6 Common Bathroom Plumbing Jobs You Can Tackle Yourself

Pro Tip: Wrap a thin rag around the showerhead before loosening or tightening to protect it from scratches from the wrench.

More Details: Go to Matriarchy Build’s How to Change a Showerhead.

a fernlund + logan shower from nordic beauty: a brooklyn townhouse reinvented w 18a fernlund + logan shower from nordic beauty: a brooklyn townhouse reinvented w 19
Above: A Fernlund + Logan shower from Nordic Beauty: A Brooklyn Townhouse Reinvented with Style—and Restraint. Photography Matthew Williams photo for Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home.

5. Unclog a Shower Drain

As with sinks, if you find water pooling on the floor of your shower, you have a blockage in your drain pipes. First, try to unclog the drain with a barbed snake drain cleaner (these are plastic and about 30 inches long with barbs to aid in cleaning). Thread this through the drain of the tub/shower and pull out to remove hair and buildup. If the drain still isn’t clear, the blockage is further down the line.

Using a handheld snake will allow you to go deeper: insert the snake in the drain and feed the snake down. Crank the snake slowly and when you feel resistance you may have hit the blockage. Pull out the snake and the blockage along with it. You may need to do this a few times to fully get out all of the hair and other problem stuff. Run the water to see if the drain is cleared.

Pro Tip: If you’re unable to clear a drain with a barbed or classic snake, your blockage may be a more serious matter and you should call a drain cleaner or plumber.

a toilet flapper is the black rubber element in the center of the tank photogra 20
Above: A toilet flapper is the black rubber element in the center of the tank Photograph by Lacey Soslow/Matriarchy-Build

6. Replace a Toilet Flapper

Is your toilet constantly running? A faulty flapper is likely the issue. The flapper is the rubber piece that lifts out of the way when the toilet is flushed before moving back in place. When the flapper fails to create a seal, water runs into the tank. To replace a flapper, turn off the water to your toilet, then flush the toilet to empty the tank. Next, remove the flapper and source a replacement flapper from the hardware store. To install the new one, attach the chain to the handle rod and the plastic tabs to the overflow tube.

Pro Tip: Bring your old flapper to the hardware store so you get the correct one. And make sure the chain to the flapper is the same length as the original. If the chain is too long it can get stuck under the flapper and cause a toilet to run.

More Details: Here’s a Matriarchy Build video of Carly replacing a toilet flapper and a Tutorial on Toilet Types.

A Good Thing to Know for a lot of Plumbing Jobs: How to turn off your water main—here’s how.

you can book an online consultation with carly at matriarchy build. as for the  21
Above: You can book an online consultation with Carly at Matriarchy Build. As for the high cost of hiring a plumber, she says: “Running a plumbing company is expensive: trucks, parts, salary for the plumber and appreciation, insurance, gas, tools, it all adds up.” Follow Carly @theplumbher.

Here are three online sources for plumbing supplies recommended by Matriarchy Build:

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Frequently asked questions

What are the common bathroom plumbing jobs?

The common bathroom plumbing jobs include fixing a leaky faucet, unclogging a drain, replacing a toilet, installing a new showerhead, repairing a running toilet, and replacing a sink.

How can I fix a leaky faucet?

To fix a leaky faucet, you can start by turning off the water supply, removing the faucet handle, replacing the faulty washer or cartridge, and then reassembling the faucet.

How do I unclog a drain?

To unclog a drain, you can try using a plunger, a drain snake, or a mixture of baking soda and vinegar. If these methods don’t work, you may need to remove and clean the drain trap or call a professional plumber.

How can I replace a toilet?

To replace a toilet, begin by turning off the water supply and draining the tank. Then, disconnect the water supply line and remove the old toilet. Install a new wax ring, place the new toilet bowl in position, and secure it with bolts. Finally, reconnect the water supply and test for leaks.

What is the process of installing a new showerhead?

To install a new showerhead, start by removing the old showerhead. Clean the shower arm threads, apply plumber’s tape, and screw on the new showerhead. Make sure it is tightly secured and test for any leaks.

How can I repair a running toilet?

To repair a running toilet, you can check if the flapper is sealing properly and adjust the water level in the tank. You may also need to clean or replace the fill valve. If the issue persists, it’s recommended to consult a plumber.

What is the process of replacing a sink?

To replace a sink, start by turning off the water supply and disconnecting the plumbing connections beneath the sink. Remove the old sink and insert the new sink in its place. Reconnect the plumbing and test for any leaks.

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