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With the current state of joblessness in the US everybody is going back to trying to do the basic upkeep and remodeling themselves. We’d like offer up a little advice on making plumbing repairs yourself.

Whenever you are dealing with the domestic water supply make sure the angle stop serving the fixture or valve servicing a particular bathroom or area is shut off completely. If a fixture valve or isolation valve is not available then please make sure the water can be positively shut down. A positive shut down is when the water can be turned off completely. If an isolation valve or the main valve for that matter cannot be positively shut down the repair or alteration becomes infinitely more difficult. Copper water piping cannot be soldered effectively with water remaining in the line.

Repairing Plumbing YourselfWhen repairing waste piping make sure no one will need to use the plumbing fixtures during the repair. This may sound silly but fixture usage during repairs happens more often than you think and it is usually pretty messy. Think about it.

Make sure you have the right material and tools.

SAFETY ITEMS – safety glasses, gloves, Cool Gel and heat blankets to make sure wooden studs don’t start on fire. BTW There is no instance where safety glasses shouldn’t be worn.

MATERIALS – If you are putting in new fixtures, faucets or plumbing equipment make sure you know what fittings are needed to make the connections. Ask the a plumbing person at your point of purchase or leave a question here and we will get you a material list.

MEASURE – Measure twice cut once. Check and recheck your piping measurements before you make your cuts.

TOOLS – Please make sure you have the proper tools to do your repair or alteration. Don’t try and use channel locks when you need a pipe wrench or a wood saw to cut PVC or copper.

PERMITS – Make sure you check with your city or county to see what repairs or alterations need a permit. The general rule of thumb is if you need a dumpster in front or in back of your house you need a permit.

GAS PIPING –  When dealing with gas piping call up a professional. I know there are some handy guys and girls out there but you’re dealing with a combustible gas.

ELECTRICITY – When you are dealing with a piece of plumbing equipment that is connected to the electrical service make sure the power is turned off at the breaker. Also make sure all electrical appliances are cleared from the work area.

POWER TOOLS – Make sure you know the proper use and care of any power tools you may use. Electrical tools, even the battery operated ones have tremendous torque and can easily break a wrist or tear a muscle. Take special care with any power cutting tools, if the tools gets away from the user it can be devastating or even fatal. If you are using any power rodding equipment wear tighter fitting clothes. If a glove or an article of clothing gets caught while rodding it can be equally devastating. Breaking a finger or your hand is not uncommon.

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