Easy Plumbing Projects

Quick plumbing tips to keep your home humming

Got a half an hour? Then you have plenty of time to take on these easy plumbing projects and improve your home in 30 minutes or less. 

Caulk a tub.  Bathtubs are the closest thing in a home to a boat and that proximity to water wears on the caulk, which must be replaced. For this 30-minute home improvement, remove the old caulk, clean with a bleach solution and remember to fill the tub with water when you re-caulk. 

Easy Plumbing Projects

Drain water heater.  Water heaters can build up sediment on the boot that makes them less efficient. To keep yours running at peak efficiency, use the tank's drain value to carefully let a few gallons of water out of the tank every 6 months.  This easy plumbing project can make your water heater more efficient.

Bleed excess air from hot water radiators.  Another 30-minute home improvement starts by turning your heat up and checking each radiator in your home. If you find one that is cold at the top, bleed the excess air from it using a bleeding key. Open the bleed valve about a half of a turn until you hear air hissing out. When the air stops hissing and water dribbles out, the air has been drained and the radiator should fully heat up.

Replace Toilet Valves. While toilets themselves never wear out, that’s not true of their moving parts.  In fact, one leaky toilet can waste 78,000 gallons of water in one year – enough to fill a backyard swimming pool.  To check your toilet for a leak, open the tank and pour a little food coloring inside.  Check the bowl 20 minutes later. If the dye shows up, you probably need a new flush valve, a part that costs just a couple of dollars and is an easy do-it-yourself repair.  If your toilet seems to run all the time or never fill up, the fill valve may need replacement, another easy do-it-yourself repair.  If these fixes seem daunting, visit www.fluidmaster.com.  The site offers a wealth of information to help you understand how your toilet works, diagnosing problems, identifying the parts you need, diagrams and troubleshooting questions and answers.

Replace Washer Supply Lines:  The weak link in any washing machine isn't the machine itself.  It's the hoses that supply water to the machine.  To avoid the potential of a huge leak that can deposit thousands of gallons of water on your floor, and the floor beyond that, remove and replace old rubber hoses with braided steel hoses.  These are much more durable and replacing them is an easy plumbing project.