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: 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: 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: 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: Reseal a shower stall using silicone

Cracks in your shower, if left untreated, can wreak untold water damage. Fortunately, this video tutorial presents an easy-to-follow guide to resealing a shower stall using silicone. For detailed, step-by-step instructions, and to get started repairing your own shower, watch this handy home DIY video tutorial.

How To: Change a shower head and install a hand shower system

If you've been thinking about replacing your old shower head with a new model, or maybe even adding a hand shower, you'll be glad to know it's a pretty simple process. To replace the shower head, you don't even have to shut off the water supply. You just twist off the old one, replace the thread tape and twist on the new one. The hand shower system is a little more complicated, but Lowe's and Delta show you how.

How To: Fix a running old style fill valve toilet

This Home & Garden video shows you how to replace a running old style fill valve toilet with something more modern. Shut the supply line to the toilet and flush to remove the water from the tank. Then remove the supply line. Now take a wrench and loosen the plastic nut of the old fill valve located under the tank. Then lift the old valve and keep it aside. Take a 'flow master', which is a new type fill valve, place it in the same spot and hand tighten the nut under the tank to hold the flow m...

How To: Change the fill valve and stop a leaky toilet

We’ve all had the problem of a toilet that just won’t stop running. You can fix this problem yourself with a few tools from the local hardware store. The part that is causing the excess running is an old fill tube and stopper valve. You will want to shut the water off to your toilet and then flush the toiled to drain out the water. You will have to unscrew the supply line so that you can replace the fill valve. The process only takes a few minutes and it will save you money from wasted water ...

How To: Repair a ceramic disc tap

There is nothing more irritating than a dripping tap; it wastes water, makes those nasty marks on your sink, and that constant drip dripping noise can drive you mad. Luckily it's an easy job to fix. If you have one of these modern, easy-to-turn-on taps, it's likely the ceramic-disc inside will need replacing. Watch this video tutorial to learn how to repair a ceramic disc tap yourself.

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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 three-way electrical switch

In this tutorial, we learn how to wire a three-way electrical switch. First, you will need to know the difference between the wires that you are using. Once you familiarize yourself with these different wires, you can start to wire your electrical switch. Now, go to your electrical box and tie the white wires together with an electrical nut. Next, tie the copper wires together and you will be left with three wires. Take the wire that supplies the power and attach it to the black common, then ...

How To: Troubleshoot a toilet that won't flush the easy way

Learn how to troubleshoot a toilet that won't flush at your home in simple steps. First lift the lid and check whether the float ball is broken or touching the sides. Bend it a little if its touching the sides or replace it if its leaking or broken. Now check condition of the flapper valve and replace it if needed. Now check the handle, if its loose tighten the screw inside to fix it. Finally check the chain and replace it if broken or correct it to the right tension to lift the valve.

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: Seal black iron pipe joints

Teflon tape or pipe dope can be used to create a seal on black iron pipe. Tim Carter of AsktheBuilder.com demonstrates how to do the job right and shares some helpful tips. This black iron pipe is used to transport natural gas to your furnace, water heater and stove. This pipe has threaded fittings at the connection point which need to be sealed with pipe dope or Teflon tape. Teflon tape should be wrapped onto the male end of the pipe in a clockwise direction. Pipe dope has the consistency of...

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: Fit a dry lining back box

In this tutorial, we learn how to fit a dry lining back box. This is very easy to install, and the sides will grip the wires on your light. First, determine where you want your switch, then mark a quick line using a sturdy level. Next, you will cut out a hole in the wall the size of the box. After this, push the box into the wall. Then, you can add in the light switch to the box and secure it with the wires that are inside. This will finish up this project, just make sure the wires are place ...

How To: Change a circuit breaker

In this video, we learn how to change a circuit breaker. First, turn the main breaker off so there is no running electricity. Then, go to the meter area around your circuit breaker system. With these, there will be wires running all around the entire system. With most breakers, you can pull them right out from where they clip in. There will be a wire connected to this which you can remove. Do this, and then connect the wire to the new breaker. Snap this back into place and make sure it's secu...

How To: Punch down a 12 port patch panel

In this video, we learn how to punch down a 12 port patch panel. Start off by grabbing your cable and using scissors to cut off the outer covering of the cable. Next, use the wire scissors to cut off the end of the wires (about 1-2 inches). After this, place the stripped down wires into the appropriate spots that correspond to the colors that are on the 12 port patch panel. After you finished this, you will need to grab your punch down tool. Use this tool to push down on the wires, then it wi...

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