The ULTIMATE Plumbing Tricks Guide (15+ Tricks)

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Here's a compilation of cool plumbing tricks every homeowner should know.

Stuff I used in this video:

2000 Grit Wet or Dry Sandpaper: https://amzn.to/2tODDmp

Milwaukee HoleSaw Kit (28-Piece): https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

MagTorch Butane Soldering Torch: https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

Food Coloring for toilet test: https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

8" Channel Lock Adjustable Pliers: https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

3/8" Piggy Back Valve: https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

1/2" Compression Valve: https://amzn.to/2T8TF9Q

Step 1: Stubborn Water Marks in Toilet Bowl Trick

If the water coming into your house is harsh, you might have had this problem happen to you already. If you are trying to get your toilet bowl clean with a brush or cloth and it’s not working, get yourself some 2000 grit sandpaper and lightly scrub the watermark until it comes off. The sandpaper is soft enough to not damage the porcelain yet rough enough to remove harsh watermarks like this with no strain, pretty neat huh?

Step 2: Sharkbite Removal Trick

If you’re trying to remove a Sharkbite fitting that’s too close to a wall and can’t fit your dedicated removal tool, get a good length of cord and wrap it behind the fitting and use a flossing motion to remove it, it’ll pop right off.

Step 3:

Drilling out large size holes with a battery operated drill could be quite demanding. To ease the process, remove your hole saw and drill 4 relief holes on the perimeter of the hole using the center bit, it’ll allow for the saw dust to exit from the back of the holes and make the process a whole lot easier.

Step 4: Chrome Flange Trick

If ever you’re going install a chrome flange like this one and it doesn’t wanna seem to go on, turn it around and enlarge the hole first, it’ll make it a lot easier to put it on the right way afterward.

Step 5: Suction Trick

If you need to solder a vertical joint on a pipe filled with water, get yourself a 12” section of PEX and use your thumb at the end of the pipe to suck any water out to be able to solder, and then proceed to soldering.

Step 6: Blocked Drain Trick (hair)

If you have hair stuck in your lavatory or shower drain, here’s a pretty cool trick to unblock it. Grab a tie wrap and notch it every inch or so with a sharp utility knife, the hair will catch on the sharp notches and allow you to pull them out without a fuss!

Step 7: Leaky Flapper Trick

If you suspect having a leaky toilet flapper, grab some food coloring a use a few drops in the reservoir, If you see the colored water in the bowl after a few hours without flushing, you need to replace your flapper.

Step 8: Easy Strainer Removal Trick

Sometimes, your faucet’s aerator could get blocked with debris. Now you could try to remove it by hand but using a pair of adjustable pliers is a lot easier. Instead of using the jaws, turn the pliers around and use the rubber coated handles to grasp it, you’ll have a much better grip and you won’t have to force as much.

Step 9: Piggy Back Valve

If you have a leaky shutoff valve and you don’t know how to solder? Get yourself A 3/8” piggy back valve and install it over the old one, you could close the new valve and it’ll stop the leak until you reconnect it.

Step 10: Find Out Easily

If you have a water meter in your home, here’s neat trick to check if you have a leak somewhere. Take down the number written on the meter and come back after a few hours, if the numbers changed, you should consider investigating!

Step 11: Shower Head Flow Trick

Your shower head lost some pressure over time, here’s a cool trick to restore it. Remove the head and store it in a plastic bag filled with white vinegar for a full day and reinstall it afterward, it’ll break down any deposits and restore full pressure.

Step 12: Stop the Flow

If ever you are trying to solder and can’t seem to stop the water, here’s a last case scenario option. Get yourself a compression valve and install it a bit further down the line you are trying to solder, you’ll be able to close it and stop the water from leaking.

Step 13: Thread, Then Cut.

If you cut some all thread and try to screw a nut on but you’re having trouble, here’s the fix. Thread your nut on first then, cut it and remove the nut. It’ll rethread the cut portion and it’ll allow you to install a nut a lot easier on this way.

