Home improvement doesn’t always need to be done by someone else. There are many easy, quick, and cheap home plumbing projects that you can do on your own. All you need is some time and the right tools and you can fix the problem or update your home without needing to call for help.
However, some projects should be left to the professionals, and some problems are not suited for DIYers. You might even prefer to call a 24 hour plumbing service, if you face an issue at night or early in the morning that is beyond your abilities.
Replace Old Faucets
Replacing old faucets is a very attainable project for DIY homemakers of all levels. This is cheap, fast, and will save you money in the long run. The items you’ll need include a new faucet, plumber’s putty, a wrench, and mineral spirits.
Set aside about an hour and $30 and you’ll be set to complete this project. Below is a step by step guide for replacing your faucet, adapted and simplified from Lowe’s how-to.
- Turn off the water supply with the valves underneath the sink.
- Remove the drain by removing the P-trap, be sure to have a bucket to catch the water, disconnecting the drain, and cleaning around the faucet holes with mineral spirits.
- Install the new faucet by inserting the gasket through the mounting holes. Next, install the drain body and rubber washer through the sink, insert the ball rod into the drain assembly, connect the supply lines, and check for leaks.
By resealing your drains you can save $200 in only 30 to 60 minutes of effort. Perfect for any budget, this cheap project only requires a new drain stopper, drain key, screwdriver, wrench, bucket, and plumber’s putty.
This DIY home plumbing project will prevent future water damage or fix any existing water damage that you’re currently experiencing. Below are the steps to resealing your drain as adapted from Plumbing Supply’s how-to.
- Remove the current drain stopper. Have a bucket close by to catch any water.
- Remove the drain by inserting the Drain Key into the drain and turning counterclockwise.
- Clean the drain area and remove any old plumber’s putty.
- Apply plumber’s putty by rolling it in your hands and wrapping it underneath the lip of the flange.
- Put flange in the drain hole and turn the drain clockwise. Tighten with a wrench.
- Remove excess plumber’s putty that was squeezed out at the edges.
If your problem is a clogged drain, resealing won’t help. However, this fixer-upper project is also doable as a DIY project.
Fix a Running Toilet
An annoying plumbing problem, a running toilet is a simple fix for any first time DIY homemaker. This project will stop wasting water and start saving you money with few supplies needed and only a couple of minutes. You’ll only need a hacksaw and pliers. That’s it.
Below are the steps to fixing your running toilet.
- Test the flapper.
- Check for a leak in the fill valve.
- Turn off the water supply and remove any remaining water by flushing the toilet and sponging out the rest.
- Unscrew the fill valve and remove it from the toilet.
- Install the new valve and connect the fill tube.
After that, all you need to do is turn the water supply back on and flush the toilet. Your toilet should now be fixed, silent, and not draining valuable dollars from your wallet.
Replace the Garbage Disposal
By replacing the garbage disposal by yourself, you’ll only need to spend around $50 to $200. The tools you’ll need for this home plumbing project you most likely already have. Those include screwdrivers, pliers, a hammer, plumber’s putty, and a flashlight.
While this project is plumbing, it involves more than pipes. You’ll want to make sure you’re turning off the electricity before you get started. Below are the steps to follow once you’ve properly turned off the electricity to the garbage disposal.
- Unscrew the discharge tube and remove it from the garbage disposal.
- Rotate the mounting ring counterclockwise and remove the old garbage disposal. Be prepared to hold at least 15 pounds – garbage disposals are fairly heavy.
- Unscrew the metal faceplate and unclip the two electrical wires.
- Remove the rubber snap ring, the old mounting bracket, and the sink flange.
- Scrape away old and apply new plumber’s putty to the underside of the sink flange.
- Press the flange in place.
- Slide rubber gasket onto mounting bracket and screw the bracket into place.
- Attach the new mounting ring.
- Hook the new appliance to the home’s electrical system.
- Put the garbage disposal on the mounting ring and turn clockwise.
- Reconnect the discharge tube and dishwasher drain hose.
- Turn on the water.
These are only four of the many DIY home plumbing projects that are simple and cheap for any homemaker. While these projects will take up your time and a bit of money, it’s better, in the long run, to do it yourself if you are able. Besides, if you do hit a snag or cause a problem, a professional is only one call away. Why not give it a try yourself first?
About the Author
Jennifer Bell is a freelance writer, blogger, dog-enthusiast, and avid beachgoer operating out of Southern New Jersey.