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Things You'll Need:

Plumbing Fixtures
Plumbing Snake
Copper Pipe
Brazing Materials
Pipe Wrench
Smaller Wrenches

1. Replacing PVC Pipe
Some plumbing problems
are generally easy to fix. A
busted pipe requires a
little time and minimal
work to fix. To fix a
cracked pipe or pipe fitting
replace with the exact
parts. For PVC pipe use a
hacksaw to remove the
old pipe and/or fitting,
sand the edges of the pipe
where you made your
cuts, use PVC pipe primer
(its purple)around the
edges of the old pipe,
around the new pipe and
inside your new fittings,
apply PVC pipe cement to
those areas as well and fit
your pipes back together.
Make sure you let the pipe
dry before you turn the
water back on and allow
water to run through it.
2. Major Plumbing Problems
If your plumbing leak is in
your hot water or copper
pipes the process to
replace them is called
brazing. I have an article on
this technique in the
resources section. Major
problems like tearing out a
wall should be left to
extreme DIY'ers or
professionals only. If you
must open a wall to get to
a plumbing problem you
can be sure it will be costly
and time consuming.

3. Removal and Cleaning of P-
Simple clogs can be fixed
with a plunger or a
plumbing snake. These
tools are inexpensive and
can save you money if you
can get to a clog. Your
local hardware store
should carry a pipe snake
for less than $50.00. If you
are working on a kitchen
or bathroom sink and you
have tried the plunger
method and it did not work
there is a trick you can
try. Remove your P-trap
and trap arm, these
should unscrew without
too much trouble. Using a
screwdriver try to sweep
the trap and trap arm out.
If you can reach the clog,
this trick will save you a
trip to the hardware store.
The P-trap will often hold
food, grease,or hair and
clog anything that may be
passed down a drain.

4. Plumbing Snake
If you have gone this far
and not found your clog
then it is time to purchase
a plumbing snake. This tool
is simple to use and very
similar to the auger that
your plumber will bring to
your home.

5. Using Pipe Snake
You will need to thread the
snake into the drain stub-
out tighten your set screw
and crank the handle
clockwise to feed the hose
into the drainpipe. Continue
turning the snake when
you encounter a clog, the
end of the snake is
designed to corkscrew
through a clog. When you
have punched through the
clog remove the plumbing
snake cleaning the line as
it comes out. I suggest
punching a few holes in the
clog if you can by snaking
the line again from a
different angle. Replace
the trap arm and p-trap
and try running water
through your drain.

6. Clog Locations
If you did not reach the
clog it could be further
down the pipe line. If your
pipes are easy to get to
then you can try snaking
from a different location
and see if you have any
luck. Most reasonably
priced plumbing snakes
have a 15-20 foot snake
line. Try snaking from a
different location that is
not too close yet not to
far away either.

You can avoid most drain
clogs by not abusing your
pipes. Do not dump grease
down a kitchen sink, and
moderate the types of
food you are putting down
your garbage disposal.
Foods high in starch, or
high in fiber can cause a
clog; coffee grounds can
also solidify in a drain if
they are allowed to cool

Tips & Warnings

Consider installing a shut-off
valve if you are replacing
leaking pipes in a problem

Regular use of a drain
cleaner can help prevent

As soon as you notice a slow
down in drains do something
about it, letting the problem
build up will only make things

Use safety precautions when
using PVC pipe primer and
PVC pipe cement

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