When it comes to installations, improvements and repairs around the home, plumbing fixtures can be some of the most difficult items to work with. In many cases, plumbing fixtures and their associated hardware and plumbing require homeowners to squeeze into tight spots. On top of that, the work can be wet, dirty and smelly. If you’re looking for some tips to make your next plumbing fixture installation easier, below are some tips:
Be Mindful Of Hardware Tension
One of the most common reasons why a plumbing fixture installation fails is because the hardware is too tight. While it may make sense to tighten down things like toilets and faucets, over-tightening can be a problem since the load is concentrated in the small area of the bolt head. To solve this, follow the manufacturer’s instructions, but also consider using flat washers. You can visit https://www.superiorwasher.com/Flat.html to find a selection of USS flat washers, SAE flat washers and more. When you install washers alongside your plumbing fixtures, you can spread the load across a larger surface area and reduce the chances of over-tightening. You will still want to be mindful of tension, but flat washers can help you achieve enough tension without placing too much pressure in a concentrated area.
Understand Your Main Water Valve
You also want to make sure you understand your main water valve, meaning you know where it is located and how to operate it. Before working on any plumbing fixtures in your home, you’re encouraged to turn off the water at the main valve. This reduces the potential for an accident that could lead to flooding. In some areas, you will need a special tool to access and operate the main valve, and your water company may also have a lock on the grate that allows access to the valve. In such cases, you may need to contact your water supplier to discuss your options. You will also want to flush faucets and toilets before uninstalling them.
Have Towels Available
Even if you’ve turned off the water at the main valve and have flushed your fixtures prior to removing them, you may still get drips or trickles of water from various pipes. As such, it’s a good idea to have some towels nearby whenever you’re working on plumbing fixtures. A bucket or similar container can also be useful for storing used, wet towels so they don’t end up laying on your flooring after use. While you may not think that you’re dealing with a lot of moisture, if that moisture sits on flooring or walls, it can seep into the boards and lead to mold and wood rot. This can result in expensive repairs and replacement costs in the future as well as the potential for your family to breathe in moldy air.
Check Your Local Codes
It’s also a good idea to check with your local administrative office to find out about building codes in your area. While replacing a toilet probably won’t cause you any legal trouble, you may find that your county building codes forbid or regulate the installation of certain plumbing fixtures or hardware. Even if you aren’t going to face fines or fees, you may end up regretting your installation decision if you end up selling your home in the future. While sellers typically do not have to bring older homes up to code in order to sell, a buyer may produce a lower offer if your home isn’t up to code and the buyer will have to spend money to update things.