beneath the grid.

Using resin coatings

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

Epoxy resin coating for baths comes in a kit consisting of colored rosin, a chemical hardening agent, and a can of special brush cleaner. All you do is mix the resin with the hardener and, following the manufacturer’s instructions closely, brush it on’ There are. though, a number of points to bear in mind.

First, you must be very careful about the preparation. The bath surface must be scrupulously clean, dry, and free from grease: otherwise the coating will simply peel off. Lime scale and hard water staining should be removed as far as possible. and then the bath must be vigorously scrubbed with a warm solution of washing soda. Pay particular attention to soap holders, the tidemark line and the area round the waste outlet where soap deposits tend to be at their worst.

llow the bath to dry and then, as a final precaution against grease, wipe over the surface with a little of the special brush cleaner on a soft. lint-free cloth. Again, allow the bath to dry and tie plastic bags round taps and shower roses to contain any unexpected. and potentially damaging, drips splashing the coating before it is dry.

Secondly, great care must be taken with the application; provided you use a good quality brush, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to achieve a smooth, even coverage — though you might find a second coat necessary. For a really professional finish you might consider using a spray gun. Make sure you mask off areas that you don’t want painted and check that there is nothing plastic in the gun that is likely to be corroded by the mixture.

Finally, always follow the safety rules. Two-part coatings of this type are normally highly inflammable. so be sure to work in a well-ventilated room. Keep naked flames well away from the solution and, of course. don’t smoke while you’re doing the job. If any resin comes into contact with your skin or eyes, wash it off immediately with cold water.

Start on the floor of the bath and work up towards the rim, tackling the half furthest from you first. As soon as you have finished. clean your equipment with the cleaner provided and then rinse the brushes or gun with warm soapy water.

It’s also a good idea to throw away any resin/hardener mixture you have left over as it will set solid. even in a sealed container. Finally, you should ensure that you take good care of the newly coated bath. Don’t use it for at least 48 hours. don’t use acid-based cleaners on it and keep soap in a soap tray or it might stain the surface If you get any coating on your hands. you should use brush cleaner on them and then rinse them in warm, soapy water.

Dealing with stains

Filed Under: Bathroom, Cleaning, Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

A problem with taps and baths is staining just below the taps. This tends to be at its worst in hard water areas and, so far, nobody has come up with a really effective way of removing these stains once they’ve formed. As always, prevention is better than cure, so you should make sure that the staining doesn’t build up in the first place.

Dripping taps and shower roses should be repaired as soon as possible, and if they’re old enough to introduce the additional problem of rust staining you should consider having them replaced.

You can work to minimize the build-up of stains by wiping out the bath immediately after use and cleaning it regularly with a proprietary cleaner. However, if the bath surface has got to the point where even the most thorough cleaning cannot help, then you’ll have to think about giving it a facelift.

Bath enamel – a hard-wearing version of ordinary enamel paint was originally used for covering up badly stained enameled surfaces.

However, over the years this has acquired an unfortunate reputation for failure not only is it unable to withstand the sort of treatment it gets in a bath, but also extreme care is required during both preparation and application in order to produce acceptable and lasting results. It is still available. but usually only in white. and it is worth considering only if you want to touch up the scratched surface of a cooker, fridge or washing machine.

For baths and other bathroom fittings. a recent development has proved to be a better option. This is an epoxy resin coating that will provide a very hard, heat-resistant and chemical-resistant finish on most of the non-porous surfaces to be found in the bathroom. It comes in a number of different colors that will match the coloring of modern bathroom fittings with the excepts of white. It cannot be used on plastics or surfaces that have already been painted.

The only possible disadvantage is that can sometimes work out a bit expensive, though it will obviously be considerably cheaper than buying a new bathroom suite.

Tiling the gap

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Remodeling    by: ITC

If your bathroom is tiled, or if there is a tiled splashback around the bath, the simplest solution is to bridge the gap with quadrant tiles the ceramic equivalent of wooden quadrant beading.

These are normally available singly as straight lengths with both ends cut square, or with one end finished in a bullnose, and in mitred pairs for coping with internal corners. One drawback with quadrant tiles is that they are becoming difficult to obtain, and it’s worth bearing in mind that not only can they work out quite expensive, but they also come in limited range of colors (designed to existing bathroom suites rather than tile ranges).

If you’re going to seal the gap in course of actually tiling the wall splashback, then you can fix the tiles in position and grout them in the way, 12-24 hours after the last has been pressed into place_ In to accommodate any movement, you should make sure that the Wes bedded in a thick layer of silicone where they rest on the bath’s lip.Onthe hand, if you’re faced with existing round the edge. simply bed the tiles in mastic from start to finish. using instead of grout as well.

