Handy Plumbing Tips and Tricks

Silence Creaking Pipes

Wrap pipes in adhesive-backed felt

Running hot water can cause copper pipes to expand and grind against pipe hangers and joists. A good idea would be to pick up adhesive-backed felt and cut it into strips. Then remove each hanger and wrap the pipe before refastening the hanger.

Drain Vacuum

Use a shop vacuum to remove hard objects

If an object like a toothbrush, comb or toy plugs a toilet or drain, a plunger may not be helpful at all. Instead, try to suck out the water and the obstruction with a wet/dry shop vacuum.

Pipe Orienteering

A strong magnet can help to find hidden pipes

When trying to locate a pipe under the floor, attach a rare earth (neodymium) magnet to an electrical fish tape and feed it into drain lines through the cleanout plug. Locate the magnet (and the pipe) under the floor using an ordinary compass.

The Bucket Flush

Use a bucket of water to flush the toilet

Before you turn off the water supply, fill 2- gallon buckets with water and then flush the toilet by dumping the water in the bowl. Trust me, this works just as well as the usual method.

Empty the Trap

Plunge water first before removing the trap

Make sure to give the drain a few plunges with a toilet plunger, before you remove a sink trap. This will push most of the water out of the trap. If the strainer isn't a screw-down style, you'll have to hold it down while you plunge the drain.

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