Next few weeks, we’ll give you quick tips galore. Let’s start with some plumbing pointers.
Be prepared for emergencies. If you have a sudden leak in a pipe, you can patch it temporarily with some rubber patching tape. This strong, stretchable material is a great quick fix for a leak in a supply or drain line. Shut off the water, naturally, remove the backing, hold one end of the tape against the pipe, and pull so it stretches and its width shrinks by half. Then wrap it tightly around the leak. Presto. You can also patch a hole with a rubber sleeve, or even a section of old outdoor hose. Wrap it round the pipe, and clamp it tightly. Remember, though; these fixes are temporary. Plan on repairing the leak completely before long.
If you’re working on decorative chrome or brass-plated plumbing, you don’t want to mar the surface with a wrench or the rough metal teeth of pliers. Here are a couple ideas. Wrap the teeth with the aforementioned rubber tape. It forms tightly to the shape of the grip, yet protects your nice plumbing. Or cut the fingertips off an old pair of leather or rubber gloves, and slide these over the grips.
Are you connecting a lot of short pipes and angles? Fit and solder as much as you can before installing the section into the fixed portion of the system. It’s a lot easier to work sitting in a comfortable chair.
Do you suspect your toilet is slowly leaking from the tank into the bowl. Put some food coloring in the tank, and without flushing, wait an hour. If the color appears in the bowl, you’re right, and it’s time to replace a few parts of the flush system.