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An Easy Plumbing Fix

Posted by Woodrow Aames ~ January 18, 2010

This week, where I live in the foothills of Northern California, we're expected to sequence through five storms, bringing a foot of rain over the next week. That means it's time for indoor projects only. I'm always on the lookout for shortcuts or work-around solutions for problems, so I was delighted to see a simple drain product reviewed at Home Depot.

You can use the Speed Connect system to install a new drain without having to drag out your toolbox. That idea thrills me when it's wet and windy outside. You don't need pipe putty or plumber's tape, either. Or so they say. It's a four-part kit, which eliminates about ten conventional plumbing parts. Interested?

Other Simple Plumbing Solutions

The parts include a drain body, lock-nut, cable connection, and gasket. The design captured a Home Depot innovation award just three years ago. The best news is that anyone can do the job and still have the balance of the rainy day to handle other projects.

Here's an idea: scour our article on four plumbing jobs that are easy to handle. We show you how to unblock a sink, fix your hot water supply, handle a dripping kitchen faucet, or stop a running toilet.

Some Jobs for Experienced Do-It-Yourselfers

This is a tough time of year to handle leaky water lines but if some of your problems are interior and localized and you don't need to work outside in the weather, you might want to replace some old, tired copper pipes with cross-linked polyethylene (PEX). With the rain coming down, it's easier to spot damp spots on your interior walls and ceilings. And, with nasty weather outside, it can be easier to locate a plumber to work indoors.

It's not a bad idea right now to review the process for repairing burst pipes. I wrote about it in early November, but with much of the country facing deep winter conditions, it's probably a great time to walk your basement and outdoor pipelines and inspect for leaks.

If you haven't winterized your plumbing, and live in freezing weather, perhaps you're just lucky. Round up some insulating foam, fiberglass jackets, cork wrapping, heat tape, or wool felt and get into your crawlspaces, interior walls, and unheated basement areas and help your pipes stay warm through the rest of the winter. If you've ever had a burst pipe, you know why prevention is an outstanding idea.

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