Plumbing advice can come at you from all angles whether it’s your spouse, your parents or your neighbor. So, who do you trust? How about L.A.’s most reliable and best smelling plumber. If you want truly valuable advice and well-earned insider secrets for your DIY plumbing project, trust Mike Diamond to deliver.
While we always stress the importance of having plumbing work professionally handled, we’re not above helping our customers master their own plumbing skills. Read on for some carefully curated plumbing tips that will help keep your home’s pipes, drains and fixtures working the way they should. And when you don’t want to handle it yourself, you know who to call.
Keep Caulk Around for Plumbing Succes
Cracks. Leaks. Chipping. Holes. Sealing. Installation. Plumbing caulk has about 5,000 uses, and they’re all important. Caulk is a silicone or latex-based sealant used to seal joints and seams, and to fill in small cracks and gaps. The earliest caulk was used to seal up the cracks between boards on wooden ships! The concept is still the same, but the technology has improved. Modern caulk fills to expand the area it’s applied to, forming a barrier that not even water can seep through.
Caulk has a million uses in construction and plumbing. To see for yourself, just look at the bottom of your toilet! The seal you see between the floor and the toilet was applied with caulk. Because it’s so versatile, we always recommend you keep some caulk on hand. Make sure you get a specialized “kitchen/bathroom” caulk that is specially treated to handle water exposure. Keeping your drains and fixtures properly caulked will increase their longevity and prevent leaks.
Master Your Knowledge of O-Rings
O-rings are flexible rubber seals that fit between a plumbing installation and the wall or sink. There’s an O-ring in virtually every plumbing appliance, including all your faucets and sink handles. O-rings form a watertight seal between pipes and the appliance itself. O-rings need to be flexible so that the appliances they seal can be easily removed, but that flexibility also means they wear out. If you have a leaky or dripping faucet, a worn out O-ring is your problem 95% of the time.
Plumbing O-rings come in many different sizes. Determine what size O-ring each appliance in your home requires. Write down the exact measurements, along with the brand if you know it and pick up some extra O-rings at your local hardware store. Many stores will have an O-ring “variety pack” containing a number of common sizes. Having the right supplies on hand makes for more efficient plumbing and will speed up plumbing projects significantly.
Measure with Precision for Proper Installations
The greatest risk of DIY plumbing projects is improper installation. Incorrect measurement can lead to fixtures that don’t work properly or even home damage. At best, you wind up with a plumbing installation so obviously wrong for the space that you can’t use it at all. At worst, you get an installation that… kind of works, but slowly damages your home without your knowledge.
Learn how to measure the length, width, circumference, height, and size of every plumbing fixture you want to install. Ask the experts at your home improvement store to teach you the best methods. Watch YouTube tutorials to make sure you’re measuring plumbing fixtures and pipes accurately. Double-check. Triple-check. Get a second opinion. Quadruple-check! Taking your time measuring may slow down your project a bit, but it may mean you’ll only have to complete that project once. Plus, you won’t end up with a faucet that’s too long for your sink. We’ve seen it happen.
Choosing The Right Plunger for Every Job
Did you know that there are multiple types of plunger and that each was designed for a different task? We often see homeowners using the wrong tool for the job and this is a prime example.
Cup plungers (the traditional-looking plunger with the hollow cap) are made for plunging sinks and bathtubs. They’re easy to work over small drains, or drains in awkward places. Flange plungers (with a rubber flap on the inside of the cup, where the plunger is inserted into the toilet) are for plunging toilets. The flap, or flange, enters the toilet drain directly to supply extra pumping pressure. Simply investing in each of these plungers and correctly using them for the proper jobs will help you plunge more efficiently
The Not-So-Secret Plumber’s Secret
It turns out, the best plumbing advice we can give really does come down to basic preparation, knowledge, and practice. If you know what you’re doing before you jump in, you’ll save time and money, and experience more success to boot.
And remember: if you end up confronted with a problem you can’t solve on your own, contact the pros at Mike Diamond. We still have a few tricks up our good-smelling sleeves and we’re ready to handle your bigger plumbing repairs.