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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Make DIY Plumbing Projects Easier With Online Videos

Written by Realty Times Staff Posted On Friday, 11 July 2014 08:39

Owning your first home comes with many responsibilities, including maintenance and repair. But you don’t need to call a plumber each time a faucet leaks or a toilet won’t stop flushing—many online videos are available to guide you step-by-step through any home repair. Just add your smartphone or tablet to the list of tools to take with you while working on any DIY project. You’ll save money and keep your home in great shape for years to come.

Toilet Repairs

Manufacturers and home improvement stores have learned that by providing DIY videos for their customers. These videos help create a following of homeowners wanting to save money by doing it themselves. Home Depot has a number of professionally done videos for almost any home repair, including common toilet repairs.

This video is less than eight minutes long and teaches you how your toilet works, what the common problems are and how to address them. It describes all of the components so that it’s clear how all of the parts work together to make a toilet function. They explain the different types of plungers and how to unclog a toilet. There is even a PDF file that you can download with a checklist to use when repairing your toilet.

The most common problem is when a toilet continues to run after you flush it. This results in the knee-jerk “jiggle the handle” response. The problem is due to a valve allowing water to leak out once the tank is full. When the level goes low enough, the filling mechanism is triggered. This creates a cycle where your toilet fills itself over and over again, wasting water and money. The Environmental Protection Agency says that 10 percent of residential homes leak 90 or more gallons of water every day. Fixing those leaks can save you 10 percent on your water bills.

Addressing this problem becomes easier with a video like the one from Home Depot. For example, this fix would be rated as:

  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Time to complete: 2 hours
  • Estimated cost: $20
  • Tools needed: channel lock pliers, scissors or knife, rags and paper towels

For investing a little bit of time and money, you end up saving quite a bit on the plumber’s bill and on your water bill.

Faucet Repairs

You can also find helpful videos from individuals who share their plumbing knowledge online. Sometimes these videos show more than the professionally done videos, and can illustrate, for example, what to do when a water turnoff sticks. Faucets come in a variety of styles, so you'll want to surf around to find a video that addresses your specific type of faucet.

Just like a leaky toilet, a dripping faucet wastes water. The U.S. Geological Survey says you could be wasting 340 gallons of water or more every year from a faucet dripping just 10 times an hour. A video from How To Lou shows how to easily fix a faucet that has separate controls for hot and cold water.

With this video playing on your smartphone or tablet while you are working on your project, you can follow along and mimic what you see in each step. Less polished than the Home Depot video, this is a lot like watching a friend or neighbor demonstrate how they do the repair.

Regardless of what type of faucet you have, or its age, you can find parts for it. The likely culprit of a dripping faucet is a faulty o-ring that isn’t making a good seal. An online supplier such as Apple Rubber has o-rings for any style or age of faucet.

With each plumbing project you do in your home, your skill and confidence increases. With the help of a good video, fixing your faucet would be rated at:

  • Level of difficulty: Easy
  • Time to complete: 1 hour
  • Estimated cost: $10
  • Tools needed: channel lock pliers, flat-blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, rags and paper towels

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