Hot Plumbing & Electric How-Tos

How To: Replace a toilet ballcock with a fill valve

Most older toilets have older-style fish and ballcock for toilets. But they are prone to fault, like running and constant water. Replacing them with a newer-style fill valve will save water and frustration now and later on. Watch this plumbing video tutorial to learn how to replace a toilet ballcock with a fill valve. It's a little more efficient and it's pretty straightforward, so see how to replace your valve!

How To: Use PTFE tape (Teflon tape) on threads

PTFE, which stands for polytetrafluoroethylene, is a synthetic fluoropolymer of tetrafluoroethylene, most commonly known as Teflon. Teflon tape is a very thin, white tape used to wrap around the threaded ends of pipes to improve the watertightness of a joint. Though PTFE tape is fairly common thing to use, not many people know how to actually use it properly, or where to use it. A lot use it on compression joints, but you really don't need to unless it leaks. You would use it on a radiator va...

How To: Wire a Type G electrical plug

The Type G plug is the standard plug in the United Kingdom, usually 230V and 50Hz, and is referred to as the BS1363 (British Standards 1363). It's most commonly referred to as the "13-amp plug" because it has a 13-amp fuse inside. The wires consist of a hot (or live) wire, neutral wire, and an earth (or ground) wire.

How To: Adjust the float cup/ball height in your toilet tank to save water

Trim down your water bill and do the planet a favor by adjusting the water height in your toilet tank. The Fluidmaster's float cup on the fill valve can easily be adjusted to set water height in the cistern, just by fine-tuning the water level adjustment clip. This process is very similar for regular fill valves, too, with float balls instead of float cups. All you need to do is hit the sweet spot—the lowest water height needed to properly flush the toilet.

How To: Identify the switched live wire in a lighting circuit

Before undertaking any electrical project, it is imperative that you know precisely what it is you're doing and to keep in mind that electricity can kill. With that said, this electrical tutorial presents a guide to identifying the switched live wire on a lighting circuit and also explains how to rewire a ceiling rose. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on completing this home project, take a look.

How To: Get rid of that smell coming from your shower

In this tutorial, we learn how to get rid of that smell coming from your shower with Bob Schmidt. First, you will want to clean out your drain pipes to make sure the smell is not coming from there. If the smell is coming back out, you will need to do additional work. If water gets saturated into the base of the shower, then there should be some gravel around it so the water can soak through and go down into the drain pipe. If moisture soaks through the tile grout, then it can bring out the se...

How To: Install or move a shower valve

This two part video show you how to remove an old shower valve, preparation and installation of a new shower valve. Also, you'll see how to clean, cut and connect copper plumbing pipes. Don't forget to watch part two and always make sure to shut off the water main first!

How To: Install the shower base and connect it to the drain

Before you whip out your iPhone and call your neighborhood plumber for a job that's sure to cost you a pretty penny, check out this video to learn how to do some impressive plumbing yourself. Using a few tools you probably already have lying around your house, you'll learn how to install a shower base in your shower unit and then connect it with the drain - effectively, you'll be setting up a plumbing system.

How To: Replace an old kitchen faucet with a new one

Replacing old kitchen faucets can be a great way to adding a new item that can be used to maximize your cleaning and cooking needs. This video tutorial shows you what it takes to replace an old existing kitchen faucet with a new one. It will also show you how to install shut-off valves underneath the sink as well. Enjoy! Replace an old kitchen faucet with a new one.

How To: Use push-fit joints on copper pipe

Copper pipe is perhaps the most versatile of all piping types in that you can use virtually any fitting with it. Copper pipe, however, is not particularly flexible, which can make it a little unwieldy to work with. Simplify your copper piping projects by using push-fit fittings. This home plumbing video tutorial shows you how. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on using push-fit joints in your copper plumbing projects, take a look.

How To: Connect flexi-tails properly

In this video, we learn how to connect flexi-tails properly. First, take your flexi-tails and grab one with a female end that will screw onto the end of a male. After this, use an isolating valve to fit the compression onto the valves and then tighten it up. Screw the flexible tail onto the end of this. Be careful buying this off Ebay, because a lot of fittings will not screw onto a compression knot. It is very simple to make this, you just have to connect the two tails and make sure they are...

How To: Flush the lines on a Delta kitchen faucet to stop unwanted noises

One of the main causes of noise in a kitchen faucet (when turned on or off) is from obstructed lines. And the only way to stop the noise is by flushing them. Lowe's brings you this video from Delta on just that: flushing your Delta kitchen faucet to silence the noise. You'll need a cloth, towel, 1/8" allen wrench, adjustable wrench, bucket or mixing bowl, white vinegar, channel lock pliers, screwdriver and an extra set of hands.

