Plumbing Hardware

The nitty-gritty of bathroom renovation

Understanding the fine details involved with plumbing can be very difficult for the average homeowner. Since plumbing, wiring, water and people all come together in the small space of the bathroom, we encourage you to look for a trained contractor who can fulfill your plumbing needs and ensure your family's safety.

The proper functioning of your plumbing hardware depends on a lot of tiny parts that work together. Some of these parts are exposed and easy to access, so they aren't hard for you to replace them on your own. Others are buried a little deeper or may require some expensive tools to get to them, so they'll be difficult to fix. It may be worth the money to pay an expert to replace the trickier parts.

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Easy-to-Replace Parts

If you have some experience or are inclined to try to figure things out as you go along, the following parts are some that you might consider changing yourself:

  • Toilet hardware.Most toilets consist of tanks, handles, valves, tubes, flappers, floats, bowls, rims and siphons that can be replaced or changed without digging into walls or crossing over electric currents.
  • Sink hardware.Faucets are easy to replace, as long as the new ones match or are bigger than the footprint of the old ones.
  • Water valves. Although water valves may be difficult to reach, homeowners can usually replace them without help. You'll have to know where the water flows in your house so you can stop the water in the section of pipe that you're working with. You'll likely need a pipe wrench that can work in small spaces, but with a little research you should be able to pull this one off yourself.
  • Bidet hardware.Bidet hardware includes taps, fixings, screws, caps and siphons that are fairly uncomplicated for you to fix yourself.

Difficult-to-Replace Parts

The following parts take a little more effort to replace, but many homeowners do their research and have pulled off the tasks themselves without regret. Be warned that the savings you collect by doing these jobs yourself may not be worth the headache and the effort you put forth to get the job done.

  • Drain pans.In order to change a drain pan, you'll have to pull up the floor beneath your shower or your bathtub. Pouring a new drain pan often means mixing your own mortar, shaping it and letting it dry thoroughly before you can replace the floor around it. Care must be taken not to let the mortar drain down the open drain hole and to shape the pan so that water will not pool away from the drain.
  • Pipe fittings.Pipe fittings may or may not be buried within the walls and / or floors of your home, so changing them can turn out to be a lot more difficult than it seems at first. Also, threading and securing pipe fittings is complicated and can result in further contamination of household water if not done correctly.
  • Septic systems.A septic system consists of a tank and a drain field that must be held intact when replacing. Many regions have guidelines that determine where a septic tank may be buried on the property and how far into the ground it must be buried. It is best to have a professional's assistance when you're thinking about replacing a septic tank, especially since they may be able to save you the cost and trouble by evaluating whether the tank needs to be replaced at all.
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