Beyond the kitchen, the bathroom is the next most complex room of the home, which means that there are a few things that can go wrong with various fixtures. There isn’t always time to wait for a plumber. The good news is, some fixes are easy enough to do yourself — without the expense or long wait time that comes with hiring a plumber. Here are a few common issues and what you can do to solve them yourself.
Fixing a Clogged Toilet
When fixing a clogged toilet, first make sure that the toilet doesn’t overflow as you’re working on the problem. To do this, shut off the valve on the supply line that feeds the toilet and make sure that the flapper inside the toilet tank stays closed as you work.
How to Install a Toilet
If you are installing a new toilet, then the first step is to put the toilet together. For this, refer to the instructions that came with the toilet: Some toilets come pre-assembled. Others are one-piece with little assembly required. Some toilet models are two-piece — the tank and bowl are separate — which means you’ll need to do the assembly before you can install it. If you’re simply putting your old toilet back after fixing a clogged drain, then move to the next step.
Replacing a Supply Line and Angle Stop
Replacing the supply line and angle stop is a simple task. Start by locating a shut-off valve that will shut off water to the plumbing that feeds your bathroom (or shut off the water to the entire home at the main valve). Once this is done, use a crescent wrench to remove the original angle stop. Gently clean the threads on the exposed pipe to remove debris or bits of old Teflon tape.
What About Bathroom Sink Drains?
What if you have a clogged bathroom sink drain? The process to this repair is a little bit different. Start with the drain plug assembly, as the problem is often hair or other debris that has collected on the plug itself. Underneath the sink, you’ll find a rod that connects to an arm, which fits into the sink drain. This is the assembly that allows you to open and close the drain plug. Unfasten the spring clip that attaches the vertical rod to the horizontal arm, then unscrew the nut that holds the arm and ball valve inside the drain. Remove the arm and ball valve, and you’ll be able to lift the drain plug out of the drain. Remove any debris, then replace the parts in the reverse order in which you removed them.
Clogged P-traps are even easier to fix. For this job, place a bucket underneath the trap to catch water as you take the trap apart. Then, locate the two nuts on either side of the trap and loosen them to remove the trap itself. Once it comes free, you can use a toothbrush or a bottle brush to clean the clog before replacing the trap.