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Three Plumbing Tasks You Can Tackle Yourself Without Calling A Plumber

If you have plumbing in your home (and most of us do), you are eventually going to have problems with it. You can call a plumber and write a big check, or you can use a little of your native ingenuity and fix a variety of plumbing problems yourself. You'll save a bundle and have a feeling of accomplishment when you're done. Here are three easy plumbing tasks that you can handle.

Simple Plumbing Projects

1. Cleaning a clogged kitchen sink trap. This one is a little messy, but when you've done it once or twice, you could do it with your eyes closed. The important part is to put a bucket under the trap to catch the water and stuff that will come out. Loosen the slip joint nuts at either end of the u-shaped trap and pull the trap loose. Clean out the clog, rinse the trap (in another sink) and re-assemble. Make sure your slip joint nuts are in good shape, and replace them if necessary. Check for leaks, and you're done.

2. Replacing a shower head. This one is a piece of cake. Pick your new shower head at your local home supply store, and unscrew the old one from the shower arm. Clean off the threads on the shower arm and wrap some Teflon tape around them, then screw on the new shower head. You might want to use a rag to prevent wrench marks on the shower arm and new shower head. Check for leaks, and enjoy your shower.

3. Replacing a toilet ballcock assembly. A leaky ballcock assembly can run your water bill up in a hurry, but it's easy to replace. Get a new assembly at the hardware store, turn off the water at the supply valve on the wall, and drain the tank by flushing. Take the float arm and refill tube off and loosen the coupling nut where the water inlet pipe enters the tank. Unscrew the nut under the tank and remove the old ballcock assembly. Put the new ballcock assembly in place and reverse the process, replacing all the washers with new ones. Turn the water back on and check for leaks, make sure the float isn't rubbing anywhere, and then watch your water bill go down.

These are undoubtedly the three easiest plumbing problems that a homeowner will face. If you feel confident that you can take on more complicated plumbing tasks, watch this space for more plumbing how-tos.