Quadrant tiles can be used successfrAl situations where the wall is not hied—pew painted, papered or timber-ciad.

However, in the last case its worth considering the use of timber quadrant beading as an alternative. All you have to do is pin it to the cladding or fix it to clean, bare plaster using an epoxy resin adhesive.

Again, make sure that the timber is bedded in mastic where it rests on the lip of the bath, shower tray or basin. Do remember to treat the timber with a good-quality preservative (one that can be painted or varnished over) and then paint or varnish it all round, including any cut ends, before fixing it in place.

Sealing Round A Bath

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair    by: ITC

One of the commonest problems associated with baths, shower trays and wash basins is the difficulty of sealing the gap between the edges and the walls. It is extremely important that this is done effectively as, apart from being an unsightly dirt trap, water continually splashing through the gap can lead to attacks of rot in floor timbers, as well as damaging decorations in the room below.

An ordinary cellulose filler will be adequate, but you’ll probably find that it won’t last for very long. After all, repeated soakings are bound to start it crumbling. And even if this can be avoided, the chances are that the movement of the bath relative to the wall — as it fills with hot water or as someone climbs in or out — will have the same result.

The answer is to use a special kind of filler, one that is both waterproof and flexible. called silicone mastic. This is frequently sold as bathroom sealant in small tubes, or, for larger jobs, in cartridges that fit into a special mastic gun. In addition to white. it is available in a selection of colors to match the variety of colored bathroom suites now on the market.

If you are faced by a crack up to 3mm (‘/sin) wide, then filling it is a straightforward job. All you do is squeeze a bead of mastic along the gap, holding the nozzle at an angle of about 45′. If you are using a cartridge gun: you can cut the nozzle to produce a bead of the correct size. If the mastic ends up on surfaces where it’s not required, wipe it off with a damp cloth before it sets. With the bead in place you’ll have to finish it off with a piece of dowel or narrow piping. Dip it in water to prevent the mastic from sticking and don’t be tempted to use your fingers — you won’t get as neat a finish and you could run the risk of inadvertently getting mastic in your eyes.

However, if the gap is wider than 3mm (1/sin) or so, you’ll find it increasingly difficult to apply the bead smoothly and neatly, and to prevent it sagging once in place. The solution is to caulk the gap before applying the mastic. This involves filling the crack with soft rope or twists of soaked newspaper to provide a base that will help the mastic to bridge the gap until it sets. Provided you finish off with a good covering of mastic, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t last. However, it is a fiddly job and you might prefer to use an alternative method.

Fitting the new taps

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Kitchen, Plumbing, Remodeling    by: ITC

When fitting the new taps or mixer, unscrew the back-nuts, press some plumber’s putt round the tail directly below the tap body a fit a plastic washer onto the top.

Push the tails through the holes in the base. Slip flat plastic washers over the tails where they protrude from beneath the basin. screw on the back-nuts and tighten them up. Make sure that the taps or mixer are secure, but don’t overtighten them. To make tightening easier, (and undoing, if ever necessary) use top-hat washers.

All that remains to be done is to conned the swivel tap connectors to the tails of the new taps or mixer. You will see that a tap connector consists of a lining — with a flange — that is inserted into the tap tail and is then secured by the coupling nut. This nut provided with a washer to ensure a watertight connection. When renewing taps you may well need to renew this small washer.

It is possible that when you come to connect the water supply pipes to the taps you will get an unpleasant surprise. The tails of modern taps are slightly shorter than those of older ones and the tap connectors may not reach. If the water supply pipes are of lead or of copper it is quite likely that they will have enough ‘give’ to enable you to make the connection but, if not, there are extension pieces specially made to bridge the gap.

If you’re replacing existing bib taps with those of a more modern design. it’s a relatively simple matter of disconnecting and unscrewing the old ones and fitting the new taps in their place. However, it’s quite possible that you’ll want to remove the bib taps altogether and fit a new sink with some pillar taps. This will involve a little more plumbing work. To start with, turn off the water supply and remove the taps and old sink.

If the pipework comes up from the floor, you’ll need to uncover the run in the wall to below where the new sink will go. You should then be able to ease the pipes away from the wall and cut off the exposed sections. This will allow you to join short lengths of new pipe, bent slightly “if necessary, to link the pipe ends and the tap tails.

