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Depending on how comfortable you are with DIY projects and repairs, there are numerous at-home tasks and minor plumbing jobs you can complete at home with the right tools. In this blog series, we will walk you through common plumbing tasks you may be looking to take on yourself.

How To Replace A Showerhead

Did you know that upgrading to a low flow showerhead can save anywhere from 20-30% on your monthly water consumption? Whether you choose to replace your showerhead to update your style or upgrade your water efficiency, there are numerous benefits that could put this DIY task to the top of your list.

 For this project, you will need Teflon tape, a wrench, and a new showerhead.

Step 1: Clean the shower arm threadsAfter you remove your old showerhead, there may be old Teflon tape or hard water buildup present. Be sure to thoroughly clean the shower arm (the angular pipe to which the showerhead is attached) and remove any old debris.

Step 2: Wrap the threads in new Teflon tape – Wrap new Teflon tape around the base of the showerhead to help prevent any water leakage. When applying the new tape, be sure to wrap it in the direction the new showerhead will be threaded to prevent any tearing of the tape when the new showerhead is installed. It’s also important that you cover all visible threads and wrap the Teflon tape a few extra turns up the arm.

Step 3: Thread the new showerhead on the arm – Screw on the new showerhead in a clockwise direction.

Step 4: Tighten the showerhead – This is where your wrench will come into play, preferably with a smooth clamp to prevent scuffing. Place your wrench on the two flat sides at the base of the showerhead and tighten.

Step 5: Remove visible Teflon tape – Once the new showerhead is securely in place, remove the visible Teflon tape on the shower arm. When you get to the base of the showerhead, the visible tape will snap off and ensure that there is a secure seal to prevent any leakage.

After completing steps 1-5, you should have a new showerhead that is ready to go. If you run into any issues, watch this video from a member of our team or reach out with any questions.

Having Issues with Your Garbage Disposal?

A garbage disposal that isn’t functioning properly can be a huge inconvenience to your cleaning routine. It can also be a potential risk for sink clogs caused by unprocessed debris or food that may slip down the drain. If you run into any problems with your garbage disposal, there are a couple of quick fixes that can help troubleshoot or address any issues. 

For this task, you may need the following tools: garbage disposal wrench, pliers, bucket, broom handle, flashlight, and plunger.

Step 1: Check the electrical connection to the power source – If there is no activity present when you turn on the disposal, it may be a simple power supply issue. The power source for your garbage disposal is typically located directly under the sink. It’s not uncommon that supplies that may be located under the sink could disrupt the power cord from the power source. It may also be necessary to reset the circuit breaker that supplies power to the outlet utilized by the garbage disposal.

Step 2: Try the reset button on your garbage disposal – Most garbage disposals have a reset button located directly on the device.  Depending on your issues, simply hitting this reset button may be sufficient to solve the problem.

Step 3: Determine if there is a clog – If you hear a low humming sound when you turn the disposal on, you may be experiencing some sort of blockage. Clogs can be caused by numerous factors including feeding garbage too rapidly into the disposal or failing to use enough water to completely flush out the drain pipes. When removing a clog, it is important to turn off the garbage disposal and unplug the power source before manually trying to address the issue. After removing all power, you must then remove any standing water in the sink with a plunger or bailing out any water into a nearby bucket. After the water is drained, use a flashlight to look into the disposal to see if you are able to identify any large objects, like an eating utensil, that may be causing a clog. If you are able to identify a foreign object, carefully remove it with a pair of pliers.

Step 4: Rotate garbage disposal blade If the disposal is still jammed, the next step would be to rotate the impeller or blades to dislodge any debris. It is important that you never use your hand to do this task and instead use a disposal wrench or even a broom handle. After ensuring the power source is removed, insert the garbage disposal wrench or the end of a broom handle to gently move the blades back and forth until the blockage is disbursed and the blades can function freely.

After the blockage or clog is removed, plug in the power source and turn the disposal back on with running water to ensure the disposal is now functioning properly. If you continue to experience issues, please reach out and contact a member of our team.

Replacing A Toilet

For those of you looking for a more ambitious at-home plumbing project, we’ve put together a few helpful steps to help guide you through replacing your toilet. Though it may at first seem like a daunting task, here is a step-by-step guide to lead you through the process. For this project, you may need a putty knife, wax seal, screwdriver, Johni-Bolts, measuring tape, a pair of pliers, and a wrench.

Step 1: Install the wax ring – After removing your old toilet, it is important to also remove the old wax ring with a putty knife to make a clean surface. The wax ring is put in place to ensure there is a tight seal between your closet counter and your toilet. It’s important that your closet counter is level, or slightly above level with the floor. If not, a jumbo wax ring may be required. Next, you will place the new wax ring on the closet counter and secure the Johni-Bolts into the flange (aka the plumbing connecting your toilet drain to the drainpipe). After the Johni-Bolts are secured to the flange, we also recommend pushing them slightly into the wax ring to increase stability and ensure they remain standing.

Step 2: Line up the toilet base and seal – The next step is to line up the two holes at the base of your toilet with the Johni-Bolts you just installed. Once the bolts are aligned, apply weight to the toilet to push it down securely on the wax ring to ensure a tight seal to prevent any potential leakage.

Step 3: Measure to ensure the toilet is straight – Once you secure the base of the toilet to the wax ring, measure the distance from the base of the toilet to the wall to ensure it’s level and at an equal distance.

Step 4: Attach the base of the toilet to the Johni-Bolts – Now that your toilet is square with the wall, you will use the hardware that comes with the Johni-Bolts. You will first apply the cap to cover your bolt followed by the washer then the nut. Next, you will use the wrench to tighten the nut to the bolt until the nut is firmly secured; repeat for both bolts.

Step 5: Attach the tank to the base – Most toilets come in multiple pieces: the base, tank, lid, and toilet seat. The next step in this process will be to secure the tank to the base of the toilet. You will do this by lining up your two bolts on the tank with the holes on the top of the toilet base. Next, secure the nuts to the bolts on the tank that are now sticking through the base of the toilet. Then, tighten the nuts with a wrench. Some new toilets will come with custom tools to assist you in this step. A tight fit will ensure the tank remains sturdy on the base of the toilet.

Step 6: Connect the water supply – Water supply lines are what gets the water from your plumbing to the toilet. These supply lines come in many sizes to cover the distance from the water stop in the wall or base of the floor to your toilet. Once you’ve measured the distance between your water stop and the toilet tank,  secure the threaded side of your supply line to the tank. You will then attach the other end of the line to the water stop. A wrench may be required to tighten the connection.

Step 7: Add the toilet lid – Place the lid of the toilet on the top of the tank.

Step 8: Install the toilet seat Line up the lid with the holes located at the top of the toilet bowl. Each toilet will come with custom hardware to attach the lid to the base,  typically a plastic nut and bolt. Push the plastic screw through the top of each hole and hand tighten with the plastic nut on the underside of the bowl. Next, ensure your seat is centered over your toilet before tightening the bolt further with a screwdriver.

Step 9: Add the bolt caps to the base – Each toilet will come with base caps to cover the exposed bolts on the floor. These caps can be applied with light to moderate pressure and should snap on to the caps placed in step 4.

For more tips and tricks or to follow along with one of our team members, watch this step-by-step video. For more plumbing tips and tricks stay tuned for the next blog in our DIY series, or reach out to a member of our team.