Step 14: Stubborn Sticker Trick

And lastly, if you’re on a solder project and encounter a stubborn manufacture sticker as seen here, get your torch to burn off the paper and use some soldering flux to take care of the glue, easy as 1 2 3.

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    74 Discussions

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    SteveB407

    Tip 4 months ago on Step 12

    I needed to re-solder a leaking cap on a water line that would not quit running unless a feed line to a lab was shut off...chemists hate that. I cut the leaking cap off, prepared the joint, blasted out the water with compressed air and packed the then-empty line with sodium polyacrylate (that's the stuff in diapers). I got the joint up to temp and applied the solder before the building water pressure saturated the crystals and blew out the solder. That sort of fix doesn't always happen the first try. It did this time.

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    VincentT57

    4 months ago

    To remove sticker (which is not always can be burned), use heat gun: warm up sticker and it will go off easier. If you want to remove traces of glue, use casual acetone (not on plastic!).

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    SIM1T2

    4 months ago on Step 6

    #6 tie wrap drain unblock - it's easier and a lot much safer to notch it by cutting a little with a pair of scissors, which makes the notch remain open. And repeat for the other side, in between the first side notches.

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    JulioC150SIM1T2

    Reply 4 months ago

    Thanks buddy, i'll give that a try ;)

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    Lone Ninja

    Tip 4 months ago

    Thanks for sharing. Another tip I learned to solder a leaky pipe is to shove some bread up into the pipe, no crust. Tamp it in deep and then solder away. When finished, crank on the water. When combined with the pressure the bread breaks down and will flush out as a soggy mess.

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    TIMOTHYW1Lone Ninja

    Reply 4 months ago

    yes, bread works great! but compression coupling can leak

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    JulioC150HariKarier11

    Reply 4 months ago

    Never tried because I don't have a pool, but I am sure it does the job ;) thanks!

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    caruncles

    4 months ago on Step 1

    My wife taught me something similar. She used an old exfoliating pumice stone. I had been trying vinegar, plastic putty knives and don't remember what all else. we had some bad rings due to hard water, but the pumice took it out in about 5 minutes. Now, doing it every couple weeks will prevent it from getting so bad.

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    JulioC150caruncles

    Reply 4 months ago

    Yeah a few people mentioned that here, going to have to try it out ;)

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    handyhelp

    4 months ago

    Thanks for some really useful tips - I will certainly use the stain removal and water leak test to check my system for leaks.

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    JulioC150handyhelp

    Reply 4 months ago

    It'll serve you well, just don't over scrub as you could eventually damage the porcelain ;)

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    TIMOTHYW1

    4 months ago on Step 10

    hello, in trade it's called a dial test! you can do the same thing with gas meter all you have to do is isolate all appliances turn off all pilots & there are 2 test dials on gas meter take a pencil or a pen & mark the position of both test dials & note the time if there's are any movement on test dials there is a leak on the house line & you need to mix up liquid soap & water solution & use a brush to soap up all threads also check flex lines & double check gas cocks (old gas cocks have a chance of leaking ) if you can't pinpoint the leak you need licensed plumber to do pressure test!
    I have 31 years as a gas tech work for gas utility!

    imperial_gas_meter.jpg
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    PhantasticOne

    4 months ago on Step 10

    See the little triangle on the face of the water meter? Most meters have this or sometimes a round "toothed" spinner. That little triangle or spinner is actually a leak detector. They will rotate with just a few drips of water leaking inside the house. No need to write down numbers and come back a second time. If the triangle is moving at all, you have a leak. If you have a larger flow, like a toilet filling, the triangle will spin wildly even though there is very little movement on the pointer.

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    tercero

    4 months ago

    Hey, I have one to add to the 'ible. It's regarding the stubborn hard water stain (or concretion) that sometimes stains the bowl.

    Skip the sandpaer and head to the dollar store. Find a pumice stone, and use that. It'll do the trick and you can keep it in the bathroom for the occasional removal.

    Learned that one from the next door neighbour who's a house keeper.