How To: Remove a shower stall and replace it with a new one

You can't go scrub-a-dub in the tub - at least not comfortably so - if your shower faucet is leaking, or if your current tub valve is stuck and not letting any shower water come through. If your shower is broken beyond repair then your best plan of action is to take the whole thing out and reinstall your shower stall. We know this big - and potentially disasterous - procedure has been parodied many a time on popular TV sitcoms, but it's actually realizable if you're careful and follow the ste...

How To: Cut a machine screw without damaging the threads

Every electrician knows you have to cut a screw every now and then to make it fit. But do they do it properly? Most will probably just use their linesman's or dikes, but using your wire strippers equipped with screw cutting is the proper way. Watch this video tutorial to see how to cut a machine screw without damaging the threads. An electrical screw or machine screw can be easily cut with a pair of electricians pliers. Cutting metric screws this way means that the thread will not be damaged ...

How To: Install a three way Lutron Diva dimmer switch

If you're looking to set a mood with your significant other or are trying to find a way to limit how much light you have, dimmer switches are the way to go. They're easy to use and are perfect for anybody who likes to have different lighting options available to them. This video will show you how to install a three way dimmer switch from scratch. When installing be aware that you need to turn off the electricity before doing so, otherwise you may be electrocuted. Be careful and good luck!

How To: Clean and replace an aerator on a faucet or filer screen on a shower head

The aerator on your faucet serves a very important function: by adding air bubbles, it helps to fuse the water and give it a softer feel. It also helps reduce the amount of water you use. So if you're faucet's water stream is acting funny (like a drop in pressure), it might be time to either clean or replace your aerator. If you're having trouble with your shower head, too, a little vinegar might do the trick.

How To: Flush the lines on a Delta bathroom faucet to stop unwanted noises

If you're faucet is making noise, it might be time to repair it. Does it make the noise when you turn it on and off? The answer could be as simple as flushing the lines. Lowe's provides this video on flushing the lines of your Delta bathroom faucet to silence the noise. You'll need a cloth, towel, 1/8" allen wrench, adjustable wrench, bucket or mixing bowl, white vinegar and an extra set of hands.

How To: Easily install a ceiling fan

A ceiling fan is a cheap, economical way to add some nice air into your home during the hot summer months. They're easy to install and can actually save some money. So in these videos, you'll find out how to easily install a ceiling fan in your home today. Remember, you will be messing with electrical wires so be safe and wear the right equipment. Good luck and enjoy!

How To: Identify wire colors and do some basic home wiring

If you have never dealt with wire color-coding then Old64goat takes you through a very elementary tutorial that will give you the helpful aid needed to deal with common household wires. The first cord that is reviewed is the three pronged cord. The color wires contained within it is the green wire which is the ground prong, the white wire which is neutral, and the black wire which is the heat. Old64goat then demonstrates where the wires are connected to on the prong. He even gives out helpful...

How To: Use copper push-fit fittings to connect piping

Follow this video to learn how to use copper push-fit fittings to connect piping. 1. Sometimes we connect pipes by means of push-fit fittings which are not very appealing to look at since they are of a different color and material and so do not match with the pipe. However a good alternative is to choose copper push-fit fittings rather than plastic ones. Copper push-fit fittings would be similar to the pipe itself. 2. Open the pipe and ensure that it is clean before fixing the fitting by simp...

How To: Wire a single pole light switch

Before working on any circuit in your house, make sure you turn the light off at the circuit breaker and then test it at the switch. Use 14-2 wire which has two insulated wires, a white and a black, and a bare copper wire which is used for grounding. First you run a 14-2 wire from the main circuit panel into the switch box. Then run a 14-2 wire from the switch to the light bulb. The black wire from the main circuit panel gets attached to one of the poles on the switch. The black from the 14-2...

How To: Bleed a towel radiator like a professional

This video shows you how to bleed a towel radiator like a professional. The radiator is hot at the bottom and cold at the top, which means that there is air in the system and the system will have to be bled. To bleed the system, you will have to open the bleeder valve with a key or flat screwdriver. Turn off the system first, so that no more air can be drawn into it. Open the bleeder valve slowly by turning with the key or screwdriver until you hear air and then stop. If the air stops quickly...

How To: Install toilet seat hinges like a professional

Hub Kirkpatrick of HandymanTeacher teaches how to fix a loose toilet seat. He shows how to tighten the screws holding it down while holding on to the nut under it to make sure it tightens, and how to pop the covers back in place. Kirkpatrick also reminds us to be careful, as the screws are plastic and can easily break or strip out. Following these steps instead of calling a handyman will save you money for a few minutes of time.

How To: Solder and prep copper pipes

To solder copper pipes, start by using a sharp blade and scrape the end of the pipe you are going to solder. This will get all the burrs off of the pipe. Next, take some steel wool and clean the pipe so that it is nice and clean and shiny. The next step is to apply some flux. Use a rag to apply the flux to the end of the pipe. You want to make sure that the flux goes all the way around the pipe. After putting flux on the two pieces of pipe, put them together using the fitting. Take the blowto...

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