Alternatively. if the pipes come down the wall you’ll have to extend the run to be,row the level of the new sink and use elbow fittings to link the pipe to the tap tails. In either case it’s a good idea to fit the taps to the new sink first and to make up the pipe- work runs slightly overlong, so that when the new sink is offered up to the wall you can measure up accurately and avoid the risk of. cutting off too much pipe.

Rather than having to make difficult bends you can use lengths of corrugated copper pipe. One end of the pipe is plain so that it can be fitted to the 15mm supply pipes with either a soldered capillary or compression fitting: the other end has a swivel tap connector.

Taking out old basin taps

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Kitchen, Plumbing, Remodeling    by: ITC

When replacing old taps with new ones the most difficult part of the job is likely to be— with so many plumbing operations removing the old fittings. Let’s first consider wash basin taps.

You must, of course, cut off the hot and cold water supplies to the basin. The best way of doing this will usually be to tie up the float arm of the ball valve supplying the cold water storage cistern so as to prevent water flowing in. Then run the bathroom cold taps until water ceases to flow. Only then open up the hot taps. 1 his will conserve most of the expensively heated water in the hot water storage cylinder.

If you look under the basin you will find that the tails of the taps are connected to the water supply pipes with small. fent/ accessible nuts, and that a larger — often inaccessible pack-nut secures the tap to the basin. The nuts of the swivel tap connectors joining the pipes to the taps are usually easily undone with a wrench or spanner of the appropriate size. The back- nuts can be extremely difficult – even for professional plumbers!

There are special wrenches and basin or ‘crows foot’ spanners that may help, but they won’t perform miracles and ceramic basins can be very easily damaged by heavy handedness. The best course of action is to disconnect the swivel tap connectors and to disconnect the trap from the waste outlet.

These are secured be undone. Then lift the basin off its brackets of hanger and place it upside down on 1:4-* floor. Apply some penetrating oil to the tag tails and, after allowing a few minutes for it tir soak in, tackle the nuts with your wrench a crowsfoot spanner. You’ll find they arc much more accessible. Hold the tap when you do this to stop it swivelling and damaging the basin.

Replacing Taps

Filed Under: Bathroom, Do it yourself, Home repair, Kitchen, Plumbing, Remodeling    by: ITC

There may be a number of reasons why you wish to replace the taps supplying your sink, basin or bath. They may continually drip or leak, where new taps would give efficient, trouble-free service. Perhaps you want the advantages that mixers have over individual taps or perhaps it is simply that the chromium’ plating has worn off leaving the taps looking incurably shabby.

It is more likely, however, that appearance, rather than malfunction, will be your reason for changing. There are fashions in plumbing fittings as in clothing and furniture. Taps of the 1950s or 60s are instantly recognisable as out-of-date in a bathroom or kitchen of the 1980s. Fortunately, fashions in sinks, basins and baths have changed rather less dramatically over the past three decades. There is probably no more cost-effective way of improving bathroom and kitchen appearance than by the provision of sparkling new taps or mixers.

When you come to select your new taps you may feel that you are faced with a bewildering choice. Tap size, appearance, the material of which the tap is made, whether to choose individual taps or mixers and for the bath — whether to provide for an over-bath shower by fitting a bath/shower mixer: all these things need to be considered.

Size is easily enough dealt with. Taps and mixers are still in imperial sizes. Bath tap tails are Sin in diameter. and basin and sink taps ‘/ in in diameter. There are, however, a few suppliers who are beginning to designate taps by the metric size, not of the taps themselves, but of the copper supply pipes to which they will probably be connected. Such a supplier might refer to bath taps as 22rnm and sink and basin laps as 15mm.

Most taps are made of chromium-plated brass, though there are also ranges of enamelled and even gold-plated taps and mixers. Although taps and mixers are still manufactured with conventional crutch or capstan handles, most people nowadays prefer to choose taps with ‘shrouded’ heads made of acrylic or other plastic.

In effect, these combine the functions of handle and easy-clean cover. completely concealing the tap’s headgear. A still popular alternative is the functional `Supatap’, nowadays provided with plastic rather than metal ‘ears’ for quick and comfortable turning on and off.

There is also a very competitively priced range of all plastic taps. These usually give satisfactory enough service in the home, but they cannot be regarded as being as sturdy as conventional metal taps, and they can be damaged by very hot water.

So far as design is concerned the big difference is between ‘bib laps’ and ‘pillar taps’. Bib taps have a horizontal inlet and are usually wail-mounted while pillar taps have a vertical inlet and are mounted on the bath, basin or-sink they serve.